Falkirk

From Academic Kids

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ScotlandFalkirk.png
Falkirk's location in Scotland

Falkirk (An Eaglais Bhreac in Scottish Gaelic) is a town in Scotland, in the district of Falkirk. It has two football clubs: Falkirk F.C., who recently won promotion to the Scottish Premier Division; and East Stirlingshire F.C., who play in the Third Division.

The town lies at the junction of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. Attractions around Falkirk include the Falkirk Wheel, remnants of the Antonine wall, and Callander House.

The Falkirk Area occupies a central position in Scotland, on the key north-south and east-west motorway and rail routes and within easy reach of Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. No part of Scotland has a better situation both for access from England and for access to other parts of Scotland. Recently it has become renowned as the location for Scotland's first structural icon of the 21st century, The Falkirk Wheel.

History

The area has had strategic importance since Roman times, when the Roman Empire built the Antonine Wall between the Firths of Forth and Clyde to form its northern frontier. Many of the best visible remains of the Romans in Scotland occur in the Falkirk Area.

Two major battles took place at Falkirk:

  • The Battle of Falkirk (1298) fought on July 22, saw the defeat of William Wallace by King Edward I and saw the occupation of Scotland by the English until Robert the Bruce's victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 restored independence. Although the English refused to recognise the fact until the Treaty of Northampton 14 years later.
  • The second battle of Falkirk took place in 17th January, 1746 as the Jacobites, under Bonnie Prince Charlie, laid siege to Stirling Castle, General Henry Hawley left Newcastle with eight thousand troops to aid the trapped government troops inside. Resting in Callendar House, Falkirk prior to moving onto to Stirling, he woke to find the Jacobites had come to him and were massed outside behind the house. His troops rushed to take higher ground but the disorganised advance saw a complete rout as hundreds of Hawley's troops were killed for less than fifty Jacobites in the twenty minute battle.

In the 18th century the area served as the cradle of Scotland's industrial revolution, becoming the earliest major centre of the iron-casting industry and at the forefront of canal construction when the Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790. The Union Canal (1822) provided a link to Edinburgh and early railway development followed in the 1830s and 1840s. In the course of time, trunk road and motorways followed the same national strategic corridors through the Falkirk area.

Economy

The area continues to function as a very significant industrial and business centre, with a modern petrochemicals complex at Grangemouth, Scotland's largest deep-sea container port. Engineering, manufacturing, biotechnology, timber, distribution and business services also flourish.

The area's most recent attraction gives its heritage a modern twist. The Falkirk Wheel, the world's first rotating boatlift, acts as the centrepiece of the restoration of the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals. The spectacular "Wheel" presents the 21st century's solution to replacing a flight of locks which formerly connected the canals, and visitors can now take a boat trip on the Wheel and be lifted over 100 feet in a few minutes. The Falkirk Wheel has become a major site with a visitor centre, exhibition, activities, café and shop. It has started to attract world-wide attention.

TransBus International, UK's largest bus manufacturer, is also headquartered there.

Culture

However, the area has an equally high reputation nowadays for its new residential, retail, heritage and leisure developments and it has gained much popularity as a place to live and a place to visit. The historic town of Falkirk serves as the area's thriving administrative, shopping and service centre, with shopping malls, the country's largest fully pedestrianised high street and attractive "off-High Street" locations.

Heritage and culture have importance for residents and visitors alike, with attractions such as Callendar House in Falkirk - an imposing mansion with a 600-year history - Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway offering steam-train travel and "Big in Falkirk" - Scotland's national street arts festival.

The area's main towns and population centres include Falkirk, Grangemouth, Bo'ness, Denny, Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Polmont. There also exist many smaller settlements and significant rural and agricultural areas of high landscape quality. With a population of 145,270, the Falkirk area ranks as 13th-largest among Scotland's 32 council areas; as of 2001, 33 000 of these lived in Falkirk itself. The area has strong population growth and a large rise in the number of private housing starts. de:Falkirk

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