Hill of Tarvit

Hill of Tarvit

Hill of Tarvit

Date

30 August 2013
Location

Cupar, Fife

NO 37874 11829; 56.29478°N, 3.00536°W

Information

Located 1.5 miles south of Cupar in Fife, Hill of Tarvit is an early 20th century mansion house set in grounds covering 113 hectares. In 1696 John Wemyss of Unthank built a stately home, Wemyss Hall, on the estate. Frederick Bower Sharp, from a wealthy jute-mill-owning family from Dundee, bought the estate in 1904 and proceeded between 1905 and 1908 to rebuild Wemyss Hall with Sir Robert Lorimer as architect. Sharp also added a 9-hole golf course to the grounds in 1924. Sharp’s daughter Elisabeth left the estate to the National Trust for Scotland when she died in 1948. Part of the house was used as a Marie Curie Foundation nursing home until 1977. The Trust closed the house to the public in 2009 to save costs only to later reopen it following criticisms when it was revealed that it would cost as much to maintain the closed property as would be lost when keeping it open.

Hill of Tarvit Mansion house and Garden (National Trust for Scotland);
Hill of Tarvit, Mansionhouse (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland)

 

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Cults Brick Ltd

Cults Brick Ltd

Cults Brick Ltd

Date

29 August 2013
Location

Cults, Cupar, Fife

NO 35301 09045; 56.26944°N, 3.04624°W

Information

For around 150 years there was industrial activity at Cults, near Cupar in Fife, centred around the limestone mine there. A limeworks was in operation there until 2002 and the sand-cement brickworks closed in 2004. The latter was operated by Cults Brick Limited, which was incorporated in 1962 and finally wound up in 2007.

Closure of brickworks marks end of an era (Fife Today, 18 November 2004)

 

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Crawford Priory

Crawford Priory

Crawford Priory

Date

29 August 2013
Location

Bogle Wood, Cupar, Fife

NO 34699 11236; 56.28903°N, 3.05651°W

Information

Crawford Priory, near Cupar in Fife, is the former family seat of the Earls of Crawford, the Earls of Glasgow and the Barons Cochrane of Cults. The original house, Crawford Lodge, dates back to 1758, and this was added to around 1810 by Lady Mary Lindsay Crawford, sister of the 22nd Earl of Crawford. The major extension, in the style of a Gothic priory, was designed by architects David Hamilton and James Gillespie Graham.

The house was closed and its fixtures and fittings, such as stained-glass windows and marble fireplaces, sold after the 2nd Baron Cochrane of Cults died in 1968. It was thereafter left to fall into a state of disrepair and was further damaged by a fire in 1995. Only the shell of the building remains today. The house received a Category B listing in 1984 and is said to be one of Scotland’s best examples of an early 19th century Gothic country house.

Nevertheless, in the face of stiff opposition from conservationists, Lord Cochrane of Cults, the 4th Baron and a Tory peer, controversially applied to Fife Council for permission to demolish the listed building in 1996.

Crawford Priory, Cults (British Listed Buildings);
Row over peer’s plan to demolish historic priory (The Herald, 5 February 1996)

 

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Scotland’s Secret Bunker

The entrance tunnel is 150 yards long with concrete walls 18 inches thick

The entrance tunnel is 150 yards long with concrete walls 18 inches thick

Date

27 August 2013
Location

Troy Wood, Fife

NO 56840 08893; 56.27052°N, 2.69848°W

Information

This Cold War-era underground facility in Fife, Scotland was built in 1951/52 and opened in 1953. The ‘R3 type’ bunker covers 24,000 sq ft on two levels 100 ft below ground and would have accommodated 300 personnel. The bunker was operated by the RAF until 1956. It later served until 1968 as the Regional Seat of Government, manned by the Civil Defence Corps. It was then designated as the Regional Government HQ until its closure in 1993. The base would have become the centre of government for Scotland in the event of a nuclear war.

Scotland’s Secret Bunker (Official website)

 

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Buddo Rock

Buddo Rock

Date

3 November 2012
Location

Boarhills, Fife

NO 56325 15006; 56.32539°N, 2.70780°W

Information

Buddo Rock is a weathered sandstone outcrop that would once have been part of the nearby cliffs. The sea stack, close the hamlet of Boarhills, is now above the high-water mark and can be seen from the Fife Coastal Path approximately 5 km east of St Andrews.

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The Rock and Spindle, Kinkell

The Rock and Spindle

Date

3 November 2012
Location

Kinkell Ness, St Andrews

NO 53831 15591; 56.33041°N, 2.74823°W

Information

The Rock and Spindle is a sea stack formed from an eroded volcanic plug and is visible from the Fife Coastal Path roughly 2 km to the east of St Andrews. The spinning-wheel-like circular ‘Spindle’ is composed of xenolithic columnar basanite and the ‘Rock’ (stack) is basanitic breccia.

The Rock and Spindle (British Geological Survey)

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Crail Airfield / Royal Naval Air Station HMS Jackdaw

Sign for Crail Raceway with the airfield control tower in the background

Date

1 November 2012
Location

Crail, East Neuk of Fife

NO 62452 09378; 56.27535°N, 2.60793°W

Information

The airfield at Crail was constructed in 1939 as Royal Naval Air Station HMS Jackdaw. It was built on the site of a First World War naval air base which had been demolished after its closure in 1919. HMS Jackdaw was the main Fleet Air Arm torpedo-warfare training base. Air operations came to an end in 1947 and the base was redesignated as HMS Bruce, a boys’ training facility. It later served as an Army Transit Camp, and during the 1950s the Joint Services School for Linguists was based at the station, teaching Russian to National Service conscripts. From 1960 the base was used as a pig farm and today parts of it are home to an industrial estate, a karting circuit and Crail Raceway — a motorsport venue featuring a drag strip and race track.

The Torpedo Attack Training Building houses a large painted plaster cyclorama supported on a timber frame. Above the cyclorama there is a gantry for lighting, which was used to simulate various daylight conditions, and a platform from which the image of a ship would be projected onto the cyclorama screen. Trainee torpedo-bomber pilots would sit in a high-level mock-up of a cockpit for target-acquisition drills using the facility.

Crail Airfield (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland);
Crail Airfield, Technical Area, Torpedo Attack Training Building (British Listed Buildings);
Crail Raceway

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Caiplie Caves

Caiplie Caves

Date

2 November 2012
Location

Barnsmuir, East Neuk of Fife

NO 59981 05825; 56.24324°N, 2.64731°W

Information

The Coves, or Caiplie Caves, can be found near Barnsmuir on the Fife Coastal Path between Anstruther and Crail. The small caves have formed in the weathered outcrop of Carboniferous red sandstone that was originally a small sea cliff. The largest of the caves, Chapel Cave, was excavated in 1841 when human remains 4000 years old were discovered. It is thought that the caves were used for early Christian worship during the ninth century.

Caiplie, ‘The Coves’ (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland)

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Crail Cemetery

Crail Cemetery

Date

2 November 2012
Location

Crail, East Neuk of Fife

NO 61372 07945; 56.26239°N, 2.62517°W

Information

The Old Kirk of St Mary’s, Crail Parish Church, was originally built in the 12th century and was rebuilt and extended in the 13th.

The 19th century morthouse in the cemetery was used for the secure storage of bodies prior to burial as a measure against being stolen and sold to university anatomists by body snatchers.

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Crail Harbour

Crail Harbour

Date

1 / 3 November 2012
Location

Crail, East Neuk of Fife

NO 61231 07413; 56.25760°N, 2.62736°W

Information

Crail is the oldest of the East Neuk burghs and its status as a royal burgh was confirmed in 1310 by Robert the Bruce granting its right to hold Sunday markets. The town prospered on trade with the Low Countries and its marketplace became one of the largest in medieval Europe.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Crail’s harbour was a major port for herring and white fish, whereas today the main catch landed by its boats is lobster and crab.

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Fife Ness Lighthouse

Fife Ness Lighthouse

Date

1 November 2012
Location

Fife Ness, East Neuk of Fife

NO 63827 09748; 56.27878°N, 2.58579°W

Information

The headland at Fife Ness is the easternmost point of Fife and the 5m high lighthouse there was established in 1975 to replace the last of the North Carr lightships.

Fife Ness Lighthouse (Northern Lighthouse Board);
Fife Ness (Wikipedia)

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