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KINGDOM OF FIFE
AND KINROSS

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        Fife and Kinross  -  Fife and Kinross Part 2  -  Historic Dunfermline
    

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robert2fife@blueyonder.co.uk
 

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This is a tour round, some of my favourite area of Scotland,
THE KINGDOM OF FIFE AND KINROSS.

Fife covers an area of 505 square miles and is the third largest 
local authority in Scotland with a population of approximately 
350,000 people.

Approximate population for Kinross is 4,700.

All photographs are thumbnails, click on them to enlarge.

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FIFE and Kinross.
A Warm Welcome For All.
Beautiful scenery. 
History.
www.visitfife.com

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Our Tour

Kincardine - Culross -  North Queensferry - Burntisland - Kinghorn - Kirkcaldy - Dysart - Wemyss - Leven -  Lower Largo -  Earlsferry - Elie - St. Monans - Pittenweem - Anstruther - Kilrenny - Crail -

Part 2

St. Andrews - Lauchars - Newport-on-Tay - Balmerino -  Newburgh - Cupar - Auchtermuchty - Falkland - Milnathort - Kinross - Dunfermline.

Aside from the places mentioned above there are 
many other interesting places to visit throughout Fife.

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Map of Fife

The traveller entering Fife at Kincardine, will either cross the Forth on the Kincardine Bridge, A876, or the A 977 from Alloa. The Swing bridge was opened in 1936, at 2,696 ft long, the bridge's central swing span was powered by two 50-h.p electric motors, which moved it through a full ninety-degree swing. In 1988 the swing bridge was permanently fixed.

Of Kincardine's famous son's, Sir James Dewar (1842-1923) may be remembered, he invented the vacuum flask. There are still some interesting examples of Scottish domestic architecture in Kincardine and the seventeenth-century Mercat Cross is worth a look. Kincardine-on-Forth was once one of the most important harbours on the upper Forth. Founded as a Burgh of barony on reclaimed land in 1663, Kincardine once had nearly 100 ocean-going vessels registered to ply.

Proceeding eastward along the coast road, the traveller comes to the Royal Burgh of Culross, one of the show pieces of Scotland.

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Culross Town House.

  ROYAL BURGH OF CULROSS 

One of Fife's gems.

Retains the appearance of an unspoiled 17th century Scottish Burgh. Indeed, the 17th century was the golden age of Culross, which has links going back to David and Roman times.

In the 17th century it was a flourishing sea port and coal mines, salt pains, girdle making, handloom weaving and cruive fishing affording employment to several thousand people. With the industrial revolution and the development of damask and linen factories in Dunfermline, there was a decline in the prosperity of Culross and the population gradually dwindled, until a century ago it was less than 1500.

But what will fascinate the traveller is the unspoiled appearance of the mediaeval burgh. The National Trust for Scotland has taken a leading part in preserving the distinctive architecture of Culross. The Trust restored the charming Sandhaven Houses and Bishop Leyton's Study, going back to 1500.

The Abbey, the Mercat Cross and the Palace are all worthy of detailed study and even the most hurried visitor could not fail to be impressed by the winding streets and their causey road surfaces, and the dignified houses clustered on the hillside overlooking the Firth of Forth.


 

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Photograph looking northward from 
South Queensferry.

The Forth Rail Bridge 
(Completed February 1890)

It was in North Queensferry that one half of the Forth Rail Bridge had its building base in 1883. A contract was given to Messers Tancred, Arrol & Company, and they completed the job in February 1890. They employed 5000 men, of whom 57 were killed and 500 injured. The bridge proper consists of three double cantilevers and two central connecting girders. The length of the cantilever bridge is 5330 feet, and the two approach viaducts make a total length of 8295 feet. Fifty tons of mixed paint are needed to give the whole of the steel work one coat.

The total cost of the bridge was just over 3,000,000.


The Forth Road Bridge
(Opened 1964)

These bridges link "Fife" on the north side with "West Lothian" on the south side of the Firth of Forth.

The construction of the bridge during six years was an epic of engineering skill and hard work by a team of 350 workers. The engineers were Messrs Mott, Hay & Anderson, and Messrs Freeman, Fox and Partners.

The bridge and its approaches cost 20,000,000.  

 

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ROSYTH


Travelling North over the road bridge one will see to the left Rosyth and to the right North Queensferry . The township of Rosyth was built early last century, when the Royal Naval Dockyard was sited on the Fife shore of the forth. Amidst the vast buildings, the Castle still stands. Once it stood out on the Forth from a rocky beach and in one of its many incidents it was attacked by Oliver Cromwell.

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North Queensferry 

North Queensferry is found lying between the two bridges. For 800 years Queensferry, as the name indicates, provided a ferry service between Fife and the Lothians. The Queen in the name comes from Margaret, wife of Malcolm Canmore. The earliest record of the ferry is to be found in documents relating to the life and death of Queen Margaret in the 11th century. It was her son, David the first, who in 1129 instituted a regular ferry service for the Forth at this point. At first it was operated by the church and the rights were based in the Abbot and Convent of Dunfermline. As time went on the ferries became too big an undertaking for the Abbot and Convent and in 1275 the Church let the ferry to local seaman who carried passengers and animals over the water in their own boats.

Eventually the water passage was divided into sixteen shares and feuded to various people on both sides of the Forth. In 1474 the charges for the crossing the ferry were fixed by Act of Parliament, one penny Scots for a man and twopence for his horse.
North Queensferry Website:- 

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/queensferry/northqueensferry/index.html

  
 

William Denny & Bros
Lessees of the Queensferry crossing from 1934 until the opening of the Forth Road Bridge 30 years later, the well-known Dumbarton shipbuilders latterly operated four diesel-electric paddle car ferries.

Before the Forth Road Bridge was built, ferries travelled between hear and South Queensferry on the Lothian side of the Forth. In 1964 there were four boats in operation, 

                                  "Queen Margaret, (1934)" "Robert The Bruce, (1934)" 
                          "Mary Queen of Scots (1949)" and "Sir William Wallace (1956)" 


www.edinphoto.org.uk/0_a/0_around_edinburgh_-_firth_of_forth_-_ferry_boats_queensferry.htm


In the year ending February 1964 well over 2,000,000 passengers and 896.000 vehicles were carried over the water passage.  When the Forth Road Bridge  was opened by the Queen on 4 September 1964 the ferries ceased. They had an intriguing history during nearly 800 years of operation. A visitor will now find 'Deep Sea World'. 

QE2 in the Firth of Forth 2008

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ABERDOUR

Aberdour's award-winning Silver Sands, a Blue Flag Beach.

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Burntisland

The harbour and adjoining lands became the property of the Abbot and monks of Dunfermline Abby. They built the original part of Rossend Castle in1119.  Later this Castle was to become the scene of a drama in Scottish history. gay and debonaire French poet, Chastelard, defied the orders of Mary, Queen of Scots, when he greatly admired, and followed her to this Castle on her journey to St. Andrews. He hid himself in the state bedroom of Rossend Castle. Mary was about to retire, when she called for help and, angered by the indiscretion of her admirer, ordered him to be held. Chastelard, tried by the assize, was condemned to death. He  died on the Mercat Cross in St. Andrews reciting verses written by his friend, Ronsard. Just before his head fell, he turned to where he believed the Queen was and cried -- "Adieu, thou most beautiful and most cruel Princess in the world."

Burntisland was granted a Burgh Charter for the first time in 1540, since then there have been very sharp fluctuations in prosperity.

It is now a very good holiday town. 

www.burntisland.net

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Kinghorn

Between Burntisland and Kinghorn the traveller will note a 'Celtic Cross' in memory of Alexander the Third. The story is told that True Thomas of Earlston, a Scots seer of 700 years ago, was challenged by the Earl of Dunbar to foresee what would happen the next day. Thomas is reputed to have replied - "Alas for tomorrow, a day of calamity and misery! Before the twelfth hour, shall be the sorest wind and tempest that ever was heard of in Scotland ." By noon the next day news came that King Alexander the Third had fallen to his death from  the cliffs at Kinghorn. He had left Inverkeithing on horseback on his way to the Tower of Kinghorn. His attendants had advised him that it would be dangerous to along the top of the cliffs in the dark, but he ignored their warning. On the crest of the 150ft precipice of Kinghorn, Ness, his horse, stumbled and the King was thrown over the cliffs.

The Burgh of Kinghorn stands near the horn of the headland projecting into the Firth of Forth. It was a popular holiday place for royalty and nobility and it grew to such importance that
David the First created it a Royal Burgh. 

Kinghorn is now very popular with holidaymakers with it's hotels, golf courses, caravan site and fine beach.

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KIRKCALDY

       "The Lang Toon o' Fife"

Take a walk from end to end and you'll soon find out why it's called the "Lang Toon". At one time a visitor would know when they had arrived in Kirkcaldy, the smell. The town was the worlds Linoleum capital. The smell would be of linseed oil.
 

Kirkcaldy has played an important part in the life of Fife for centuries and it was with a wry sense of humour that the rthymster wrote:-                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
"Some say the deil's deid
                                                                                                                                   And  buried in Kirkcaldy."

The Patron Saint of the Burgh is Saint Bryce who is depicted in wrought iron on the Town House in the act of blessing the people in fair weather or in foul.

An important event every year is the "Links Market", reputed to be the longest street fair in Britain, the market takes over the Esplanade. In  2004 was
"The 700th Anniversary".

For the historian, you can visit Ravenscraig Castle which dates from 1460. For the economic and politically minded, Kirkcaldy is the birth place of Adam Smith (1723-1790).
 

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DYSART

 

Dysart Shore area.

Dysart Harbour


WEMYSS

The road proceeds in a northerly direction, breaking away from the shore. It skirts the Castle and estate of Wemyss, being the ancient Scottish family, associated with its national history. On the estate are caves which have Bronze Age drawing and sculptures, including hunting scenes and representations of Pagan gods.

It was in Wemyss Castle that  Mary Queen of Scots, first met Darnley.

http://www.wemysscaves.co.uk/index.php

http://www.wemysscaves.info/

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LEVEN

Very much a holiday town. Lethiam Glen is a sheltered beauty spot, bedecked with flowers and among its attractions is the collection of animals and birds in a delightful sanctuary.

www.rpasmith.co.uk/leven.htm

 

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St. Monans

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St. Monans Harbour

 

A little fishing centre with its narrow streets, its grey stone dwellings with their crow's stepped gables and their red tiled roofs, St. Monans provides a sight which would
delight any lover of beauty.

Lying to the south of the burgh is the Old Kirk of St. Monance. It has been occupied as a place of worship by the people in St. Monans for over 600 years.

Now like all of Fife St. Monans is a interesting place for a holiday and a good base in which to explore other areas of the East Neuk of Fife.

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"The Royal Burgh of Kilrenny, Anstruther Easter
and Anstruther Wester
".

The burgh with the longest name in Scotland.  For the sake of brevity the united burghs are known as:-

"Anstruther".

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Anstruther Harbour

Until the 1940's Anstruther had the distinction of being the capital of the herring fishing in Scotland during the winter months. Rich shoals of these fish arrived in the waters of the Forth annually and the fishing boats from many parts of Scotland based themselves at Anstruther in January and remained until March. Herring of the Forth were eagerly bought by fish buyers from many countries of the continent of Europe. In these days Anstruther was a busy port and many colourful characters spent the winter in the burgh.

http://www.scotfishmuseum.org/index.html

www.anstruther.org.uk/

 

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Crail

in the East Neuk of Fife.

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The winding road brings one into the ancient Royal Burgh of Crail.  Its Royal Charter goes back to the 18th June 1310, granted at Stirling by Robert the Bruce. It gave the burgh the right to trade on the Sabbath, a custom which the Reformers had a tough struggle to stamp out.

Today a popular holiday resort, it's stone-built houses, with their red weathered tiles, delight the eye and give distinction to the modest architecture of the dwelling-houses. A street of these old dwellings cling to the footpaths skirting the steep roadway down to the harbour. There the scene is one which cannot fail to delight. Small motor fishing boats are moored in the sheltered harbour, the precincts of which are piled high with the lobster creels made for generations by the fisher folk of Crail.

NAME:    ROBERT A. DALGLEISH

COUNTRY:     SCOTLAND

E-mail:    

robert2fife@blueyonder.co.uk

    

INTERESTS:  Swimming,  Walking,  Member of  The  Institute of Advanced Motorists,

 Music;-  most from - Jazz to Classical,  Photography,  Travel,  Genealogy.   

www.looking4kin.com                   http://www.tourismnetfife.co.uk/

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter:-   www.eogn.com

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