Friday, 14 December 2007
Elie East Neuk of Fife Scotland
Elie, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland, has a very relaxed atmosphere where people enjoy windsurfing, sailing and golf. Tour Elie Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland. Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Elie in 1846. Elie, a parish, and burgh of barony, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Colinsburgh; containing 907 inhabitants, of whom 829 are in the village. This place is supposed to have derived its name from the marshy nature of the soil previously to the modern improvements in agriculture, and a portion of land bordering on the loch of Kilconquhar still retains that character. The manor has been for many generations in the family of Anstruther, of whom the first baronet, Sir William Anstruther, represented the county of Fife from the year 1681 to 1709, and was made a lord of session in the reign of Queen Anne, strenuously exerting himself for the establishment and maintenance of the Protestant religion. A small harbour on the coast here seems to have been formerly very much resorted to as a place of safety, in stress of weather, by ships navigating the Frith of Forth, as, if they missed this haven, there was no other till they were driven on the coast of Norway. It was easy of access, and perfectly secure; and in a petition presented to the privy council for its repair, it is stated that it had afforded protection to more than 300 troops that must otherwise have perished in a storm. It is now in a very ruinous and dilapidated condition, but, from a survey recently made, it appears that it might be completely repaired, and rendered one of the best harbours on the coast of Fife. The parish, separated from that of Kilconquhar about the year 1639, is two miles in length, from east to west, and one mile in breadth, and is bounded on the south by the sea; it comprises 1570 acres, of which 1464 are arable, 50 woodland and plantations, and the remainder pasture and waste. The surface is generally flat, and the sands along the shore are peculiarly commodious for bathing: a small rivulet, issuing from the loch of Kilconquhar, traverses the parish, and falls into the harbour; but there is no river.
The soil is mostly dry and sandy, and the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, and beans, with potatoes and turnips; the system of agriculture is in a highly improved state; the farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and the lands are chiefly inclosed with fences of thorn, to which considerable attention is paid. The plantations consist of beech and Scotch fir. The substratum is principally whinstone, limestone, sandstone, shale, and clay, interspersed with ironstone; the limestone is of inferior quality, and not quarried to any extent. Coal is thought to abound in this parish, which forms a section of the great independent coal formation; but it is not worked at present, though formerly several pits were open. The strata of coal are traversed by several dykes of trapstone, one of which, consisting of basalt, projects into the sea, and is very compact; the shale in many places has impressions of various plants, and stems and branches of trees are found imbedded in the sandstone. Sauchur Point, a bold headland, consists of basalt, greenstone, clinkstone, and trap tuffa, and abounds with a beautiful red gem called the Elie ruby, which is of a brilliant colour, varying in size from a garden-pea downwards, and is found only on this part of the coast. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3661. Elie House, the property of Sir W. C. Anstruther, is a noble ancient mansion, situated in grounds which have been tastefully disposed and richly ornamented; but, as the proprietor is not resident, it is not kept up, and is rapidly falling into dilapidation. The village, which is much resorted to during the summer months for sea-bathing, is well built, and has a remarkably neat and cheerful aspect: a subscription library has been established, which contains a tolerably extensive collection of interesting volumes. The post is daily, and is a branch from the office at Colinsburgh. A small fishery is carried on by a few of the inhabitants, for the supply of the village; a packet sails weekly to Leith, and the' Aberdeen and other steamvessels touch at this port twice or three times in the day, both going and returning. The parish is in the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife, and patronage of Sir W. C. Anstruther; the minister's stipend is £150, with a manse, and a glebe valued at about £50 per annum. The church, which was substantially repaired in 1831, is a neat and well-arranged edifice, adapted for a congregation of 600 persons, and is situated in the centre of the village. The parochial school affords a good education; the master has a salary of £40, with £60 fees, &c., a house, and a small garden, for the deficiency of which he has an allowance of £2 per annum. There are revenues vested in the minister and elders for the use of the poor, amounting to £78 per annum. A friendly society called the Sea Box, consisting of masters of vessels and seamen, associated for their mutal benefit, obtained from George III. a charter of incorporation; the funds, which are ample, are derived from land, houses, and other property, and as the demands are comparatively small, the society is rapidly increasing its capital.