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View from Windylaw Edge - - 349406.jpg
Rosyth from Windylaw Edge
Grid reference: NT108831
Location: 56°2’2"N, 3°25’56"W
Population: 12,850  (2011)
Post town: Dunfermline
Postcode: KY11
Dialling code: 01383
Local Government
Council: Fife
Dunfermline & West Fife

Rosyth is a modest port and dockyard town in Fife, on the Firth of Forth, three miles south of the centre of Dunfermline. Rosyth is almost continuous with neighbouring Inverkeithing, separated only by the M90 motorway.

The town was founded as a garden city, built to form the coastal port of Dunfermline which began in 1909. Its name is older than the town, derived from the Gaelic language: Ros Fhìobh meaning "Headland of Fife"


Blue Star 1 sailing from Rosyth to Zeebrugge

The town is best known for its large dockyard, formerly the Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth, construction of which began in 1909. The town was planned as a garden city with accommodation for the construction workers and dockyard workers. Today, the dockyard is almost 1,300 acres in size, a large proportion of which was land reclaimedfrom the firth during construction.

Rosyth and nearby Charlestown were major centres of shipbreaking activity, notably the salvage of much of the German fleet scuttled at Gutter Sound, Scapa Flow.[1]

The associated naval base closed in 1994, and no Royal Navy ships are permanently based at Rosyth, though there are frequent visitors.

Rosyth's dockyards became the very first in the Royal Navy to be privatised when a company named Babcock International acquired the site in 1987. The privatisation followed almost eighty years of contribution to the defence of the United Kingdom which spanned two World Wars and the Cold War with the Soviet Union, during which Rosyth became a key nuclear submarine maintenance establishment. When the final submarine refit finished in 2003, a project to undertake early nuclear decommissioning of the submarine refit and allied facilities - Project RD83 - began pre-planning. The project was funded by MoD, in accordance with the contractual agreement in place following the sale of the dockyard, but management and sub-contracting is the responsibility of the dockyard owner, Babcock Engineering Services, a member of the Babcock International Group. Most of the areas occupied by the submarine refit facilities will have been returned to brownfield status and be ready for redevelopment. The dockyard is the site for final assembly of the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy's which are the outcome of the Royal Navy's CVF (future carrier) project.

Rosyth Castle

Rosyth Castle

The fifteenth century Rosyth Castle stands on the perimeter of the dockyard complex, at the entry to the ferry terminal and was once surrounded by the Firth of Forth on almost all sides, until land reclamation by the docks in the early 1900s.

Ferry to Zeebrugge

Since 2002 an overnight ferry service has linked Rosyth with Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Norfolkline (now DFDS) runs four freight-only sailings a week in each direction. They now have two ships running the eight sailings a week.


Taxpayers' money has been poured into redevelopment of Rosyth, aimed at expanding ferry services to other European and domestic ports and creating new business infrastructure, in particular to redevelop surplus land around the docks.

An £80 million business park – called Rosyth Europarc with more than 140,000 square feet of office and hi-tech manufacturing have been developed and a new road providing an enhanced link to the nearby M90 motorway, completed in 2007.

The next phase of works at Admiralty Park, Rosyth.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Rosyth)


  1. Buxton, Ian L. (1992). Metal Industries: shipbreaking at Rosyth and Charlestown. World Ship Society. pp. 104. OCLC 28508051.  Ships scrapped there include the Mauretania and much of the German Fleet at Scapa Flow. Ships listed with owners and dates sold.