Queensferry, also called South Queensferry or simply “The Ferry”, is a town to the west of Edinburgh, Scotland. Until 1975 it was a Royal Burgh in the county of West Lothian. Queensferry is referred to as South Queensferry in order to distinguish it from North Queensferry. Its population at the 2011 census was 9,026 based on the 2010 definition of the locality.
There were ferries at Queensferry until 1964 when the Forth Road Bridge was opened. Ferry services continue to run from the harbour to the islands within the Firth of Forth, including Inchcolm.
A local fair dates from the 12th century. The modern fair, dating from the 1930s, takes place each August and includes the crowning of a local school-girl as the Ferry Fair Queen, a procession of floats, pipe bands, and competitive events such as the Boundary Race. The Fair also has a dedicated radio station, Jubilee1, which in May 2007 was awarded a licence to evolve into a full Public Service Community Station for North and South Queensferry.
Queensferry hosts the strange annual procession of the Burry Man during the Ferry Fair. This unique pagan-like cultural event is over three hundred years old, but its true origins are unknown. The name “Burry Man” almost certainly derives from the hooked fruits of the Burdock plant – burrs – which serve as the central feature of his dress, although some have suggested that it is a corruption of “Burgh Man”, since the town was formerly a royal burgh.
St Mary’s Episcopal Church also known as the Priory Church is the town’s oldest building, built for the Carmelite Order of friars in the 1450s. It is the only medieval Carmelite church still in use in the British Isles.