The Forth Bridge: Building an icon

Photo of the Forth rail bridge being built
Bridge under
Zoomable version

Skill and sacrifice went into the building of the famous rail bridge over the River Forth. Our display tells the story of its construction. Runs from 1 April to 21 June.


This year sees the 125th anniversary of the opening of the iconic Forth Bridge.

We commemorate the occasion with a display that examines the building of this engineering masterpiece.

Photographs, plans, reports and other papers from the Library's collections contribute to the story of the bridge's construction. Among the exhibits are items rarely seen in public — and we even include some plans for an earlier Forth crossing.


A triumph of skill

Eight years in the making, the rail bridge was the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world at the time it was completed.

Addressing the crowd at the opening ceremony on 4 March 1980, the Prince of Wales observed that the bridge marked 'the triumph of science and engineering skill over obstacles of no ordinary kind.'



Opening hours

The display in our George IV Bridge Building is open daily:

Monday to Friday: 10.00-20.00
Saturday: 10.00-17.00
Sunday: 14.00-17.00
See also Easter opening hours

Admission free.



The treasures display in our George IV Bridge Building is a small sample of the millions of items in our collections. We change the display several times a year.

Past treasures displays



Exhibitions main page


Speak me