History of Strathkinness

Nelda Seed has written an excellent history of the village which was published in 1986. Mrs Seed has given her permission for a new scan of the book to be made into a PDF which is read by Adobe Reader. Download the whole book by clicking here.

Here is a brief extract to tempt you.

Strathkinness is a small village in Fife with a population of around 600. It is situated 3 miles (5 km) west of St. Andrews, 7 miles (1 1 km) east of Cupar, 12 miles (19 km) south of Dundee, and 55 miles (88 km) north of Edinburgh.

The first detailed census in 1841 gave the population of the village as 574. When the Parish of Strathkinness was disjoined from the larger Parish of St. Andrews and St. Leonards in 1860 the population given for the whole parish was 1296 and it was stated that the census of 1861 showed that there were ‘at least 1100’ people who could send their children to school in Strathkinness. This area included many farms whose population was relatively high compared to that of the village itself.

Although the population of the village of Strathkinness has not varied a great deal, the population of the farms has considerably decreased. With the system of hiring farm labour every year there had been a large transient agricultural population and modern farming methods have further greatly reduced the number of workers needed on a farm.

Hand-loom weaving disappeared long ago and the village is no longer based on quarrying or even agriculture. A variety of people have come to live in Strathkinness. They have altered the nature of the village, but they have also helped to keep it alive. In spite of all its changes Strathkinness is still very much a village.

(Editor’s note: Latest population estimate is 800 as of 30/06/2019)

The Angels of Strathkinness

A sample – for the full poem click here

 I had a strange notion for years, I wad think,
 Tae spend a vacation outside like a tink,
 So I said to the wife, “could you live dae ye think
 in a camp ata place ca’ed Strathkinness?”
 She protested she’d never heard tell o’ the place,
 Ne’er had I, but I tell’t her, tae save my ain face,
 That tae back oot for that was a shame and disgrace,
 So we set off wan day, for Strathkinness.
 When we landed that nicht near the end o’ July,
 And pitched oor wee tent ‘neath a threatening sky,
 Then it started to rain, and we ne’er shut an eye
 What a hole, we declared, was Strathkinness.
 The next day it peltit a thousand times waur,
 Like the waves o’ the ocean that break on the shore,
 As we made for the ferm hoose, I let oot a roar,
 “Why on earth did we come to Strathkinness?” 

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