North Queensferry

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Coordinates: 56°00′40″N 3°23′40″W / 56.011111°N 3.394444°W / 56.011111; -3.394444

North Queensferry is a village in Fife, Scotland, on the Firth of Forth, between the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge, and 10 miles (16.1 km) from Edinburgh.



The village takes its name from Saint Margaret of Scotland, the wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland, who is said to have established the village to ensure there would be regular ferry crossings across the Firth of Forth for the benefit of pilgrims travelling to St Andrews. Margaret is said to have regularly used the ferry crossing, when travelling between the then capital Dunfermline, and her chapel in Edinburgh Castle: St Margaret's Chapel. From around this time, the crossing became known as the Queen's Ferry.

Margaret died in 1093 and made her final journey by ferry to Dunfermline Abbey, where she remains buried. Her son, David I of Scotland, awarded the ferry rights to the abbey.

However, it is likely that there was a settlement around the present site of the village long before the time of Margaret. The site of the village, on the narrowest part of the Firth of Forth, with added advantage of the island of Inchgarvie in between, suggests that it would have been the natural point of crossing and a vital link to the north of Scotland for centuries before the Queen's Ferry was established.

North Queensferry over the centuries remained a small community, with a population of probably no more than 600, and it never achieved the status of burgh like many of the nearby settlements. Yet the numbers passing through the village daily were huge. From noblemen to commoners, from Kings to cattle, all had to use the Queen's Ferry to cross the Forth. It is recorded that Mary, Queen of Scots, used the ferry the day she was being transported to Loch Leven Castle, where she was imprisoned in 1565.

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