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Buckhaven Hospital.jpg
The Randolph Wemyss Memorial Hospital, Buckhaven
Buckhaven is located in Fife
Buckhaven shown within Fife
Population16,391 [1] (2001 census)
est. 16,240[2] (2006),
including Methil
OS grid referenceNT361988
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLeven
Postcode districtKY8
Dialling code01592
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56°10′39″N 3°01′49″W / 56.1776°N 3.0303°W / 56.1776; -3.0303Coordinates: 56°10′39″N 3°01′49″W / 56.1776°N 3.0303°W / 56.1776; -3.0303

Buckhaven is a town on the east coast of Fife, Scotland, on the Firth of Forth between East Wemyss and Methil. Buckhaven is on the Fife Coastal Path, and near to Wemyss Caves and Largo Bay.


The name Buckhaven is probably from the Scots terms buck or bukk "to gush out"[3] and haven or "harbour".[4][5]

Once a thriving weaving village and fishing port,[6] in 1831 it was reported as having the second-largest fishing fleet in Scotland with a total of 198 boats. Fishing declined during the 19th century, but in the 1860s Buckhaven developed more into a mining town. Although coal waste blackened its beaches and silted up its now non-existent harbour, it later became a Fife coast holiday resort and recreation area for locals. Nowadays, it is classed as one of Fife's 'Regeneration areas' in need of regeneration both socially and economically.[7]

According to online sources and authors,[8] the fishing community of Buckhaven is said to have been largely the descendants of Norsemen[9][10] who settled in the district in the 9th century.[11] Centuries later, Buckhaven's fisherfolk bought an Episcopal Church in St Andrews in 1869 and transported it stone by stone to Buckhaven, using fishing boats. The church was restored in the 1980s and converted into a theatre. Many years before, St Andrews had been combined with the other local Church of Scotland churches into one parish. The building continued to be owned by Buckhaven Parish Church after the conversion.

Buckhaven Museum has displays on the history of the fishing industry.


According to estimates in 2006, the population including Methil stood at around 16,240: however, the Levenmouth area including Kennoway, Leven, the Wemyss villages, Largo Bay and Windygates has a combined population of around 37,410.[2] The population of Buckhaven, Methil, Leven is 24,474, according to the 2011 Census.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Buckhaven Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 29 April 2001. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived 30 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Robinson, Mairi (ed.). The Concise Scots Dictionary. p. 69. ISBN 0080284922. to pour forth or gush out; make a gurgling noise
  4. ^ Taylor, Simon (2006). The Place-Names of Fife, Vol. 1. Shaun Tyas. pp. 585–6. ISBN 1900289776.
  5. ^ "Fife Place-name Data :: Buckhaven". fife-placenames.glasgow.ac.uk.
  6. ^ scottish-places.info
  7. ^ heraldscotland.com
  8. ^ scottish-places.info
  9. ^ The Fife coast from Queensferry to Fifeness ISBN 978-1-236-38107-1 p. 107
  10. ^ fifedirect.org.uk
  11. ^ The Fife coast from Queensferry to Fifeness ISBN 978-1-236-38107-1 p. 107

External links[edit]