|Scottish Gaelic: Fàclann|
Falkland shown within Fife
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||North East Fife|
|Scottish Parliament||North East Fife|
Falkland (Scottish Gaelic: Fàclann) is a village, parish and former royal burgh in Fife, Scotland at the foot of the Lomond Hills. According to the 2008 population estimate, it has a population of 1,180.
The name "Falkland" is generally believed to come from the English "falcon land", referring to the sport of falconry, which would have once been popular with the nobles at Falkland Palace. However, it may in fact come from falclann, meaning "washing" or "scrubbing".
In the Middle Ages, the name Falkland only applied to the Castle; the burgh and parish were known as Kilgour, meaning "pleasant church".
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 to Duncan, 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.
A considerable proportion of the village (including the Palace) was restored by John, Marquis of Bute who inherited much of the land in the late 19th century. He employed the architects John Kinross and Robert Weir Schultz to undertake the works required.
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.
As at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, a fire broke out during the occupation of the buildings by Oliver Cromwell's troops in 1654. The fire 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 British 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 British 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.
- Taylor, Iain (2011). Place-names of Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited. p. 67.
- Westwood, A. (1861). Parochial Directory for the Counties of Fife and Kinross. Edinburgh: John Menzies. p. 96. Retrieved 2015.
- "Falkland Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan" (PDF). Fife Council. April 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
- Outlander TV news website and pictures of village filming
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Falkland, Fife.|
- Falkland Community Hall website
- Falkland Community web portal
- Falkland Palace Tennis Court, the world's oldest tennis court still in play
- Falkland Palace
- Falkland In Bloom website
- Falkland festival website
- Falkland Golf Club
- Falkland Cricket Club
- The Bruce Inn
- Falkland Centre for Stewardship
- The Big Tent Festival
- Old Images of Falkland on fb
- Engraving of Falkland in 1693 by John Slezer at National Library of Scotland