Culross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the community in Canada, see Culross, Manitoba. For the American musician, see Dave Culross.
Culross
Scottish Gaelic: Cuileann Ros
Scots: Culross
Culross, Fife, Scotland.JPG
Culross and the Firth of Forth
Culross is located in Fife
Culross
Culross
 Culross shown within Fife
Population 395 [1]
Council area Fife
Lieutenancy area Fife
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Dunfermline and West Fife
Scottish Parliament Dunfermline
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 56°03′19″N 3°37′45″W / 56.0554°N 3.6293°W / 56.0554; -3.6293

Culross (/ˈkurəs/) (Gaelic: Cuileann Ros) is a village and former royal burgh, and parish, in Fife, Scotland.

According to the 2006 estimate, the village has a population of 395.[1] Originally, Culross served as a port city on the Firth of Forth and is believed to have been founded by Saint Serf during the 6th century.

The civil parish had a population of 4,348 in 2011.[2]

Founding legend[edit]

A legend states that when the British princess (and future saint) Teneu, daughter of the king of Lothian, became pregnant before marriage, her family threw her from a cliff. She survived the fall unharmed, and was soon met by an unmanned boat. She knew she had no home to go to, so she got into the boat; it sailed her across the Firth of Forth to land at Culross where she was cared for by Saint Serf; he became foster-father of her son, Saint Kentigern or Mungo (d. 612).

Industry[edit]

Anchor and storage building

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the town was a centre of the coal mining industry. Sir George Bruce of Carnock, who built the splendid 'Palace' of Culross and whose elaborate family monument stands in the north transept of the Abbey church, established a coal mine at Culross in 1575 and in 1595 constructed the Moat Pit[3] by which it became the first coal mine in the world to extend under the sea. The mine worked what is now known as the Upper Hirst coal seam, with ingenious contrivances to drain the constant leakage from above. This mine was considered one of the marvels of the British Isles in the early 17th century, until the Moat Pit was destroyed in a storm on 30 March 1625.[3][4]

Culross' secondary industry was salt panning. There was a considerable export trade by sea in the produce of these industries and the prevalence of red roof tiles in Culross and other villages in Fife is thought to be a direct result of collier ships returning to Culross with Dutch roof tiles as ballast. The town was also known for its monopoly on the manufacture of 'girdles', i.e. flat iron plates for baking over an open fire.[5] The town's role as a port declined from the 18th century, and by Victorian times it had become something of a 'ghost town'. The harbour was filled in and the sea cut off by the coastal railway line in the second half of the 19th century (though the site of the harbour walls can to a large extent still be traced).

Heritage[edit]

Culross Town House
Culross Palace with its crow-step gable design
Street in Culross

During the 20th century, it became recognised that Culross contained many unique historical buildings and the National Trust for Scotland has been working on their preservation and restoration since the 1930s.

Notable buildings in the burgh include Culross Town House, formerly used as a courthouse and prison, the 16th century Culross Palace, 17th century Study, and the remains of the Cistercian house of Culross Abbey, founded 1217. The tower, transepts and choir of the Abbey Church remain in use as the parish church, while the ruined claustral buildings are cared for by Historic Scotland. Just outside the town is the 18th-century Dunimarle Castle, built by the Erskine family to supersede a medieval castle.

Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald spent much of his early life in Culross, where his family had an estate. There is now a bust in his honour outside the Culross Town House. He was the first Vice Admiral of Chile.

Administration[edit]

Prior to the 1890s, the parish of Culross formed an exclave of Perthshire. It is within the Dunfermline and West Fife Westminster Parliamentary constituency.

Culross as a location for filming[edit]

Several motion pictures have used Culross as a filming location, including Kidnapped (1971),[6] The Little Vampire (2000),[7] A Dying Breed (2007),[8] The 39 Steps (2008),[9] and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).[10] In September 2013, the Starz television series, Outlander, started filming in Culross for its premiere in August 2014.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Culross is twinned with Veere in the Netherlands, which was formerly the port through which its export goods entered the Low Countries.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Population Estimates for Towns and Villages in Fife" (PDF). Fife Council. March 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2011. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  2. ^ Census of Scotland 2011, Table KS101SC – Usually Resident Population, publ. by National Records of Scotland. Web site http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ retrieved March 2016. See “Standard Outputs”, Table KS101SC, Area type: Civil Parish 1930
  3. ^ a b Adamson, Donald (2008). "A Coal Mine in the Sea: Culross and the Moat Pit". Scottish Archaeological Journal 30 (1-2): 161-199 – via JSTOR. 
  4. ^ "Culross". Undiscovered Scotland. 2002–2009. Retrieved 8 Sep 2009. 
  5. ^ "Hearth and Home". Fife Folk Museum. Archived from the original on November 19, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  6. ^ Kidnapped (1971) at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ "The Little Vampire - Culross". Scotland: the Movie Location Guide. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  8. ^ A Dying Breed (2007) at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ The 39 Steps (2008) at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Ferguson, Brian (23 August 2014). "Outlander could run for five years says Moore". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Scottish Staple at Veere". Retrieved 2009-02-01. 

External links[edit]