1902 Encyclopedia > Fife

Fife




FIFE, a maritime county of Scotland, is situated between 56° 1' and 56° 27' N. lat., and 2° 35' and 3° 40' W. long., and is bounded on the N. by the Firth of Tay, on the E. by the German Ocean, on the S. by the Firth of Forth, and on the W. by parts of Kinross, Perth, and Clackmannan. Its greatest length from east to west is about 42 miles, and its greatest breadth from north to south about 18 miles; its average length is about 36 miles, and its average breadth 14 miles. The area comprises 513 square miles, or 328,427 imperial acres.

The physical aspect of Fife is redeemed from tameness by the picturesqueness and variety of its maritime scenery. With the exception of the " Howe of Fife," and a portion bordering on the east coastline, its surface is pleasantly un-dulating. A ridge of high ground, commencing with the Lomond Hills, runs in the middle of the county from west to east, advancing to near St Andrews in its northern part, and terminating with Kellie Law in the south. Between the Lomonds and a spur of the Ochils lies the somewhat ex-tensive plain called the "Howe of Fife"; and to the south of the Lomonds there is another stretch of low ground run-ning westwards to the south of Kinross, presenting, however, greater variety of surface than the plain on the north side of the Lomonds, and interrupted by Saline Hill, Knock Hill, the Hill of Beath, the Cullalo Hills, and other smaller eminences. Further east the land slopes on all sides from the central range towards the sea, but generally with con-siderable alternations of hill and dale, the large number of wooded knolls presenting in many places a rather picturesque appearance. The most western part of the northern shore is level and marshy, but as the Firth of Tay widens the coast becomes bold and rocky until the village of Tayport is reached. Between Tayport and St Andrews there is an almost unbroken and pretty wide expanse of downs, after which the coast line is abruptly elevated, presenting a jagged and precipitous wall of rocks whose ridges here and there run out into the sea. Between Fife-ness and Burntisland low and sandy stretches, bending often so as to form small bays, are separated from each other by a shore more or less rocky, and occasionally rising into steep and lofty cliffs. The southern coast to the west of Burntisland is wooded in many cases to the water's edge, and gradually the characteristics of river scenery become more marked. The highest summits in the county are West Lomond Hill (1713 feet), East Lomond Hill (1471), Knock Hill (1189), Saline Hill (1178), and Largo Law (965).

The only streams that aspire to the name of rivers are the Eden, which, formed of affluents rising in the Lomonds and in the country to the north and west of that range, flows north-east by Strathmiglo, Kingskettle, and Cupar, and after a course of about 20 miles falls into St Andrews Bay; and the Leven, which, issuing from Loch Leven in Kinross-shire, flows eastward through a pleasant strath by Leslie, Balgonie, Balfour, and Cameron Bridge, and about 14 miles from its source empties itself into the Firth of Forth at the town of Leven. The presence of mill-dams and manufactories has rendered both the Eden and Leven almost worthless for salmon fishing, but in these rivers, as well as in the other larger streams not polluted by the water of coal-pits, the trout-fishing is excellent. The largest lochs are Lindores Loch (about 70 acres), Loch Fifty (about 50), Lochgelly (about 50), and Kilconquhar Loch (about 40).

Several, such as those of Bossie and Lochore, have been drained, and valuable crops are now raised on their beds.

Geology and Minerals.—The rocks of the southern half of Fife-—with the exception of a small portion lying to the east of a line drawn between St Andrews on the north and Anstruther on the south, and another narrow portion lying between Limekilns and Kinghorn—belong chiefly to the coal formation of geologists. This formation is, however, interrupted by the trap rocks which extend through the central part of the county from Saline to near St Andrews, and by other masses of trap of igneous origin which pene-trate especially into the eastern portion of the coal-field, causing innumerable faults and dykes, and elevating the strata by a succession of steps towards the north. The valley of the Eden and a part of the county between St Andrews and Anstruther is occupied chiefly by the upper strata of the Old Bed Sandstone; and in the north-eastern part of the county there is a continuation of the porphyry formation of the Ochils. The Lomonds and the other larger hills are composed of trap, and are capped with green-stone and amygdaloid.

Fife is the third largest coal-producing county in Scotland, being excelled in this respect by Lanark and Ayr. The earliest record regarding the working of coal in Scotland is a charter granted at the end of the 12th century by the proprietor of Carriden to the monks of Holyrood of one-tenth of his coal-works at Carriden. The coal basin is connected under the Forth with that of Mid-Lothian. It may be roughly divided into the coal-fields of Dunfermline and Wemyss or Dysart. In the Dunfermline district, which includes Halbeath, Lochgelly, and Kelty, the principal house-coals are obtained. At Wemyss and Methil gas-coal of the best quality is largely produced; and out of some seams ink-stands, picture-frames, and various other articles of ornament are manufactured. Coal is also wrought at various places in the north-eastern district of the basin as at Ceres, Radernie, Falfield, and Largo ward. Beds of ironstone, limestone, sandstone, and shale lie in many places contiguous to the coal-beds. Blackband ironstone is worked at Lochgelly and at Oakley, and has also been worked at Denhead near St Andrews. At the two former places there are large smelting furnaces, and vessels are built at Inverkeithing and Kinghorn of home-made iron. Oil shale from the same measure as at Broxburn and West Calder is worked near Burntisland, and at Airdrie near Crail. Limestone is found in nearly all directions in the coal basin; and in the north-eastern part, instead of lying around the outcrop of the coal strata, it occurs at intervals in the midst of the coal measures. The maritime limestone reaches considerable thickness at Kirkcaldy, and resumes the character of mountain limestone at Charleston. The principal limestone quarries are those at Charleston, those near Burntisland, and others in the parish of Cults near Cupar. Freestone of a superior quality is quarried at Strathmiglo, Burntisland, and Dunfermline. Whinstone of great hardness and durability is obtained in nearly every district, and is much used for building pur-poses. Lead has been worked in the Lomond Hills, and copper and zinc are also said to have been met with in various places. Marl is found, but is not much used for agricultural purposes. The number of persons employed in connexion with the various minerals is upwards of 6000. Fossiliferous fish has been found in great abund-ance and variety at Dura Den near Cupar, and Brachiopoda and minute Entomostraca are met with throughout the maritime limestone. The most common vegetable impressions met with in the coal strata are Lepidoden-dron and Stigmaria. A complete list of the crystals and other precious stones will be found in a paper by Professor Heddle in Ballingall's Shores of Fife, but men-tion may be here made of the pyropes found in the trap tufa at Elie, which are sold to jewellers under the name of Elie rubies, and are regarded as the most valuable Scottish gem. In the Shores of Fife will also be found a paper on the flora of the county.

Climate.—On account of the hills diminishing gradu-ally in height towards the east, the greater part of the county is fully exposed to the blasts of east wind from the German Ocean, which in spring often check consider-ably the progress of vegetation, although their damaging effect is somewhat lessened by numerous belts of wood. The rainfall is below the average, and the climate is on the whole mild, the heat in summer and the cold in winter being modified by proximity to the sea. On the higher ridges, however, the air is often sharp and rigorous; and at an elevation of from 500 to 600 feet the harvests are on an average from three to four weeks later than in the valleys and on the low ground near the coast. Snow seldom lies long near the sea, but the hills and higher grounds are sometimes coated for a considerable period. Notwithstanding the extensive drainage of the lakes and marshes, the valleys are occasionally visited by floating mists and hoar frosts even in summer, and grain and potatoes often suffer considerable damage in July from this cause.

Agriculture.—According to the agricultural statistics for 1877 the total area of arable land was 244,865 imperial acres, of which 88,012 were under corn crops, 47,742 under green crops, 58,075 under rotation grasses, 49,599 permanent pasture, and 1437 fallow. The acreage under woods was 22,003. Fife is especially a grain-producing county, and the system of cultivation is chiefly directed to that end. The acreage under wheat—which was 12,3S4 in 1877— has, as in other districts of Scotland, decreased considerably within the last twenty years, the difference being, in Fife, added prin-cipally to the acreage under barley. Along the coast the yield of wheat ranges from 32 to 50 bushels per imperial acre, and inland it ranges from 28 to 40. The red variety is now less grown than formerly. Barley, being a less expensive crop than wheat, as well as less trying to the soil, and finding a ready sale, is increasingly cultivated. The acreage under it was 32,265. The variety most largely grown is chevalier. The return on the richer soils is from 40 to 64 bushels per acre, and inland from 32 to 42. Oats—the acreage of which was 39,818—are a good crop all over the county, and yield on the richer soils from 48 to 72 bushels per acre, and inland from 36 to 54. Beans grow exceedingly well on the heavy land, but are not extensively cultivated, the total acreage being only 2147. The acreage under turnips was 29,093. About one half of the turnip break is sown with swedes, and a considerable quantity of turnip seed is also grown in the county. The yield in yellows is often as high as 35 tons per acre, and of swedes 30 tons, but the average yield is about 25 tons for yellows and 18 for swedes. The acreage under potatoes was 17,488. The average yield is from 5 to 8 tons, and on the finer soils the quality cannot be surpassed. No other green crops are cultivated to any extent. As a six-crop rotation—of oats, potatoes or beans, wheat, turnips, barley, and hay or pasture—is the most common one, the acreage under rotation grasses is more than usually small, but within late years a seven-shift has been obtaining favour, and since 1870 the acreage under grasses has consequently been increasing. In some districts, 8, 5, and 4 shifts are severally in use. The acreage in permanent pasture is considerably below the average. It is chiefly confined to the higher grounds, especially those in the eastern district, and is let by annual roup. As a large number of cattle are fed on most farms there is generally a plentiful supply of farm manure; the extensive coast line also affords a large quantity of seaware ; and limestone quarries are within easy reach in most districts.

The number of cattle in 1877 was 37,305, or an average of about 15'2 to every 100 acres under cultivation as compared with 23'6 for Scotland. The number of cows and heifers in milk or in calf was only 8553 ; and it will therefore be apparent both that a compara-tively small number of stock is reared, and that dairy produce forms a very unimportant item in the farmer's returns. On most farms, indeed, with the exception of those adjacent to the larger towns, only a sufficient number of cows are kept to supply the wants of the household and farm servants. As the Board of Trade returns are made up in spring they give considerably less than the full number of cattle wintered annually. These are mostly imported from Ire-land, and the county on that account is scarcely ever free from foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia. Except a few short-horns and a yet smaller number of polled Angus, the cows are mostly crosses of a somewhat obscure origin; but a cross between Galloway cows and short-homed bulls has lately been largely intro-duced. The number of horses was 10,155, or an average of more than 4'1 to every 100 acres, as compared with 40 for Scotland. Of these 7821 were used solely for agricultural purposes. They are a strong, active, and hardy breed. The majority have a large ad-mixture of Clydesdale blood, and the number of pure Clydesdales is gradually increasing. There is a large number of excellent ponies and of carriage and hunting horses. The number of sheep was 73,665, or an average of about 30'0 to every 100 acres, as compared with 149'3 for Scotland. Of these 26,375 were under one year old. As, however, the Board of Trade returns are made up at the end of June they give only the minimum number of sheep in the county, the majority being bought in at the end of autumn for winter feeding. More attention is now paid to the breeding of pigs than formerly, and the old breed has been gradually improved by the introduction of Berkshire boars. The number of pigs was 6593, or an average of about 2 '7 to every 100 acres as compared with 3 '3 for Scotland. The breeding and rearing of poultry do not generally receive much attention, but the number of fowls kept on a farm is sometimes considerable.





According to the returns, out of a total of 2244 holdings 565 did not exceed 5 acres, 647 lay between 5 and 50, 224 lay between 50 and 100, and 808 were above 100, the great majority of which were between 250 and 350, and only 39 above 500. Leases of 19 years are almost universal except in the case of the smallest holdings. A good many farmers hold more than one farm, but the lease of each farm is usually kept separate. The character of the soil is very various, sometimes even on a single farm, and the differences of rental are consequently very great. In the section north of the Eden, the soil, though generally thin, is sharp and fertile, and the rental varies from £1, 10s. to £3. North-east of Leuchars it is very sandy, and a large tract is on that account incapable of cul-tivation. From St Andrews all along the coast it is very pro-ductive, but the most valuable part is that adjacent to the East Neuk, which consists chiefly of clay and rich loam, and yields an average rental of from £4 to £5 an acre, and in some cases as much as £8. In the district of Elie the soil is generally light and sandy, but remarkably fertile, and in that of Largo it is mostly a rich clayey loam. The average rental of these districts is from £3 to £4 an acre. From Leven to Inverkeithing the land varies from a light and sandy to a rich and clayey loam, and the average rental is about £3. With the exception of the strath of the Leven, and part of the valley of the Eden, which consist chiefly of a rich and fertile loam, with a rental averaging from £1, 10s. to £2, 10s., the inland part of Fife is mostly cold and stiff clay or a thin loam with a strong clayey subsoil. It has, however, been greatly improved by cultivation, and the rental, which varies from 15s. to £2, is on an average about £1,10s. Part of the Howe of Fife is light and shingly, and is covered principally with heather. There are a number of small peat mosses in the county, and near Lochgelly there is yet a pretty extensive tract of waste land, partly moss and partly heath. As nearly all the land suitable for cultivation has been reclaimed for about 40 years, the increase in the rental within that period is not so striking as in some other counties,—the difference since 1850 being only £93,833. Farm management is everywhere con-ducted on the best modern methods, and within the last twenty-five years the laud has been nearly all redrained. A great many of the farmers' houses and of the farm-steadings have been rebuilt within the same period; and on most of the farms the servants' cottages are commodious and comfortable. About three-fourths of the ploughmen are married, and although the majority are only engaged for a year, not more than one-third change their quarters annually. An addition of milk and meal is made to the money wages, and in the case of the unmarried men this forms almost the sole article of diet. The married servants are generally allowed, besides a cottage garden, a portion of land for potatoes sufficient to enable them to rear a pig. All the most improved agricultural implements are in use. Steam cultivation, for wdiich most of the land on account of its freedom from stones and its depth and stiff-ness of soil is specially well adapted, is being rapidly introduced. Reaping machines are almost universally employed, and most of the grain is thrashed by portable steam mills. Full particulars re-garding the whole subject of Fife agriculture will be found in a paper by James Macdonald, published in the Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, 1876.

According to the owners and heritages return, 1872-73, the land was divided between 10,410 proprietors, owning land the gross annual value of which was £905,577. Of the owners 82'9 per cent, possessed less than one acre, and the average value all over was £2, 19s. 6d. There were 11 proprietors owning upwards of 4000 acres, viz., John Balfour (Balbirnie) 10,590; George Johnston (Lathrisk) 10,005; Earl of Moray (Donibristle) 7463; Colonel Ferguson (Raith) 7135; Lieutenant-Colonel Tyndall Bruce (Falk-land House) 7058 ; Randolph G. E. Wemyss and trustees of J. H. E. Wemyss (Wemyss Castle) 6925 ; Earl of Glasgow (Crawford Priory) 5625 ; Earl of Zetland 5566 ; Sir Coutts Lindsay (Balcarres) 4672 ; George Clark Cheape (Wellfield) 4230; and John Anstruther Thomson (Charleton) 4034.

Fife is perhaps below the average as a game-preserving county. Rabbits, hares, pheasants, and partridges are pretty numerous in some districts; roe deer are occasionally seen ; wild geese, ducks, and teal frequent the lochs; and grouse and blackcock are some-what plentiful on the Lomond moors. The pigeon houses have been estimated at 300. The county is particularly well adapted for fox-hunting, and the Fife fox-hounds are now divided into an eastern and a western pack.

Manufactures and Trade.—The staple manufacture is linen. The chief seats of the linen cloth manufacture—which ranges from the coarsest ducks and sackings to the finest damask—are Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline. The largest llax spinning mill is that at Prin-laws near Leslie. The other seats of the linen trade are Auchter-muchty, Cameron Bridge, Cupar, Dura Den, Dysart, Falkland, Freuchie, Guardbridge, Kinghorn, Kingskettle, Lady bank, Leven, Markinch, Newburgh, Springfield, Strathmiglo, Tayport, and East and "West "Wemyss. There are bleaching greens on the banks of the Eden and Leven, and also at Kirkcaldy, Ceres, and Dunferm-line. According to the census of 1871 the number of persons engaged in the linen manufacture was 17,055, of whom 5742 were males and 11,313 females. In the jute manufacture 29 males and 23 females were employed. Kirkcaldy possesses 6 large floor-cloth manufactories, besides others for the manufacture of linoleum. In various towns woollen cloth is manufactured, but only to a small extent. There are fishing-net manufactories at West Wemyss, Kirkcaldy, and Largo. There are breweries and tanneries in the principal towns. The largest distilleries are at Cameron Bridge and Burntisland. Paper is manufactured at Guardbridge, Mark-inch, and Leslie ; earthenware at Kirkcaldy; tobacco at Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline ; and oilcake in a few places. Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline possess iron-foundries; and shipbuilding is carried on at Kinghorn, Dysart, Burntisland, Inverkeithing, and Tayport. The principal port is Kirkcaldy ; the chief imports are flax and timber, and the chief exports coals and potatoes. The largest salmon fisheries are at Newburgh, but there are others at various parts on the east and south coast. The chief seat of the herring fishing is Anstruther ; and the number of boats in the Anstruther district, which includes all the fishing stations in the county, is nearly 800, with a total value of nearly £100,000. For some years the take of herrings on the Fife coast has been very small, and the majority of the Fife fishermen now prosecute the herring fishing at the northern stations.

Towns and Villages.—The number of towns and villages in Fife is exceptionally great. The south coast especially is very thickly populated, and along its whole extent there is almost a continuous line of houses. The large extent of downs on the sea-coast affords great facilities for the Scottish national game of golf. Besides the famous golfing green at St Andrews, there are others at Cupar, Crail, Elie, Lundinmill, Leven, Innerleven, "Wemyss, and Burnt-island. The number of boroughs is 16, of which three, Auehter-muchty (1082), Falkland (1144), and Newburgh (2182), are royal; and 13 royal and parliamentary, viz., Anstruther Easter (1289), Anstruther Wester (484), Burntisland (3265), Crail (1112), Cupar (5105), Dunfermline (14,963), Dysart (8919), Inverkeithing (1755), Kilrenny (2539), Kinghorn (1739), Kirkcaldy (12,422), Pittenweem (1760), and St Andrews (6316). Among the other towns and villages the principal along the coast are Limekilns (735), with a small harbour ; Charleston (749), the shipping port of Dunfermline, with an iron-foundry, limeworks, and manufactures of salt; Aber-dour (622), a favourite watering place ; the manufacturing village of East Wemyss (777) ; West Wemyss (1231), partly mining but chiefly fishing; the mining village of Methil (648) ; the fishing villages of Buckhaven (2187), Innerleven (358), and St Monance (1648); the watering places of Leven (2501), Largo (521), and Earlsferry and Elie (1032); and on the northern coast the towns of Tayport (2498) and Newport (1507). Inland there are Freuchie (1195), Kingskettle (643), Ladybank (772), Leslie (3768), Milton of Balgonie (396), Pitlessie (401), Springfield (608), and Strathmiglo (1509), all chiefly manufacturing; Cairneyhill (435), Cardenden (355), Charleston (749), Coalton (442), Coaltown (343), Cowden-beath (1457), Crossgates (1181), Donibristle (412), Dunshalt (481), Halbeath (800), Largoward (325), Lochgelly (2369), Methilhill (480), Thornton (526), Townhill (855), Wellwood (678), Windy-gates (420), all principally mining ; and Ceres (1111), Colinsburgh (351), Fordel (641), Kennoway (835), Kilconquhar (381), Kings-barns (411), Kirkton of Largo (353), Leuehars (523), Lundinmill (539), and Strathkinness (619), with a mixed population—mining, manufacturing, agricultural, or shopkeeping.

Railways. —Fife is crossed from Burntisland to Newport by the North British Railway between Edinburgh and Dundee; aud from the main line branches diverge at Thornton to Dunfermline and Kinross, and to Leven and the east of Fife ; at Markinch to Leslie; at Ladybank to Auchtermuchty and Kinross aud to Perth ; and at Leuehars to St Andrews.

Population.—The total population of the county in 1871 was 160,735, of whom 75,127 were males and 85,608 females. The population in 1861 was 154,770. In the towns the population in 1871 was 73,929 as compared with 66,516 in 1861, in the villages 47,759 as compared with 41,627, and in the rural districts 39,047 as compared with 46,627.

One member of parliament is returned by the county ; one each by the Kirkcaldy and St Andrews districts of burghs ; and Dun-fermline and Inverkeithing are grouped with other boroughs under the Stirling district in returning a fourth.





History and Antiquities.—A dim conception of the kingdom of Fife at a period regarding which there are scanty written records may be obtained from its somewhat important and interesting archaeological remains. Those of greatest antiquity are perhaps two canoes found more than 60 years ago in the bed of the Tay opposite Lindores ; the relies of the Bos primigenius, an inhabitant of the primeval forest; and the remains of many of the ancient hill forts— chief of which may be mentioned those at Norman's Law and on the Craig of Clachard, both in the parish of Abdie—constructed at a period in all probability considerably anterior to the Roman invasion. Traces yet exist in several places of the foundations of those circular tent-like dwellings noticed by Julius Caesar in other parts of Britain as identical with those of the Gauls of the continent of Europe. The marks of Roman occupation are now nearly all obliterated by cultivation, but sword blades, spearheads, and hoards of Roman coins have been found at various places ; and vestiges of a number of Roman buildings were in existence 100 years ago. According to Sir Robert Sibbald, traces of Roman camps were in his life-time visible near Burntisland and Dunfermline ; and slight marks of two yet remain in the parish of Carnock at a place known by the name of the Camp Farm. At Lochore, near a place now occupied by the farm of Chapel, there existed about a century ago the outlines of a permanent Roman station of considerable strength, and occupying a central position on the route between Queensferry and the firth of Tay. It was near this fortification that in all proba-bility took place the night attack on the ninth legion, mentioned by Tacitus in the 25th chapter of his Agricola.

The earliest inhabitants of Fife and Strathearn of whom we have any knowledge were of Celtic origin, and were called by the Romans Horesti. It is uncertain when the Romans retired from this district, but they did not occupy it for a length of time sufficient to effect any marked change on the civilization of the natives, who made frequent incursions into the Roman province, and received from their Romanized neighbours the name of Picti, the part of Scotland north of the Forth being known as Pictavia so late as the 8th century. The title kingdom ultimately inherited by Fife was doubtless applied in the first instance to the whole of Pictavia; and the continuance of the title to a smaller portion, of which the present Fife forms the eastern half, was due as much to its being the southern part of Pictavia as to its distinct peninsular form, and to the fact that Pietish kings had their residence within its terri-tories. In any case the title as applied to Fife has the sanction of very ancient usage. In the tract of the Scots of Dalriada there occur the words the "men of Fife in the sovereignty"; and in Wynton's Chronicle, whose date is 1380, Fife is spoken of as a "kynrick " or kingdom. The power and influence of the thanes of Fife, and the existence afterwards of royal residences at Dunfermline and Falkland, doubtless aided in continuing the title down to later times. The first trace of the name Fife occurs in the old verses ascribed to St Columba, where, under the form Fif, it is used as the designation of one of the seven provinces into which, according to Beda, the ancient kingdom of Pictavia was divided. As to the exact boundaries of Fife at this period there is no certain information, but in all probability it comprehended the greater part of the territory between the Forth and the Tay, thus including Monteith, Strathearn, and the shires of Clackmannan and Kinross, butprobably in its south-western part ceding a portion of its present area to the province of Fortreim. At a later period Fife was divided into the " stewartries " of Clackmannan, Culross, and Kinross ; and about 1426 Kinross was divided into the shires of Kinross and Fife. In 1685 the parishes of Orwell, Tulliebole, and Cleish were disjoined from Fife and added to Kinross. The term Fiv seems identical with the Jutland word Fibh (pronounced exactly as Fife is now pro-nounced), meaning forest, and was probably first made use of by the Frisians to designate the country immediately interior to the estuaries of the Tay and Forth, where an immigration of Frisian tribes took place about the end of the 4th century. Evidence of a Danish settlement subsequent to the Frisian immigration is presented in the names of several of the homesteads, as well as in the presence of the word Law (Danish Hleaw, a heaped-up moundmarking thegraves of illustrious dead) in Norman's Law, Largo Law, Norris Law, and
several other hills. On a mound at Norris Law a complete set of silver armour was discovered about 1817, but it found its w7ay to the melting pot before its antiquarian importance was recognized. Several relics found along with it have, however, been preserved, and they are graven with symbols similar to those of the oldest sculptured stones, one of which yet exists at Lindores, and contains no Christian figures. The standing stones of Lundin, near Leven, are, according to the tradition of the district, the burial stones of Danish chiefs who fell in a battle which took place in the immediate neighbourhood. Of the sculptured stones erected subsequent to the teaching of St Columba, which are either cruciform or graven with a large cross, there are, besides several fragments at different places, four standing in a pretty entire condition, viz., at Docton Kinglassie, at Abercromby, at Sauchope near Crail, and at Mugdrum near Newburgh. Still more interesting memorials of the early Christian missionaries are the crosses and other figures graven on the walls of the numerous caves which exist along the coast from St Andrews to Dysart. After the time of the Culdees the next archaeological relic of importance is the pedestal of the cross of Macduff near Newburgh, erected by the thane of Fife after his escape from the vengeance of the usurper Macbeth.

Monastic foundations were pretty numerous in Fife. On the island of Inchkolm there yet stand the cloister, prison, refectory, and chapter-house of an abbey of the Canons Regular, founded in 1213; and the same order possessed priories at Pittenweem (of which there are yet interesting ruins), at St Andrews (founded in 1221), and in the Isle of May (1141). Convents of the Dominicans existed at Cupar, at StMonans(1369),andSt Andrews(1274). The Benedictines founded Dunfermline Abbey in 1214 ; and Lindores Abbey, which, from the few architectural details now left, must have been of great elegance, owed its origin to the Tyronenses in 1178. Balmerino Abbey, of which there yet exist the roofless walls of the chapter-house with the cloisters, was founded by the White Cister-cians in 1229. The Franciscans had a monastery at Inverkeithing; an Observantine convent was founded at St Andrews in 1478 ; and one of the only two nunneries of the Clarisses in Scotland existed at Aberdour. The churches of Crail (1517), Kirkheugh, and St Salvators (1450) were collegiate churches ; St Monans possesses a fine Gothic church of the Middle Pointed style, built about 1365, and restored in 1828 ; a fine old Norman church still stands at Aberdour ; there are ruins of an old church at Abdie consecrated in 1242 ; and the semicircular apse of an old Norman structure forms part of the present parish church at Leuchars. Further particulars regarding the ecclesiastical antiquities of Fife will be found in the accounts of the different burghs.

Among the old castles not mentioned under the names of burghs the principal are the ruins of Balcomie Castle, near the East Neuk, where stress of weather compelled Mary of Guise to land in 1538; two square towers of an old building near East Wemyss, said to have been the residence of Macduff; the present castle of Wemyss—a plain building with an old castellated wing—where Queen Mary met her future husband Darnley ; the ruin of Ravenscraig, near Dysart, referred to in Sir Walter Scott's ballad of "Rosabelle"; the ruined tower of the old castle of Balwearie, near Kirkcaldy, the birthplace of Sir Michael Scott the astrologer ; the square tower of the old castle of Rosythe, near Inverkeithing, visited by Oliver Cromwell when in Fife ; the castellated mansion of Aberdour, at one time the residence of James, fourth earl of Morton ; the fortress of Lochore, built in the time of Malcolm Canmore ; the old stronghold of Balgonie ; part of the round tower of the old castle of Creich, the residence of the Beatons, and the birthplace of Mary Beaton, one of the "four Maries" of Mary Queen of Scotland; Ballinbreich Castle, in the parish of Flisk, for a long time the residence of the earls of Rothes ; and the ruined castle of Dairsie, where, it is said, Archbishop Spottiswoode wrote his history.

Among the modern residences of the gentry may be mentioned Raith House (Col. Ferguson), built by Lord Raith in the 17th cen-tury, a plain building, finely situated on an elevated plateau; Balcar-res House (Sir Coutts Lindsay), a baronial structure lately enlarged, with fine terraced gardens in front; Balcaskie House (Sir Robert Anstruther) with terraced gardens in the French style ; Falkland House (Tyndall Bruce), a fine mansion in the Elizabethan style, and beautifully situated at the base of the East Lomond ; Donibristle (Earl of Moray), and Dysart House (Earl of Rosslyn), both ro-mantically situated close on the sea-shore ; Leslie House (Hon. G. Waldegrave Leslie), at one time one of the largest mansions in Scot-land, but on account of a fire now only a fourth of its original size, containing a gallery with portraits of the successive earls of Rothes and many of their contemporaries ; Largo House, where at one time was the patrimony of Sir Andrew Wood ; Inchdairnie (Roger Sinclair Aytoun), a fine mansion in the Scotch baronial style; Crawford Priory (Earl of Glasgow), a castellated mansion lately greatly enlarged ; and Mount Melville (J. Whyte Melville).

On account of its isolated situation, Fife, except at the Reformation and during the times of the Covenanters, has not been prominently connected with the eventful periods of later Scottish history, the only circumstances worthy of mention being the battle of Dalcearrens Field, near Lindores, in which Sir William Wallace, in June 1300, inflicted a heavy defeat on the English; the capture in 1651 of Burntisland by the soldiers of the Commonwealth, who garrisoned the town for several years, and in this way kept a check on the Royalist sympathizers of the "kingdom"; the landing of the earl of Mar atEliein 1715 to take part in the Jacobite insurrection ; and the arrival shortly afterwards of 4000 of the insurgents with the view of crossing from Fife in boats to join the southern army. Among the eminent persons connected with Fife may be mentioned Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, Sir Michael Scott the astrologer, the parliamentary general Leslie, Lord Leven, Sir David Wilkie, Adam Smith, Thomas Chalmers, Lord Chancellor Campbell, Mrs Somerville, and the seventh and eighth earls of Elgin.

Sir Robert Sibbald's History of the Sheriffdoms of Fife and Kinross is chiefly of value for the information it contains regarding the condition of Fife at the period of the writer. Varied information regarding the history and antiquities of the shire will be found in Alex. Campbell's Journey from Edinburgh through Fifeshire, 1805; Rev. A. Small's Roman Antiquities in Fifeshire, 1823; Rev. J. W. Taylor's Historical Antiquities of Fife, 1875; and Rev. W. Wood's East Neuk of Fife, 1862. See also Swan's Views of Fife; the beautifully illustrated Shores of Fife, edited by Wm. Ballingall, 1872; and an interesting article on the " Kingdom of Fife," in Eraser's Magazine for January 1878. (T. F. H.)


Footnotes

Further particulars regarding the Fife coal-field will be found in the article COAL.
A "Catalogue of the Bractiiopoda of Fife and the Lothians" is contained in the Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society for 1877.

See paper by W. F. Skene in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. iv.
See notes on the sculptured caves near Dysart, by Miss C. M'Lacan in vol. xi. of the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scot-land; and Archaic Sculptures of Cups and Circles, by Sir James Y. Simpson, 1867.




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