William Arrol, the son of a cotton-spinner, was born in Houston, Renfrewshire in 1839. He began work in a cotton mill at the age of 10 and four years started training as a blacksmith. Arrol taught himself mechanics and hydraulics at night school and by the age of 29 decided to start his own engineering business in Glasgow. In 1865 Arrol's company built a railway viaduct at Greenock and in 1878 secured the contract for the Caledonian Railway Bridge over the Clyde. In 1882 was asked to construct the replacement Tay Bridge that had collapsed in 1879. His company, Tancred Arrol, also built the Forth Railway Bridge (1883-90); then the largest steel bridge in the world. This was followed by Tower Bridge in London (1886-94). Arrol's company also built bridges in Australia (Hawkesbury Bride) and Egypt (Nile Bridge). William Arrol, who was also the Liberal MP for South Ayrshire from 1892 to 1906, died in 1913. One of the most successful of all railway contractors, Arrol left 317,749 in his will.

Arrol-Johnstone cars

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Hikitia in New Zealand

The Forth Railway Bridge over the firth (mouth) of the Forth River at Queensferry, Scotland, was the world's first all-steel long-span bridge and the world's longest bridge. It ushered in the age of great cantilevers.
The Forth Railway Bridge, opened in March 1890, was eight years in the building and contains almost 54,000 tons of steel.
At the time it was the biggest bridge in the world and the sheer scale of its cantilever design immediately made it the engineering wonder of the age. When Sir William Arrol, the engineer who built it, was asked how long it would last, he replied: 'For ever - if you look after it.'
For that reason, painters have been continuously at work on the bridge ever since: when they reach the end, it is time to begin over again. A special paint was created for the Forth Bridge by a Leith firm, which has supplied it since 1890. The Forth Road Bridge, which opened in September 1964, is a suspension bridge and offers an interesting architectural contrast with its more massive neighbour. It is one-and-a-half miles long - slightly shorter than the rail bridge. The main towers are 500 ft high, and the central span between the towers is 3,300 ft long. The Rail bridge has three towers supporting two cantilevers and two main spans, each 1,710 ft long. Because of navigational requirements and the river's route between steep banks in two deep channels, a rail crossing 157 ft above high water was deemed necessary.
The use of balanced cantilever method enabled the bridge to be built without falsework.
Each tower rests on four 70-ft-dia masonry piers based on bedrock. The piers were formed by sinking 70-ft-dia wrought iron caissons in place at depths ranging to 90 ft below water level.
The tubular section construction and the unusual configuration of the trusses give the Forth Bridge its distinctive appearance. Each of the 331-ft-high towers consists of two trusses that slope inward. The trusses are separated by 120 ft at the piers, narrowing to 33 ft at the top.
The trusses were built of steel tubes fitted with internal stiffeners. The heaviest compression members are 12 ft in diameter and are made from 11/4-in. steel plates that are 16 ft long and 41/2 ft wide.
The tension members are lattice girders (Eng. News 10/22/1887 p. 582). The cross-sectional and plan shapes of the principle girders are tapered, complicating fabrication.
The bridge was designed to withstand a wind force of 56 psf. Scotland's Tay Bridge, which failed in 1879 in high winds, killing 75, was designed for a force of only 10 psf.
The Forth Bridge's cantilever portion measures 5,300 ft from pier to pier. Still in use today, the Forth Bridge held the world's cantilever record until 1917. Still, the Forth is a daring design. When it was completed, it was the longest span in the world, and even today it is the second longest of its kind. From the little towns at either end, the bridge looks incredibly massive. Some members are as much as 12 feet in diameter (note the train in the second photo from the top). Viewed end-on, though, the bridge looks quite graceful.
The Forth Bridge is one of the highlights of British engineering history, a monument to what Victorian engineers were capable of. It is seen today with the sort of affection reserved for only a few bridges.
Firth of Forth Bridge

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Surname Origin

Origin of the Name

Clan Identification

Arrol Links

Tree of Scott Duncan Arrol and Rebekah Mae Arrol

Scott Arrol's Family History

Surname Origin
While the surnames Arrol and Arroll are uncommon, there are many similar surnames.

Errol and which name came from the name Arroll the name Arrell of Ulster and of England the name Arrell of Quebec that comes from the name Herol, of French heritage and is only one derivative of the spelling, other derivative spellings are Arel Arelle Arrelle Arrel.

There are also the sons of the Arrolls and Arrells with such names as McArel McArrol McArroll McArrell McArrel McDowell McGarrol and McGingall also Carol and Corral.


Surnames which tend to be the hallmark of the modern Clans were not in general use throughout the Highlands until at least the seventeenth century; and were not in remote areas for a further hundred years.

The earliest documentation mention of the name Arrol or derivatives thereof is the name of a small town of Errol in Scotland. Errol is located on the northEastern bank of the Tay estuary off the North Sea. Errol is described, as being on the Carse of Gowrie which is a low flat, alluvial district, stretching alone the northern bank of the Tay and Kinnoull Hill in Perthshire the Dundee Law in Angus.

It is flanked along its northern boundary by the Sidlaw Hills. For the most part the Carse is less than 50 feet above the sea. Here and there it is stubbed with mounds, which may rise to an elevation of over 100 feet, which provides sites for villages or hamlets. The parish of Errol sits on one such an elevation in the Carse of Gowrie.

Errol is now a small village with a population of approx 2,500. The author of the history of Errol writes that, "The name of 'Errol' is of great antiquity and considerable doubt of exists as to its significance. The first mention made of the name is about the year 980 when . The country was freed from the invading Danes largely by the timely action of the Hays of Errol

Research reveals at least three possible sources of the name Errol, Arrol or the variant spellings thereof. In Johnstons PLACE NAMES OF SCOTLAND, Errol is defined circa 1190 as being from Erolyn, while circa 1535 as being derived from Arole.


Most Arrol and Arrolls will identify with the name when they attempt to associate with a clan. The clan chart lists the family name Errol as being a sept of the Clan of HAY.

As shown in the discussion of the origin of the name there are several possible sources or explanations or the origin and the place name of Errol, from which no doubt the family name or Arrol Arroll and Arrell the three most common spellings found, was derived.

According to John MacKay who wrote the article on the Hays which was published in the march/April 1988 issue of the Highlander, the Clan Hay lists the name Arrol,Arroll, or Arrell as a sept of the Clan.

Although the Hays are closely identified with Errol. The earl of Errol being the head of the Clan, there is a major question as to whether or not the Hays were of the stock of Errol, assuming the existence of the family of Errol prior to the date of the Charter establishing the Earl of Errol on 21 July 1662.

Hay Tartan

Hay Clan Septs

In spite of tradition, it appears that the Hays are descendants of foreign settlers in Scotland around the time of the Norman Conquest. Records indicate that the Hay was a Lothian name in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Clan Hay does not have a historical or genealogical relationship to the family name Arrol/Arroll or Arrell or any variant spelling thereof. If there ever was a geographical tie this relationship has been lost from the records.

The only tie is an etymological one, i.e. the name of the nobility of the earldom of Errol is taken from the name of the town Errol, which is also the origin of the name Arrol/Arroll and Arrell. However, there is no relationship between the Arrol/Arroll and Arrells to the Hay family or to the hereditary title of the Earls of Errol.


Just as a number of Arrol/Arroll families will identify with the Clan of Hay, as a result of the obvious similarity of their family name to the place of Errol associated with the Clan of Hay, there are other Arrol families who will associate with the Clan of Graham of Montrse.

Graham of Montrose Tartan

In the book, Scots Kith and Kin it is written that a Scot, by descent, can wear the tartan of the sept of Clan of the district from which he derives.

Because the first written records of the "Arrals" place the family in the district of the Clan of Graham of Montrose, the mention "Arrals"s can logically be considered a sept of the Clan Graham of Montrose. The earliest mention of the family name "Arrals" is in "An Account of the Family of Drumkill". The estate of Drumkill is documented to be in the eastern part of Drymen, including Carbeth.

This account is for the period 1329-1370, during the rein of King David II who succeeded his father King Robert Bruce. Robert Bruce is remembered, as the leader of the Scots in the decisive victory over the English, during the battle of Bannockburn in 1315.

According to this account, the estate of Drumkill belonged to the name of "Arral". The account relates to how the Arral's lands were forfeited as a result of their rebellion and "other insolences". It was common during the period between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries for lands to be forfeited, either by rebellion against the Crown or lost in a struggle for power.

The Graham's were granted land on the banks of the Loch Lomand circa 1296. In 1427 king James I, took a great many of the Highland lands from a branch of the Graham's and gave them, instead, the Highland Parish of Aberfoyle and part of Port of Menteith. In 1460 the Graham's exchanged certin of their lands without the Buchanan's lands.

By 1680, Chief James Graham, 3rd Marques of Montrose, had regained the original Graham lands on Loch Lomondside and also the whole of the insolvent Buchanan Chief's estate. Buchanan castle, in Drymen was the seat of the Graham's of Montrose until about 1930. It is now been demolished. The castle has been acquired after the Graham's family home in Montrose has been destroyed in 1640.

In addition t the identification of the "Arrals" with the place names in the account of the family of Drumikill, which includes the parish of Drymen, Easter Ballart, Wester Ballart and Carbeth, there were also Arrol/Arroll and Arrell families living in Aberfoyle and Port of Menteith and contiguous areas. All these areas were associated with the Graham of Montrose.

On Feb 1 1878, Archibald Theodore Arrol (Scott Duncan Arrol of new Zealand's 4th Cousin), born 29 Sept 1815, was the recipient of a formal Arrol Coat of Arms by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms,Edinburgh. At the same time he was named to the Clan of Montrose. Thus there is formal recognition that the Arrol and Arroll families are a sept (under the protection of) of the Clan of Graham of Montrose.


It is the considered opinion of the author of the book "The Arrol Arroll and Arrell Families by John Arrol of USA. That the evidence available indicates that the Arrol/Arroll and Arrells are a sept of the Clan of Montrose. The Clans home was in the same are of Stirlingshire where the Arrol and Arroll family is first found.

In addition, Arrol was formerly named, as being a member of the Clan of Montrose by the Court of the Lord of Lyon of Arms in 1898. Although there is a mention of the name of Arrol as a sept of the Clan of McFarlane in "The History of the McFarlane's" and although the McFarlane's were in the same geographical area, as the early Arrol and Arroll families, there is no record of an Arrol actually belonging to the Clan McFarlane.