Old Photograph Market Cross Airth Scotland
Old photograph of the Market Cross and houses in Airth located six miles North of Falkirk, Scotland. The village has a long association with the River Forth and it was on the banks of the river that a royal dockyard was created. It was used during the years 1507 to 1513 in the reign of King James IV to build ships of war at the pool of Airth. History reveals that a primitive form of dry dock was used. Strong timbers would be used to form the “stocks” for the vessel and a clay dam would prevent the river from penetrating the working area. When the ship was ready, the dam would be breached, at high tide, to enable it to float out into the river. The shipping fleet was destroyed in 1745 by Bonnie Prince Charlie when some ship to shore skirmishes took place by batteries set by Jacobites to drive off the government ships. A number of smaller vessels from the village were burned by loyalist troops and that proved damaging to Airth's subsequent development as a port. However, as late as 1820 sloops built in the shipyards at Airth were among those recorded as operating in the middle of the Forth.
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Posted by Sandy Stevenson