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Kincardine On Forth Bridge

Road Bridge (20th Century)

Site Name Kincardine On Forth Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Kincardine Bridge; River Forth

Canmore ID 48119

Site Number NS98NW 59

NGR NS 92560 87164

NGR Description NS 92134 86942 to NS 92831 87305

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Tulliallan
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Dunfermline
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NS98NW 59 92560 87164 (NS 92134 86942 to NS 92831 87305)

Kincardine on Forth Bridge [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1991.

Location formerly entered as NS 92561 87163.

Not to be confused with later (fixed) Clackmannanshire Bridge (also known as Upper Forth Crossing) built upstream at NS c. 9206 8836 to c. 9201 8693: see NS98NW 342.

Central swing span at NS 92560 87163.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

(Location cited as NS 921 869 - NS 928 873). Kincardine Bridge, opened 1936. Steel-girder bridge, 2,696ft (822m) long with a central 364ft (111m) swing span, in the form of a steel truss with central bowed portion.

J R Hume 1976.

By Alexander Gibb & Partners, 1932-6, and the earliest road crossing over the Forth built E of Stirling. Steel girders on concrete piers, the central section made to open. Quite straightforward, apart from suburban Art Deco concrete decoration above bridge level.

J Gifford 1988.

The bridge spans the Forth at Kincardine. There are no changes to the NMR description. A new bridge is under consideration because of the poor condition of the existing bridge.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' , 21 February 1996.

This bridge carries the A876 (T) public road over the River Forth immediately SW of the town of Kincardine (NS98NW 48); the river here forms the barrier between the parishes of Tulliallan (Fife) and Airth (Stirlingshire). The swinging mechanism is no longer operational, and the fixed bridge forms a significant barrier to navigation. The bridge is approached up a curving concrete-based North Approach Road from the NE, and up a gently-sloping ramp from the SW.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 8 December 2000.

The location assigned to this record defines the central pivot of the swinging span, which apparently extends from NS c. 92507 87136 to NS c. 92162 87192. Prolonged approaches extend from NS c. 92295 87025 to NS c. 92809 87295. The Northern Approach Road has recently been extended to the E, both to keep traffic away from Kincardine-on-Forth and to allow access to the projected site of the second (replacement) bridge.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 2 March 2006.


Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

There was no road bridge over the Forth downstream from Stirling until 1936 when Kincardine Bridge was completed at a site where the river is 2400 ft wide at high water. Even though the Forth Road Bridge, completed in 1964, attracted some of its traffic the bridge still serves as a major artery carrying the A876 road.

In the 1930s the Forth was navigable to Stirling and vessels of up to 2000 tons traded to Alloa with coal, oil

and timber. To accommodate upstream shipping a turning section was incorporated into the bridge which

swung about a central support to provide twin openings of 150 ft. The circular track and rollers at this support

were so finely made by Sir William Arrol & Co. that it required only 2 hp to turn the span. Because of the decline in shipping the bridge is no longer turned. The shipping clearance at high water was when closed, and is now, 30 ft.

Adjoining the turning section there are ten approach spans of 62 ft–100 ft to the north and 16 approach spans of 50 ft–100 ft to the south. The south approach ends in a piled reinforced concrete viaduct 265 ft long. The total

length of the bridge is 2696 ft and when built it was the largest swing bridge in Europe and Scotland’s longest

road bridge. The delay to road traffic in opening and closing the bridge for shipping was 13 minutes. The consulting engineer for the bridge was J. Guthrie Brown of Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, and the main

contractor was the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. Ltd, Darlington, who subcontracted some work to Sir

Wm. Arrol & Co.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.


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