|Location Map ( geo)|
|Late 15th Century, 1831|
Stirling City Centre has two bridges across the River Forth, the ancient 'old' bridge and the Victorian 'new' bridge. The former is now used for pedestrians and cyclists while the latter carries the busy A9 across the river.
In 1297, William Wallace fought the Battle of Stirling Bridge against the English army, and won. It was a critical point in Scottish History, effectively marking the start of the Scottish resurgence that led to victory at Bannockburn 17 years later. The only downside of the battle was that the old timber bridge was destroyed, leaving Stirling without a crossing of the river. Doubtless ferryboats would have provided a service in the interim, but it is believed that the bridge was rapidly replaced. The original bridge was sited a little to the north of the current structures, but it's replacement may have been nearer the current site.
The Old Bridge
Stirling Old Bridge is thought to be late 15th Century in date, although there is no precise date. The style suggests that it is not the bridge built in c1297, although evidence of an earlier structure can be seen on the riverbed, suggesting that the 13th Century Bridge stood on the same site.
The bridge is built of stone, rising in the middle and crossing the river with 4 semi-circular arches, the two centre ones being larger than the outer ones. Between the two centre arches, a small refuge is set into each parapet, making use of the buttresses below. In 1745, the Southern most arch was destroyed in the Jacobite Rebellion, and not completely repaired until 1749.
The New Bridge
Stirling New Bridge was built in 1831 and designed by Robert Stevenson. It is considerably wider than the old bridge, and is level, rather than the older humpbacked structure. It carries two lanes of traffic, with narrow footways across five arches. The whole structure is built of stone.