Last year my daughter, son-in-law and
four of my grandchildren took a wonderful trip with me to historic Scotland.
In 10 days we went from Loch Ness and Inverness in the north to
Hadrian's Wall in the south and many places in between. You can see pix from that trip at
2007 Scotland Trip.
But I really fell in love with two
historic sites which tied together the Atlantic Ocean and the North
Sea; the Antonine Wall and the Forth & Clyde Canal.
I just had to come back to do those in depth, so here I am
again. Falkirk is the focal point not only of these two
sites, but early cattle trysts, and several historic battles.
Almost everyone knows about Hadrian's
Wall, a Roman frontier built in the 120's, but until that trip I
never heard of the more northern Antonine Wall built by
Antoninus Pius in about 142. This wall went from sea to sea
across the middle of Scotland connecting the Firth of Forth
and the Firth of Clyde. Many sites and ruins still exist and
many museums and societies are devoted to this project. I will not
try to tell you all the details, because it is well done at many
other websites. One of my favorites is at:
In the late 18th century the Forth
and Clyde Canal was built roughly along the same line to provide a shortcut from ocean to
ocean. Later the Union Canal was built from Edinburgh and
connected to the F&C at Falkirk through a flight of 11
locks. Eventually rail and highways replaced the canals and they
fell into disuse and disrepair. The locks were dismantled and
housing built in the area. Preservationists fought for the
reclamation of the canals and they were cleaned up for business and
recreation.The 11 locks were replaced by a
marvelous machine called the Falkirk Wheel. The following
link will take you to the wonderful Virtual Earth maps, where you
can trace much of my focus area with highly detailed photos.
Tomís Falkirk Trip