Charlestown, Fife

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A Charlestown scene - - 1184479.jpg
Charlestown is located in Fife
Charlestown shown within Fife
OS grid referenceNT065832
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtKY
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
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Coordinates: 56°02′N 3°30′W / 56.03°N 3.50°W / 56.03; -3.50

Charlestown (also known as Charlestown-on-Forth) is a town in Fife, Scotland on the north shore of the Firth of Forth. It is 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) west of Limekilns, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south-west of Dunfermline.


Charlestown was established in 1770 by Charles Bruce, 5th Earl of Elgin. The planned village is laid out in the shape of a letter E for Elgin. It was established as a harbour town for the shipment of coal mined on Lord Elgin's Fife estates, and for the production of lime. The harbour's outer basin was built around 1840. In 1887, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, the Queen's Hall was built at the village centre, to designs by Robert Rowand Anderson.[2]

Shipbuilding was carried on at Charlestown in the 19th century, as well as ship-breaking. Some of the German Imperial Fleet were brought here from Scapa Flow after World War I to be broken up.[3]


Some of the off-road paths in the village reflect aspects of the past; for example, "Shell Road" and "Lime Brae" indicate the routes over which these materials were transported in the past; "Craw Road" and "Rocks Road" refer to the avian inhabitants and the underfoot surface respectively; "The Run" refers to the route by which surplus water was run off from the upper part of the village and down to the sea.


Charlestown is the home of Broomhall Cricket Club, named after Broomhall, the nearby home of Lord Elgin. They have a 1st XI and a 2nd XI that play in the Scottish East League run by the East of Scotland Cricket Association and have junior, midweek and Sunday teams as well. They play at The Cairns, Charlestown.[4]

Scottish Lime Centre Trust[edit]

Charlestown is home to the Scottish Lime Centre Trust which was established in 1994. Its aims and objectives are to:

  • Promote for the public benefit the appropriate repair of Scotland's traditional and historic buildings;
  • Advance education through the provision of advice, training and practical experience in the use of lime for the repair and conservation of such buildings; and
  • Promote and further the preservation and development of Scottish building traditional, crafts and skills.[5]


  1. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary
  2. ^ "Charlestown". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. ^ Buxton, Ian L. (1992). Metal Industries: shipbreaking at Rosyth and Charlestown. World Ship Society. p. 104. OCLC 28508051.
  4. ^ Broomhall Cricket Club Homepage
  5. ^ Scottish Lime Centre