Monday, 28 May 2012

Loch Lomond Cottages - Forth Road Bridge bid for World Heritage Status

Forth Bridge to bid for World Heritage Status

The Forth Bridge will be put forward to UNESCO to consider making it a World Heritage Site.

The nomination of the engineering icon will be submitted to the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for a decision at the 2015 meeting.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“The Forth Bridge is a Scottish icon that is recognised the world over. We are extremely excited that we have the opportunity to make the case for the Bridge being inscribed as Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site.

“To have the Bridge inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site would be a tremendous accolade for the Bridge itself, for the local communities and for Scotland. This nomination has the potential to be a celebration of our country’s incredible engineering ingenuity and pedigree and I wish the team working on it all the best.”

The nomination will be overseen by the Forth Bridges Forum, which includes representatives from Historic Scotland, bridge owners Network Rail, Transport Scotland, the Forth Estuary Transport Authority, Fife Council and City of Edinburgh Council.

David Simpson, route managing director for Network Rail Scotland, commented:

“The Forth Bridge is one of the most recognisable bridges anywhere in the world and certainly the most cherished Scottish structure of the Victorian era.

“The bridge has become a source of pride and a symbol of Scotland’s resilience and ingenuity but we must never lose sight of the fact that it is first and foremost a working structure which still carries over 200 trains a day.

“This nomination should be regarded as a further tribute to the thousands of men who have contributed to building, maintaining and restoring the structure over the last 130 years."

If successful, the rail bridge would be the sixth World Heritage Site in Scotland – The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, The Antonine Wall (part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS), the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, St Kilda and New Lanark.

A revised UK Tentative List was announced in March 2011 that included 3 Scottish sites - Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof: the Zenith of Iron Age Shetland, the Flow Country and the Forth Bridge

The remaining sites on the Tentative List will be given the opportunity to submit Technical Evaluations to DCMS in the autumn of 2013, detailing why they are worthy of designation. This will inform future decisions regarding which sites will be submitted to UNESCO and when this will be.

The Forth Bridge is the world’s first large-scale steel cantilever bridge.  It is 2.5km (1.5 miles) long and comprises two girder spans of 521 metre (1,710ft) made up of three 105 metre (351 ft) high double-cantilevers, with a long approach viaduct on tall granite-faced piers at its South end.

Work on the Bridge was commenced in 1882 and formally completed on March 4, 1890 by HRH Edward Prince of Wales.

The bridge used 54,000 tonnes of steel and an estimated 6,500,000 rivets.  Its total cost was £3,200, 000 (equivalent to around £235 million today).

The contractor responsible for building the bridge was the innovative Glasgow engineer, William Arrol, whose main works were in Dalmarnock and later also Parkhead.  At the same time as building the Forth Bridge, Arrol’s company also successfully re-built the Tay Bridge and constructed the steel frame of Tower Bridge in London.

One of the more unusual people who worked on the construction of the Forth Bridge was Japanese engineer Kaichi Watanabe, who had studied under the Scottish engineer, Henry Dyer, in the Faculty of Technology of the University of Tokyo.  He later studied at the University of Glasgow and then worked as a construction foreman on the Forth Bridge.  He is famous for appearing in a photograph as the central part of a ‘human cantilever’ demonstrating the engineering principles of the bridge.  This photograph can now be seen under the ‘20’ on the Bank of Scotland £20 note.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Loch Lomond Cottages invites you to Step back in time at Stirling Castle

Step back in time at Stirling Castle to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Stirling Castle will be stepping back in time to the Royal Court of the sixteenth century to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Over the weekend of Saturday 2nd June and Sunday 3rd June, the castle will be hosting a spectacular celebration of royalty in days gone by.

The castle, which has been party to a number of royal celebrations over the years including the coronations of King James V and his daughter Mary, Queen of Scots, is gearing up for a weekend to remember with a host of activities for all the family.

Visitors can experience the Royal Court to see how such occasions were celebrated hundreds of years ago in Renaissance times. There will be a host of entertaining activities from sword fighting, to royal etiquette, to the fashions of the time.

This will include the King wearing what is reported to be the first ever recorded display of tartan whilst the Queen and her ladies-in-waiting will discuss life at masques and balls. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to dress up in the costumes of the period.

The celebrations are designed to cover a whole host of different aspects of life in the royal court, from the orders of the chivalry to feasting, with the table set with dishes on display that would have been eaten at a coronation.

Gillian MacDonald, Executive Manager of Stirling Castle said:  “We are delighted to be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with special events and presentations for all the family to enjoy.

“Stirling Castle has many royal links and has been witness to a number of coronations. Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned here in the Chapel Royal on 9th September 1543 when she was a baby and the crown had to be held above her head, whilst James VI was rushed to the castle for safety after his coronation at the nearby Church of the Holy Rude-Hastily for fear of a counter attack.

“Visitors will be able to find out more about these links through special tours running over the weekend as well as experiencing life first hand in the royal court through a series of interactive workshops.”

The event is included in the admission price for Stirling Castle. For further details please visit

All the World's a Stage, Loch Lomond Cottages


Come along to the beautiful surroundings of St Andrews Castle where Chapterhouse Theatre will be performing two of Shakespeare’s best loved plays.

On Thursday 7th and Friday 8th June you will be able to enjoy an enchanting performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

On Saturday 9th June, they will be performing ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the heartbreaking tale of two star-crossed lovers.

Doors open at 6:30 pm and the performances start at 7:30 pm.

Gillian Urquhart, Assistant Events Manager at Historic Scotland said: “Come along and enjoy the wonderful language of Shakespeare in the unique, historic setting of St Andrews castle.

“There is no seating at these events, so why not bring along a picnic and something  lawn-friendly to sit on.  Hot and cold drinks will be available.”

For information:

Adult £13.50, Concession and Child £9.00

Family ticket (two adults and two children) £40.00

Limited places so please book in advance online at: