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Friday, 28 December 2007

Pittenweem Priory East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Pittenweem Priory is the name of an Augustinian Priory which was situated at the village of Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. It was originally a Benedictine Abbey founded from Reading Abbey and based on the Isle of May. It had been relocated to Pittenweem by 1318, and placed under the control of the Augustinian St Andrews Cathedral Priory. The east gatehouse of Pittenweem Priory has survived but much of its stone was incorporated into the building of Pittenweem Kirk in 1589 which is situated on the same site. The rest of the priory was eventually incorporated into the fabric of Pittenweem as it developed, and the site of the refectory was used in 1821 for the town hall, since converted to a house. Tour Pittenweem, Fife, 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.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Pittenweem East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Pittenweem is an attractive fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. Several buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries have been restored by the National Trust for Scotland. Kelly Lodging in the High Street dates mainly from the late 16th century and was the town residence of the Earls of Kellie. Tour Pittenweem, Fife, 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. Pittenweem in 1846. Pittenweem, a small sea-port, royal burgh, and parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 10 miles (S. by E.) from St. Andrew's, and 24 (N. E.) from Edinburgh; containing 1339 inhabitants, of whom 1320 are in the burgh. This place, of which the name is of doubtful etymology, appears to have derived its earliest importance from the foundation of a monastery for canons regular of the order of St. Augustine, but of which neither the exact date, nor the name of the founder, is known. This establishment, which was subordinate to the priory of St. Andrew's, and amply endowed, continued to flourish till the Reformation; and several of its priors were distinguished for important services rendered to their country: John Rowle, prior of Pittenweem, who in 1542 was a lord of session, and in 1544 one of the lords of Articles, accompanied the Regent Murray into France in 1550. On the dissolution of the priory in 1561, its revenues amounted to £412 in money, exclusively of large payments in kind. In 1583, William Stewart, captain of the King's Guards, obtained a grant of the priory and lands, and became commendator of Pittenweem; and in 1609 his son, Frederick, was created Lord Pittenweem by James VI., but, dying without issue, the title became extinct. In 1651, Charles II., in passing through the town on his route to Anstruther House, was hospitably entertained by the magistrates and council, with every demonstration of loyalty and respect.

The town, which is situated on the northern shore of the Frith of Forth, has one principal street from which diverge several others of inferior extent. Many of the houses are of ancient appearance, though well built; but considerable additions have been made, consisting of ranges of modern building, and numerous handsome houses have been erected within the last fifteen years on the north and east sides of the old town. There are no manufactures of any sort carried on, nor any trade (except the fisheries) beyond what is requisite for the supply of the neighbourhood, for which purpose there are several good shops, well stored with various kinds of merchandise. The inhabitants are principally employed in the fisheries, which are both lucrative and extensive. Cod, ling, skate, and haddocks are taken in abundance off the coast, and large quantities are cured and sent to Edinburgh and Glasgow, and to Liverpool and London: the herring-fishery, also, has been recently attended with considerable success, and promises to become in due time a source of great benefit to the town. There is a small yard for repairing the vessels used in the fisheries; likewise some mills, a granary, and a bleach-green. The harbour, though exposed to easterly winds, affords good accommodation, and has been much improved at the expense of the corporation; and should the herring-fishery continue to increase, it will be made still more commodious. Steamers to Edinburgh, Dundee, and the north of Scotland, ply daily during the summer; the post-office has a tolerable delivery, and facility of communication with the interior is maintained by the coast road to the east of Fife, and by other roads that pass through the parish. By charter of James V., bestowed on John, prior of Pittenweem, in 1542, the town was erected into a royal burgh; and in 1593 James VI. granted to the bailies, council, and burgesses, a portion of the ancient priory, with other privileges and immunities, which were ratified in a parliament holden at Edinburgh by Charles I. in 1633. The government is vested in a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and nineteen councillors, annually elected under the provisions of the act of the 3rd of William IV.; there are no incorporated trades possessing exclusive privileges, and but a small fee is exacted for admission as a burgess. The magistrates have civil and criminal jurisdiction throughout the whole of the royalty, and hold both civil and criminal courts, in which the town-clerk acts as assessor; in the former causes to any amount are decided, but in the latter only petty offences. The town-hall, to which is attached a small prison, is part of the buildings of the old priory. The burgh is associated with those of Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester, Crail, Cupar, Kilrenny, and St. Andrew's, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the number of qualified voters is fifty-eight.

The parish is about a mile and a quarter in length, and less than three-quarters of a mile in average breadth. The ground rises gradually from the coast towards the north, preserving a general uniformity of surface; the soil is mostly a black loam of great fertility, and the lands, chiefly arable, are in a state of high cultivation. The substratum is principally coal, which was formerly wrought to a very considerable extent; but the working of the mines has for many years been altogether discontinued, and supplies are now obtained from some collieries in the vicinity and from Newcastle. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3269. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife: the minister's stipend is £166. 1. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12. 12. per annum; patron, Sir W. C. Anstruther, Bart. The church is an ancient structure, originally forming part of the buildings of the priory. There are a place of worship for members of the Relief, and an episcopal chapel. The parochial school affords instruction to about 100 children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £50 per annum. Considerable remains exist of the priory, and the walls that inclosed the precincts are still tolerably entire; the prior's house is now the residence of the Right Reverend Dr. Low, bishop of the united dioceses of Moray, Ross, and Argyll. Below the priory, and near the sea-shore, is a spacious cavern of two apartments, in the innermost of which is a well of excellent water; and between the apartments is a stone staircase leading to a subterraneous passage, and at the extremity of the passage another staircase, conducting to the refectory of the priory. Dr. Douglas, bishop of Salisbury in 1792, an eminent divine, and author of a vindication of Milton, was a native of this town.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

St Monans East Neuk of Fife Scotland


St Monans Church, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland, is located within its churchyard just to the west of the village on the very edge of the sea. Tour St Monans, Fife, 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. St Monans in 1846. St Monans, a fishing-town, in the parish of Abercrombie, county of Fife, 1 mile (W. S. W.) from Pittenweem; containing 1029 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on the Firth of Forth, seems to have owed its origin to the erection of a chapel by David II., in gratitude for the escape of himself and his queen from shipwreck on this part of the coast, and which, upon the annexation of the barony of Monan's to the lands of Abercrombie, became the church of that parish. The inhabitants are partly engaged in the herring-fishery, of which this is one of the most important stations on the eastern coast of Scotland. Herrings are taken in the autumn and winter within a moderate distance from the harbour; but the principal fishery is off Peterhead, where about sixty boats from St. Monan's, of fifteen tons' burthen each, are engaged, affording employment to about 300 persons. The codfishery is also carried on to a considerable extent, and many persons are occupied in curing and packing cod for exportation, chiefly to the London and Liverpool markets; turbot and haddock are likewise taken, and sent in large quantities to Edinburgh and places adjacent. Weaving, which once employed a limited number of persons, and the manufacture of kelp, formerly a very profitable trade, have been altogether discontinued. Many people are engaged in making nets for the fishermen; and there is a very extensive brewery and malting concern. The harbour, which is formed by the extension of two parallel ridges of rock, and by a strong pier carried out from the shore, is safe and commodious, affording good shelter for the fishing-boats and for vessels of larger dimensions; the depth at spring-tides is from eighteen to twenty feet, and at neap-tides from thirteen to fifteen feet. The principal exports are, cured cod, herrings, and potatoes; and the chief imports, coal and lime. In addition to the numerous herring-boats already referred to, there are several yawls, the crews of which, each six in number, are employed nearly throughout the entire year, and with considerable success, in the cod, haddock, and turbot fisheries mentioned above; and until recently there were two vessels belonging to the port, one of seventy-eight and the other of forty tons, employed in the coasting trade. The town received a charter of incorporation from Sir William Sandilands, dated 1622, by which it was erected into a burgh of barony, and the government vested in three bailies, a treasurer, and fifteen councillors. The bailies are chosen by the feuars and burgesses, and after their election appoint the council; and twelve constables are chosen annually by the corporation, for the preservation of the peace and the regulation of the town. The bailies are justices of the peace; but they exercise little jurisdiction except in cases of petty misdemeanors. The town-house, a plain building, once containing a prison for the temporary confinement of malefactors, consists of two apartments on the ground-floor and two immediately above them.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Lower Largo East Neuk of Fife Scotland


The coastal scene at Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland, located in Largo Bay with its sandy beach. Tour Lower Largo, Fife, 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. Lower Largo in 1846. Lower Largo, a village, in the parish of Largo, county of Fife, 4 miles (N. E. by E.) from Leven; containing, with the hamlets of Temple and Drumochy, 567 inhabitants. This village is pleasantly situated, and well inhabited: there are places of worship for members of the Relief Church and Baptists. Alexander Selkirk, whose adventures on a desolate island are, under the name of Robinson Crusoe, narrated by De Foe, was a native of this village, in which he was born in 1676. Embracing a sea-faring life, he was, in 1703, left on the island of Juan Fernandez, where he remained for more than four years in perfect solitude: he was brought to England by Capt. Woode Rogers, but, after nine months residence on shore, he returned to sea, and was not heard of afterwards.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Kilrenny East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Kilrenny is a small village in the East Neuk of Fife, Kilrenny lies to the northeast of Anstruther. Fife, Scotland. Tour Kilrenny, Fife, 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. Kilrenny in 1846. Kilrenny, a royal burgh and a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Crail, and 10 (S. S. E.) from St. Andrew's; including the village of Nether Kilrenny or Cellardykes, and that of Upper Kilrenny; and containing 2039 inhabitants, of whom 1652 are in the burgh. This parish, which is situated on the north of the Firth of Forth, at the south-eastern extremity of the county, is supposed to have derived its name from the dedication of its church to St. Ireneus. The village of Nether Kilrenny, which is on the coast, is separated from Anstruther Easter only by a small rivulet; it obtained the name of Cellardykes from the numerous storehouses ranged along the shore for the use of the fisheries, which have long been carried on to a very great extent. The fish taken here are, cod, ling, haddocks, halibut, turbot, and salmon, of which supplies are sent to Edinburgh and other markets; and not less than seventy boats, with crews of six men each, belonging to this place, are employed in the herring-fishery. The fisheries are in a prosperous state, and still increasing, the fishermen hardy and enterprising, and their boats in first-rate order, and well managed. Cellardykes has a population of 1486, and consists chiefly of one main street irregularly built, and extending along the shore; a pier was erected in 1831, for the accommodation of vessels engaged in the fishery, and there is a favourable site for the construction of a commodious harbour. The village of Upper Kilrenny contains 233 persons, and is about a mile to the north-east of Cellardykes, with which it is connected by the road from Anstruther to Crail; it consists only of the church and manse, the houses of Innergelly and Renny-Hill, an inn, and some rural cottages. The post-town is Anstruther; and facility of communication is afforded with St. Andrew's and other towns by good roads which pass through the parish.

The Burgh of Kilrenny, which includes both the villages already described, though said to have been erected into a royal burgh by James VI., does not appear to have received any regular charter of incorporation. The magistrates, appointed by Bethune of Balfour, the superior of the burgh, returned a member to the Scottish parliament without any legitimate authority; and at the time of the union, though it had been expunged from the list of royal burghs at the request of its magistrates, it was inadvertently classed with the royal burghs of the district. The government was until 1829 vested in a provost, two bailies, and twelve councillors, duly chosen; but in that year, the burgh was disfranchised owing to an irregularity in the election of the officers, and its affairs were placed under the direction of managers by the court of session. There never were any incorporated guilds possessing exclusive privileges, nor was any fee exacted for admission as a burgess. The magistrates had the usual civil and criminal jurisdiction within the burgh; but no civil causes had been brought for their decision within the last twenty years, and their criminal jurisdiction had been exercised only in breaches of the peace. The town-house is a small inferior building. The burgh is associated with those of St. Andrew's, Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester, Crail, Cupar, and Pittenweem, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the number of qualified voters is fifty.
The parish is of triangular form, its base extending along the sea-shore for nearly three miles. The surface rises gradually from the coast towards the north, and is diversified with a few hills of inconsiderable height: there are no rivers in the parish, except the small burn that divides it from Anstruther, and another burn that intersects it about its centre. The coast is bold and rocky, and indented with some small bays; on the east of Cellardykes are some rocks called the Cardinal's Steps, and others are perforated with caves, of which one is of considerable extent. The soil is generally fertile, and the lands, chiefly arable, produce favourable crops of grain of every kind; the system of husbandry is improved, and sea-weed, of which abundance is thrown upon the coast, is used as manure. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £251. 17. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £27. 10. per annum; patron, Sir W. C. Anstruther, Bart. The church is a neat plain structure in good repair. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees may be said to average from £30 to £40 per annum.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Kilconquhar East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Kilconquhar, Fife, Scotland, is a village in the East Neuk of Fife, Kilconquhar is situated on a knoll on the north shore of Kilconquhar Loch just north of Elie. Tour Kilconquhar, Fife, 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. Kilconquhar in 1846. Kilconquhar, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife; containing, with the port of Earlsferry, the market-town of Colinsburgh, and the village of Barnyards, 2605 inhabitants, of whom 334 are in the village of Kilconquhar, 1½ mile (N. by W.) from Elie. The lands of Kilconquhar belonged originally to the Lindesays, of whom Walter and William de Lindesay, brothers, occupied stations of importance in the reign of David I.; the latter became the head of the family, and one of his descendants was created Earl of Crawfurd in 1398. The property is now in the possession of Sir Henry Lindesay Bethune, a descendant of the family, who, for his services in Persia, was created a baronet. John, second son of David, eighth earl of Crawfurd, obtained the estate of Balcarres, in the parish, which, together with other lands, was erected into a barony in 1592; and his son, David, who was created Lord Lindsay, of Balcarres, founded a chapel at this place, in which he was interred. David's son, Alexander, who was the first earl of Balcarres, was a firm adherent of Charles II., whom he attended while in exile at Breda, where he died a short time before the Restoration, and whence his remains were brought home, and deposited in the family chapel. The estate is now in the possession of his descendant, Colonel James Lindsay.

The parish, which derives its name from its situation at the head of a fresh-water lake, of which the Gaelic term is descriptive, is about nine miles in length, and two miles in average breadth; it is bounded on the south by the Frith of Forth, and on the west by the bay of Largo, and comprises 5400 acres, of which 2300 are arable, 2000 meadow and pasture, and 1000 woodland and plantations. The surface varies greatly in elevation. From the south, where it is mostly flat, the land rises gradually towards the north until it reaches the middle of the parish, in the hills of Reres and Kilbrachmont, which are points of a ridge extending from Kellie Law on the east, to Largo Law on the west, and having an elevation of more than 600 feet above the level of the sea. In the southern portion of the parish is the hill of Kincraig; and in the northern part is situated the hill of Dunikier Law, which has a height of 750 feet. From the summit of this hill is an extensive and varied prospect, embracing the estuaries of the Forth and the Tay, and, towards the north and west, the mountains of the counties of Perth, Angus, and Argyll. The craig of Balcarres commands a diversified view of the adjacent lands, in high cultivation, and beautifully wooded; the towns on the coast, extending from Dysart to Crail, with numerous handsome mansions surrounded by plantations; the Frith of Forth and the shipping in the harbour; the rich lands of East Lothian, the city of Edinburgh, the hills of Linlithgow, Pentland, and Lammermoor, and the German Ocean. The scenery of the parish is greatly enriched by the beautiful loch of Kilconquhar, which is about half a mile in breadth and two miles in circumference, abounding with pike and eels, and frequented by numerous swans, teal, wild-duck, and other aquatic fowl. The banks are ornamented with plantations; and from its proximity to the village, the whole forms an interesting and beautifully picturesque feature in the landscape. A small stream issuing from the lake falls into the sea at Elie. A burn, which in its course drives several mills, flows into Largo bay; and some streamlets that rise in the northern portion of the parish join the river Eden.

The soil, though generally fertile, varies considerably; in the portions near the sea, it is a light loam intermixed with sand; and in those more remote, a rich and deep loam producing abundant crops. The rotation plan of husbandry in its most improved state is practised, and the system of agriculture has been brought to great perfection; the crops are, oats, wheat, barley, beans, potatoes, and turnips, with a small quantity of flax. Much attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are of the Fifeshire breed, with an occasional mixture of the Teeswater; and in order to encourage improvement in this respect, the East Fife Agricultural Society hold annual meetings at Colinsburgh, for the distribution of premiums to the most successful competitors. The average number of cattle annually reared is 1500; and about 300 are fattened for the butcher. The number of horses employed in agriculture is 200, and an equal number are bred for sale; the feeding of sheep, also, has been introduced to a considerable extent, chiefly of the Cheviot breed. The plantations are oak, ash, beech, plane, and larch. Some most valuable timber is found on the lands of Balcarres, in which are many trees of majestic growth, more than two centuries old; and in that part of the estate called the Den are about 100 acres, chiefly of hard-wood of great height, and which have been planted for above half a century. The farmbuildings are generally substantial and commodious, and roofed with slate; threshing-mills are in use on the various farms, and several of them are driven by steamengines, which have been recently introduced, and appear to be on the increase. The lands have been much improved by draining; and the fences, which are usually stone dykes, are kept in good repair. The rateable annual value of Kilconquhar is £10,998.

The general coal formation extends throughout the whole of the parish; and in its various sections are found basalt, greenstone, clinkstone, trap tuffa, amygdaloid, wacke, and porphyritic claystone, sandstone, shale, ironstone, and coal. The basalt is of a greyish black colour, and extremely hard, and is found in columnar groups of great beauty, on the south-west extremity of the parish. Kincraig Hill, ascending abruptly from the beach to the height of 200 feet, abounds with all these varieties, comprehending every species of trap formation; and Balcarres Craig, which rises from a deep ravine to a similar height, and is completely detached from all the surrounding hills, displays, near its summit, a beautiful specimen of columnar formation, of a dark blue colour, exceedingly close grained and hard, and which, though possessing the properties of felspar or clinkstone rock, is frequently supposed to be basaltic. The Balcarres coalfield comprises four distinct seams, two of which are splint, and two common coal. The seams of splint coal are respectively six and two feet thick; and the seams of common coal, of which one is subdivided by an intermediate layer of marl, are about three feet in thickness. Coal is likewise found at Lathallan, Largoward, and Falfield, in the upper division of the parish, in which is also cannel coal of very superior quality. Limestone is not plentiful, but is found at Kilconquhar, Balcarres, and some other places; and large boulders of greenstone, mica-slate, and granite occur along the sea-shore. The principal seats in the parish are, Balcarres, Kilconquhar House, Charleton, Lathallan, Falfield, and Cairnie, all handsome mansions, situated in tastefully-disposed and richly-embellished demesnes. The produce of the agricultural districts is more than requisite for the supply of the population, and large quantities are consequently conveyed to the neighbouring towns, with which an easy intercourse is maintained by turnpike-roads kept in excellent repair. The village of Kilconquhar is neatly built and pleasantly situated; the inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture, and in weaving for the manufacturers of Dundee and Kirkcaldy. The principal articles are checks, sheetings, and dowlas, in which about 230 persons are employed, of whom 120 are females, all working at handlooms in their own dwellings; there is also a tannery, in which a few men are engaged. The parish, which formerly comprehended the whole of the parish of Elie, and the barony of St. Monan's, both separated from it in 1639, is in the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife, and patronage of the Earl of Balcarres. The minister's stipend is about £300, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £27. 10. per annum. The church, erected in 1821, is a handsome edifice in the later English style of architecture, with a lofty tower, and is adapted for a congregation of 1030 persons. There is a chapel of ease at Largoward, built in 1835, for the accommodation of the northern part of the parish; the service is performed by a minister appointed by the presbytery. The parish also contains places of worship for members of the Relief, the Associate Synod, Independents, and Baptists. The parochial school, situated in the village of Kilconquhar, affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34, with £60 fees, a house and garden, and the privilege of taking boarders. There is also a school at Largoward, to the master of which the heritors pay 100 merks per annum. Under Kincraig Hill is the picturesque and romantic cavern called Macduff's Cave, in which that thane, in his flight from the usurper Macbeth, is generally supposed to have concealed himself for some time.

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.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Earlsferry East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Earlsferry Coastline. Tour Earlsferry, East Neuk of Fife, 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. Earlsferry in 1846. Earlsferry, a burgh of regality, in the parish of Kilconquhar, district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, ½ a mile (W.) from Elie, and 2 miles (S.) from Colinsburgh; containing 496 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, and originally an inconsiderable fishing-village, derived its name, and, according to some, its erection into a royal burgh, from Macduff, Thane or Earl of Fife, who, fleeing from the usurper Macbeth, took shelter in a small recess in Kincraig hill, a precipitous rock rising abruptly from the south-western coast of the parish. After remaining for some time in concealment, he was conveyed across the Frith of Forth, to Dunbar, by the fishermen of the village; and in return for the kindness he had experienced, he is said to have obtained from Malcolm III. a charter of incorporation for the inhabitants, erecting the village into a royal burgh, to which, in memory of his escape, he gave the appellation of Earl's Ferry. Among the privileges conferred was that of sanctuary to all who should sail from this place across the Frith; it was ordained that their persons should be inviolable while here, and that, after their embarkation, no boat should be allowed to go in pursuit of them till they were half way across. The place, after it became a burgh, appears to have carried on a large trade; two weekly markets and two annual fairs were held, and the provost and bailies levied dues and customs. But the want of a convenient harbour prevented its attaining much consideration as a port; its trade, which had for many years been declining, was, from the construction of a harbour and the erection of a pier at Elie, in its immediate neighbourhood, at length wholly transferred to that place; and both its fairs and markets have been consequently discontinued. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the coal-works in the vicinity of the town, and in weaving for the manufacturers of Dundee, Kirkcaldy, and other places; the articles woven are, sheetings, dowlas, and checks, which are wrought in hand-looms by the people at their own dwellings. There are about seventy seamen engaged in the harbour and at the ferry; and during the months of July and August, a few of them are employed in the herring-fishery on the north-east coast. Many of the weavers who have been brought up as seamen occupy themselves in summer in the whale-fisheries on the coast of Greenland, from which pursuit they return to their looms in the winter. The original charter of Malcolm, which was bestowed in the eleventh century, was destroyed by fire; and a new charter, confirming all the privileges it had conferred, was in 1589 granted by James VI., by which the government is vested in three bailies, a treasurer, and a council of sixteen burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk and other officers. The bailies and treasurer are elected annually by the council for the time being, and on their appointment nominate the council for the following year; they are invested with the power to hold courts for the determination of civil and criminal causes; but since 1820, only five civil and one criminal case have been decided. Prior to the Union in 1707, the burgh, on its own petition, had been relieved from sending a member to the Scottish parliament; and it was consequently, on that event, not included in those towns which jointly return a member to the English house of commons. Nor, since the passing of the act of the 2nd and 3rd of William IV., has the burgh possessed any privileges of this kind, having merely shared with the rest of Fife in the election of a county representative. The prison is in a state of dilapidation; it was latterly seldom used, and only for the temporary confinement of individuals found guilty of misdemeanours; and on the recent passing of the Prisons' act, it was abolished as a gaol.

Visit Bank Street Elie Scotland


Tour Elie, East Neuk of Fife 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.

Pittenweem in December


A rather dull December day in Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Tour Pittenweem, East Neuk of Fife, 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.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Anstruther Wester Scotland

Anstruther Wester, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Anstruther Wester in 1846. Anstruther Wester, a royal burgh, and parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife; adjoining Anstruther Easter, and containing 449 inhabitants, of whom 339 are in the burgh. This place, of which the name is supposed to be, in the Celtic language, descriptive of the low marshy ground on which the church was built, is situated on the Frith of Forth, about six miles to the westward of Fifeness. The people, who, during the wars consequent on the attempt to establish episcopacy, were zealously devoted to the Presbyterian form of worship, joined the Covenanters; and many of them fell in the battle of Kilsyth. The town suffered greatly by an inundation of the sea, in 1670, which greatly injured the harbour, and undermined the foundations of many of the houses: a second inundation, which took place towards the end of that century, swept away the houses in the principal street, and destroyed nearly one-third part of the town. The present town is separated from Anstruther Easter by the Dreel burn, over which a bridge was erected, at the joint expense of the two burghs, in 1801; it has been much benefited by the widening of the principal street, and the houses in that, and also in the other streets, have been considerably improved in their appearance. The streets are paved and macadamised, and the town is well lighted, and supplied with water. The place was erected into a royal burgh by charter of James VI., in 1587, and the government is vested in a provost, two bailies, a treasurer, and eleven councillors, elected annually, the old council choosing the new council, and the latter electing the provost, bailies, and treasurer. The magistrates hold a bailie court; but few cases of civil actions have been brought before it for some years; and their jurisdiction, in criminal cases, seldom extends beyond that of petty offences, in which they are assisted by the town-clerk, who acts as assessor. The town-hall is a commodious building. The burgh is associated with those of Pittenweem, Anstruther Easter, Kilrenny, and others, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the number of inhabitant householders, of the yearly rent of £10, is twenty-four, of whom twelve are burgesses.

The parish is bounded on the south by the sea, and is about two miles in length, and of irregular form, comprising not more than 600 acres, of which, with the exception of a few acres of common pasture, the whole is arable. The soil, near the sea, is, in some parts, a rich black loam, and in others a light sand mixed with shells, both of which, though of no great depth, are very fertile; in the higher grounds, the soil is of lighter quality, intermixed with tracts of deep clay. The crops are grain of all kinds, with potatoes, turnips, and other green crops; the lands are chiefly inclosed with stone dykes, though in some places with hedges of thorn. The rateable annual value of the parish is £1998. Grangemuir, the seat of Lord William Douglas, of Dunino, a handsome and spacious mansion, built by the late Mr. Bruce, and greatly enlarged by the present proprietor, is pleasantly situated in grounds laid out with much taste. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £142. 5. 6., of which part is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £22. 10. per annum; patron, Sir Wyndham Carmichael Anstruther. The church is a very ancient structure situated in the burgh, near the sea-shore. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with £4 per annum, the interest of a bequest, and a house and garden, and the school-fees average about £75 per annum. There is a bursary in the college of St. Andrew's, for a scholar from this parish, endowed by the late William Thomson, Esq., chief magistrate of the burgh.

Anstruther Easter Scotland

Anstruther Easter, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Anstruther Easter in 1846. Anstruther Easter, a burgh, sea-port, and parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 9 miles (S. S. E.) from St. Andrew's, and 35½ (N. E. by N.) from Edinburgh; containing 997 inhabitants. This place, which is of great antiquity, was, in the reign of Malcolm IV., the property of William de Candela, Lord of Anstruther, whose sons assumed the name of their patrimonial inheritance, and whose descendants are the present proprietors. It appears to have derived its early importance from its favourable situation on the Frith of Forth, and the security of its harbour, in which, on the dispersion of the Spanish armada, the captain of one of the vessels found an asylum from the storm. The town, which was first lighted with gas in 1841, is separated from the parish of Anstruther Wester by a small rivulet called the Dreel burn, over which is a bridge, and consists of a long narrow street, on the road from the East Neuck of Fife to Kirkcaldy and Burntisland, extending along the margin of the Frith. The trade appears to have been formerly very considerable; a custom-house was erected here in 1710, and in 1827, the jurisdiction of the port was extended to those of St. Andrew's, Crail, Pittenweem, St. Monan's, and Elie. The amount of duties once averaged £1500 yearly; ship-building was carried on to a considerable extent, but, after gradually declining for several years, it was at length entirely discontinued. The chief manufacture now pursued is that of leather; barrels are made for the package of herrings taken off the coast, and more than 40,000 barrels of them are annually sent from this port, properly cured, for exportation. The trade at present consists principally in the fisheries, in the exportation of grain and other agricultural produce of the surrounding district, and in the importation of various articles of merchandise for the supply of the neighbourhood. There is also a large brewery. The number of vessels belonging to the port is nine, of the aggregate burthen of 964 tons; two packets ply regularly between this place and Leith, and the Edinburgh and Dundee steamers touch at the port. The harbour is safe, and easy of access, and is protected from the south-easterly winds by a natural breakwater, and an extensive and commodious quay; the custom-house, though an independent establishment, has, since the decline of the trade, communicated with that of Kirkcaldy. The market for corn and other produce, is held on Saturday.

The burgh was incorporated by charter of James VI., under which the government was vested in three bailies, a treasurer, and fifteen councillors, assisted by a town-clerk and other officers; the bailies and treasurer are elected by the council, who are chosen by the registered £10 electors, under the provisions of the Burgh Reform act. The bailies are justices of the peace within the royalty of the burgh, which is coextensive with the parish, and exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction; since 1820, however, few cases have been tried in the civil court, and in the criminal court only twelve cases, chiefly petty misdemeanours: the town-clerk, who is appointed by the magistrates and council, during pleasure, is assessor in the bailies' court. By act of the 2nd and 3rd of William IV., the burgh, together with those of Cupar, St. Andrew's, Anstruther Wester, and others, returns one member to the imperial parliament; the right of election is vested in the resident burgesses and £10 householders, and the bailies are the returning officers. The town-hall is a neat building. The parish is situated at the head of a small bay in the Frith, and comprises about 9 acres of land, formerly included within the parish of Kilrenny, from which they were separated in the year 1636. The rateable annual value is £1115. The incumbency is in the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £131. 15., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, Sir Wyndham Carmichael Anstruther, Bart. The church, built by subscription, in 1634, and to which a spire was added about ten years after, was repaired in 1834, and is well adapted for 700 persons. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and members of the Free Church and the United Secession. The burgh school is attended by about 90 scholars; the master has a salary of £5. 6. 8., and about £65 from fees, with a house rent-free. There are several friendly societies, of which one, called the "Sea Box Society", established in 1618, and incorporated by royal charter, in 1784, has an income of £300, for the benefit of decayed ship-masters and seamen belonging to the port. The Rev. Dr. Chalmers, and Professor Tennant, of the university of St. Andrew's, are natives of the place.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Abercrombie East Neuk of Fife Scotland

Abercrombie, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Abercrombie in 1846. Abercrombie, or St. Monan's, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Pittenweem; containing 1157 inhabitants, of whom 1029 are in the town of St. Monan's. This place, which appears to have been a distinct parish since the middle of the 12th century, is in ancient documents invariably called Abercrombie, or Abercrumbin; but, towards the close of the year 1647, on the annexation of the barony of St. Monan's, previously in the adjoining parish of Kilconquhar, it obtained the latter appellation, by which, till within the last thirty years, it was generally designated. The parish is bounded on the south by the Frith of Forth, and is about a mile and a half in length, from north to south, and a mile in breadth, from east to west; the surface rises abruptly from the coast to the higher lands, which are agreeably undulated, and the general appearance of the parish is enriched and varied with thriving plantations. A small rivulet called the Inweary, rising in the marshy lands of Kilconquhar, intersects the parish, and, after a course of nearly two miles, falls into the Frith near the church; and in the north-east, the burn of Dreel, after traversing that portion of the parish, falls also into the river Forth at Anstruther Wester. The soil is mostly a light and friable loam, partly intermixed with clay, and generally very fertile; the system of agriculture is in an improved state, and the crops are oats, barley, wheat, beans, potatoes, and turnips. There is comparatively little land in pasture. The substratum is chiefly sandstone and limestone, with some till, of which the rocks on the coast principally consist; ironstone is found in great abundance on the beach, and coal in various parts of the parish. In the barony of St. Monan's are not less than six seams of coal, of different thickness, varying from one foot and a half to eighteen feet, which were formerly worked to the depth of nearly thirty fathoms; but, from want of capital, they have been for some time discontinued. There are also several seams in the lands of Abercrombie, which have never been wrought. The limestone is of excellent quality; but the depth from the surface rendered the working of it unprofitable, and since the coal-works have been discontinued, the quarries have been altogether abandoned; the want of it is, however, supplied by the great quantities of sea-weed thrown upon the shore, which is carefully collected for manure. The ironstone is chiefly obtained in nodules of from one to two pounds in weight; it is found to contain from twelve to eighteen hundred weight in the ton, and considerable quantities are sent away as ballast by shipmasters. Freestone is also found.

The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife; patron, the Crown. The stipend of the incumbent amounts to £162. 0. 11., of which about a fifth is received from the exchequer; the manse was rebuilt in 1796, and enlarged in 1819, and the glebe comprises nearly 10 Scottish acres of good land. The church, formerly the chapel of St. Monan, is said to have been originally founded by David II., about the year 1370, and by him dedicated to St. Monan, the tutelar saint of the place, in gratitude for the deliverance of his queen and himself from shipwreck on this part of the coast; it is a beautiful specimen of the English style prevailing at that period, and is a cruciform structure, with a square tower rising from the centre, surmounted by an octagonal spire. The nave had become a complete ruin, and had been altogether removed; the transepts were roofless and dilapidated, and the choir, the only portion, except the tower, which remained entire, was for many years used as the parish church; but in 1828, the building was restored, with the exception of the nave; the walls of the transepts were raised to a height equal to that of the choir, and the whole now forms one of the most beautiful edifices in the country, adapted for a congregation of 530 persons. The parochial school is under good regulation; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 5., and fees £34, with a house and garden.

At the north-east end of the parish, near the lands of Balcaskie, are remains of the ancient church of Abercrombie, which, after the annexation of the barony of St. Monan's, was abandoned as a place of worship; they are situated in a secluded and romantic spot, formerly the churchyard, and still the burying-place of the Anstruther family, and of others. There are also some remains of the old mansion-house of Newark, the ancient residence of the family of the Sandilands, lords of the barony, consisting of three stories; the northern part is still in tolerable repair, but the other portion is roofless and much dilapidated. The ground-floor contains several apartments with vaulted roofs, and the upper stories had, till lately, some comfortable rooms occupied by servants belonging to the farm. The building is so near a lofty rock rising precipitously from the sea-shore, that there is scarcely room for a person to pass between the cliff and the southern gable. Lieut.-General Sir David Leslie, son of Lord Lindores, resided at Newark, which he had purchased from the Sandiland family, and was created Lord Newark in the reign of Charles II.; he distinguished himself greatly in the civil wars, and was interred at this place.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Tour Fife Coastal Path Scotland


Tour Fife Coastal Path, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Photographs from Anstruther, Crail and Pittenweem.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Tour Elie and Earlsferry Scotland


Tour Elie and Earlsferry, East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Elie and Earlsferry are located in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Side by side they are picturesque small villages with excellent beaches and coastal scenery. Elie and Earlsferry Photographs.

Tour The East Neuk of Fife Scotland


Tour The East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. I was raised in Cellardyke in the East Neuk of Fife. I attended Cellardyke Primary School and Waid Academy. East Neuk Photographs.