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Old Bridge

An ancient bridge which is no longer accessible to vehicular traffic, the Old Bridge crosses the River Forth a half-mile (0.8 km) northeast of the centre of Stirling, between Laurencecroft Road and Bridgehaugh Road. This substantial bridge was constructed around 1500 and served as the lowest crossing over the Forth for almost four centuries. Gifford and Walker state it was "perhaps the most strategically important river crossing in all Scotland, yet strangely quiet and detached from the town."

Comprising four semi-circular arches and measuring 81.6m (268 feet) in length, it replaced earlier bridges including one built of wood and located just to the north, where William Wallace (1274 - 1305) defeated the Edward I in 1297. Duties were once levied on goods crossing the bridge.

Now Category A-listed for its historical importance, it was on the Old Bridge that John Hamilton (1547-71), Archbishop of St. Andrews, was put to death. He was executed in his full regalia having been linked to the murders of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (1545-67), and James Stuart, 1st Earl of Moray (c. 1531-70). In 1745, the southernmost arch was blown up by General Blakeney to prevent the Jacobites from crossing and entering Stirling, but it was later rebuilt.

Stirling New Bridge opened in 1832.


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