- QUEENSFERRY, NORTH, a village, in a detached part of the parish of Dunfermline, district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 2 miles (S.) from Inverkeithing, and 6 (S. E. by S.) from Dunfermline; containing 461 inhabitants. This place is situated on a promontory on the north shore of the Frith of Forth, and derives its name from an ancient ferry connecting it with the town of Queensferry, on the south side of the Frith. It once belonged to the abbots of Dunfermline, who had a chapel here endowed by Robert I.; and is noticed by the Scottish historian Buchanan under the appellation of Margaritæ Portus, from its having been the place where Margaret, queen of Malcolm III., frequently embarked and landed on her passage to and from her palace of Dunfermline. After the Dissolution, the ferry became the property of the Earl of Rosebery and Sir Archibald Dundas, of Dundas, the latter of whom erected a strong castle on the rocky island of Inchgarvie, in the Frith, which subsequently was converted into a place of confinement for prisoners of state. The fortifications were repaired during the last war, and the battery mounted with cannon; but since the peace it has been altogether neglected, and is now in a state of ruin. To the west of the castle, and near the extremity of the rock on which it is built, are the remains of a circular redoubt, and to the east are those of a battery, both of which are said to have been erected by the forces of Cromwell while encamped on the Ferry hills. The Frith is here a mile and a half in breadth. The passage has been greatly facilitated by the erection of a commodious low-water pier, and other improvements, effected partly by means of a grant from government of above £13,000; and the ferry has been vested by act of parliament in trustees. At one period subsequently to these improvements, it produced an annual rental of £2300, which, however, afterwards diminished to £1500. The village, which is beautifully situated, directly opposite to Queensferry, is small but neatly built, and is principally inhabited by boatmen and persons connected with the ferry. It has an excellent inn for the accommodation of passengers from the opposite shore; and from the salubrity of the air, and the numerous objects of interest in the immediate vicinity, it has become a place of great resort for sea-bathing during the summer season. The surrounding scenery is strikingly beautiful and romantic; and the Ferry hills, which stretch into the Frith, command extensive and diversified views. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads; and steam-boats to Leith, Stirling, and all the intermediate ports, sail regularly from the pier; the landing-place is well constructed, and is accessible to vessels of considerable burthen during spring-tides. A signal-house has been built on the rocks on the north shore, containing an apartment, also, for the meetings of the trustees above-mentioned, and the requisite accommodation for the boatmen and superintendant of the ferry.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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