Cults, Fife is a small parish in the centre of the County of Fife, Scotland. It lies mainly in "the Howe of Fife," and about 4½ miles SW of Cupar. The parish is about 2⅓ miles long and 1⅓ miles wide. It contains various villages and hamlets including Cults, Ladybank, Kingskettle, Kettlebridge, Pitlessie, Collessie, Crossgates and Walton. The Church of Scotland has now included Cults in the wider "Howe of Fife Parish" which has the churches of Ladybank, Cults, Kettle and Collessie. The name is mentioned in ancient documents as 'Quilts' or 'Quilques', and is of Celtic origin. It is supposed to be descriptive of its situation. The only archaeological site of any importance seems to be a fort on the western slope of Walton Hill.
Cults' greatest son was Sir David Wilkie (1785–1841) born in Cults Church manse. His father was parish minister, and while Wilkie lived at Cults, characters in the parish served as models for his paintings 'Pitlessie Fair' (1804) and the 'Village Politicians' (1806). The church was built in 1793 and contains a handsome monument in marble, by Chantrey, erected by Wilkie in memory of his parents and another to his memory, erected by his sister in 1844.
Near the village is the shell of Crawford Priory, originally the seat of the Earl of Glasgow, and latterly Lord Cochrane of Cults. The now demolished Priestfield House, once the seat of the Martin Smith family, was nearby at Pitlessie.
- For more on the low-lying area known as "The Howe of Fife" see the Rotary Club website, accessed 2012-03-11.
- See this Howe of Fife Parish website which has more information about the parish and photographs of the churches[permanent dead link], accessed 2012-03-11.
- Cf. the 1861 Parochial Directory for Fife and Kinross, available at fiefhs.org, accessed 2012-03-10
- Edward Pinnington, Sir David Wilkie and the Scots School of Painters, (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, "Famous Scots Series", 1900), Ch. V, pp. 33-37.
- Cf. Francis Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4). Available at visionofbritain.org.uk (See also the Gazetteer of Scotland website, accessed 2012-03-10)
- 'Vision of Britain' website for a map of the Cults area. Retrieved 2012-02-27.