|Scottish Gaelic: Fàclann|
Falkland shown within Fife
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||North East Fife|
|Scottish Parliament||North East Fife|
According to the 2008 population estimate, the village has a population of 1,180.
A settlement is believed to have existed at Falkland prior to the 12th century. However, this was not until the erection of Falkland Castle some time after 1160 which was the crucial factor in the birth of the village. The site of Falkland Castle now lies within the grounds of the present Falkland Palace. The donation of the royal hunting estate of Falkland by King Malcolm IV to Duncan Macduff, 6th Earl of Fife in 1160, may actually have led to any previous hunting lodge being replaced by the castle.
Despite being granted royal burgh status in 1458, Falkland had developed as a medieval settlement dependent on Falkland Palace and the Falkland Castle and therefore did not function in the same way as other royal burghs did.
Falkland was the birthplace of the famous 17th century Covenanter Richard Cameron who was the town schoolmaster before he became a field preacher. His house still stands in the main street of the village. The American country and western singer Johnny Cash traced part of his family ancestry to this district of Fife. .
Falkland forms part of the North East Fife, electing one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom by the first past the post system. The constituency is represented by Sir Menzies Campbell, MP of the Liberal Democrats. For the purposes of the Scottish Parliament, Falkland forms part of the North East Fife constituency. The North East Fife Scottish Parliament (or Holyrood) constituency created in 1999 is one of nine within the Mid Scotland and Fife electoral region. Each constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post system of election, and the region elects seven additional members to produce a form of proportional representation. The constituency is represented by Roderick Campbell, MSP for the Scottish National Party.
Scotland's first conservation village is best known as the location of Falkland Palace, begun in 1500 by James IV, and the best example of French-influenced Renaissance architecture in the United Kingdom. The palace was built to accommodate the royal Court when they came to Falkland to hunt in the nearby forests; Mary, Queen of Scots, was a frequent visitor. The naming of the Falkland Islands hail from the Viscounts of the Palace.
As at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, a fire broke out during the occupation of the buildings by Oliver Cromwell's troops. The fire in 1654 destroyed the East Range. The Court never returned to Falkland Palace after 1665 and until the 19th century the village and palace were neglected. In the late 19th century extensive rebuilding and restoration work began. Today the palace and gardens are open to the public through the National Trust for Scotland.
Other features of the village include an old horse market, also including the Falkland Cricket Club, and the Falkland Golf Club. One of the country's leading environmental festivals, The Big Tent, is held in the grounds of Falkland Estate in July. Organised by the Falkland Centre for Stewardship the 2012 festival was headlined by the Proclaimers and the 2010 event by Rosanne Cash.
Falkland's recent success in UK and international horticultural competitions includes a gold medal win in the RHS Britain in Bloom large village category, receipt of Britain in Bloom's Champion of Champions award two years running (2009-2010) and success in the UK village category of the European Entente Florale.
In October 2013 filming for the US science fiction series 'Outlander' transformed the village in appearance to film scenes set in the second world war.
- "Mid-2008 Population Estimates – Localities in alphabetical order" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
- Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
- "Falkland Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan". Fife Council. April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
- "Menzies Campbell, MP for North East Fife". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
- "Regional MSPs for Mid Scotland and Fife". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
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