Celebrating the history of Falkland, Fife

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Falkland Directory, 1903

FALKLAND is a royal burgh and parish, with a station on the Thornton, Ladybank and Dundee section of the North British railway, 2½ miles east of the burgh, and known as Falkland road. The burgh lies 25 miles north from Edinburgh, 15 south-east from Perth and 10 south-west from Cupar. The parish, which is in the small debt court district of Auchtermuchty, extends 6 miles from east to west by 4 broad, and is bounded north by Auchtermuchty, west by Strathmiglo, south by Leslie and Markinch, and east by Kettle.

The town was erected into a burgh by James II. in 1458, and its charter was confirmed and renewed by James VI. in 1595. The government consists of a provost, two bailies, a treasurer, a town clerk and nine councillors.

Falkland consists principally of one street, the eastern part of which is broad and spacious, but towards the west is narrow The few good houses are of an antique character, somewhat in keeping with the architecture of the palace, a building well worthy of notice, and for a long time was only a ruin, but was rescued from total decay and repaired by the late Mr. Bruce of Nuthill, and since c.1895 has been restored at the expense of the late Marquis of Bute K.T.

The royal family of Scotland resided here occasionally up to the time of Charles II., who called here on his return from the continent in 1650. James V. died here in 1542. In the old castle of Falkland, David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay, eldest son of Robert III. was confined, and here he died, 27 March, 1402. Sir Walter Scott, in his “Fair Maid of Perth,” wove in the traditional story.

Only a portion of the foundations of this ancient fortress now remains. In 1715, it is said, the famous Rob Roy garrisoned the palace with a party of Macgregors, and laid the country under heavy contributions.

The manufacture of linen forms an important branch of trade here, and the chief occupation of the industrious class is weaving. A town hall was erected in 1804, in which balls and other public assemblages take place.

A large common, which belongs to Falkland, and on which the inhabitants had a right to turn their cattle, &c. was in 1818 divided among the heritors, and is now nearly all enclosed.

The parish church, erected by the late O.T. Bruce esq. at an expense of £7,000, is a fine structure, with a tower and spire; a monument to Mr. Bruce has been erected on Black Hill, near the Lomonds, and in the square behind the palace is a memorial to Col. Robert Bruce, and John Bruce, king's printer for Scotland.

The House of Falkland, erected by the late Mr. Bruce, and one of the finest mansions in the county, is now, with the estates, the property of Lord Edw. Ninian Crichton- Stuart.

The Lomond hills in this district are cone-shaped; the eastern Lomond, which is the most regular and beautiful, is about 1,450 feet above the level of the sea, and appears to have been fortified. The western Lomond is higher, and has on its top a large cairn.

Lord E. N. Crichton-Stuart of Falkland, Charles Maitland Mackgill-Crichton, of Lathrisk, and Edward Balfour esq. of Balbirnie, are the principal landowners. The area comprises 8,179 acres; rateable value of parish, £12,988; of burgh, £3,026; population in 1891 was 2,470, and in 1901, 2,231, including 809 in the royal burgh.


Freuchie is a village in this parish. The manufacture of linen is carried on here. and there are United Free and quoad sacra churches. There is also a public school. Falkland road is the nearest railway station, one mile distant. Population in 1891, 913, and 1901, 827.


Newton of Falkland is a hamlet about midway between Falkland and Freuchie, where there is an extensive trade carried on in brewing. Falkland road is the nearest railway station, 2 miles distant.


Post, T., M. O., T. M. O., E. D. & P. P. & S. B. & A. & I. O. Falkland ; Miss Davina Reekie, postmistress. (Railway Sub-Office. Letters should have R.S.O. Fifeshire added.) Deliveries, 8.45 a.m. & 7 p.m.; dispatches, 6.25 a.m. & 3.55 p.m.

Post, T., M. O., T. M. O., E. D. & P. P. & S. B. & A. & I. O. Freuchie; John Senior, postmaster. (Railway Sub-Office. Letters should have R.S.O. Fife-shire added.) Deliveries, 8.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; dispatches, 6.45 a.m. & 4.15 p.m.

Post Office, Newton of Falkland; Alexander Archibald, sub-postmaster. (Railway Sub-Office. Letters should have R.S.O. Fifeshire added.) Deliveries, 8.25 a.m. & 6.35 p.m.; dispatches, 6.20 a.m. & 4.5 p.m. Falkland is the nearest money order & telegraph office, 1 mile distant


Town Hall, Falkland.

Provost, William Page

Bailies, Robert Miller & Thos. Sutherland

Councillors, nine

Town Clerk. Charles Gulland

Burgh Treasurer, James Robertson

Burgh Assessor, Lawrence Reid

Medical Officer of Health, J. Aitken M.D., CM., D.P.H. (of Buckhaven)

Town Officer, George Baxter

Procurator Fiscal, John Dick


Inland Revenue Office (stamps & taxes),

Falkland, Thomas Williamson, sub-distributor & collector

Police Stations, Falkland; Lawrence Allan, constable & Freuchie, Peter McHardy, constable

Lumsden Memorial Hall, Freuchie, David Rymer, sec

Masonic- Lodge (St. John's, No. 35), Falkland

Inspector of Poor & Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Lawrence Reid

Collector of Rates, Charles Gulland

Parochial Medical Officer, Public Vaccinator & Certifying Factory Surgeon, John G. Jack M.B., Ch.B.Edin



6th (Fifeshire) Vol. Battn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) (I Company); Capt. George James Lumsden; Drill-Instructor, Colour-Sergeant Robert McDougal



Established Churches: -
Falkland, Rev. Alexander Lyon Johnston
Freuchie, Rev. Charles Fraser M.A

United Free Church, Falkland, Rev. Jas. H. Morrison M.A

Plymouth Brethren, Falkland

United Free, Freuchie, Rev. Geo. Lowe B.D



Chairman, Alexander Bonthrone

Clerk & Treasurer, John Sheriff

Board Schools: -
Falkland, for 280 children; average attendance, 150; John Richardson, master; Miss Agnes Stewart, mistress
Freuchie, for 250 children; average attendance, 152; Allan Mill, master; Miss J. S. Baxter, mistress



The nearest station is at Falkland road, on the North British railway, 2½ miles distant ; George Wallace, station master

An omnibus from Falkland runs to the station three times a day in winter, and in summer more frequently; Mrs. Cath. Ness, proprietress



Crichton Stuart Lord Edward Ninian, of Falkland house

Cusin Major James, Chapel yard

Gavin George, Lomondside house

Gulland Charles, Millfield

Jack John G., M.B., Ch.B.Edin. Canonbury

Jackson Charles, Lomondvale

Johnston Rev. Alexander Lvon (Estab.), The Manse

Mackgill-Crichton Charles Maitland, Lathrisk

Morrison Rev. James H., M.A. United Free Church manse

Page William (provost)