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Largo Chronology

Largo Community Council Area (present parish of Largo & Newburn) Chronology

Compiled by Gordon B Corbet. Updated 8 May 2020

 

c.450-650  Pictish cemetary at Massnay Braes. (Grieg et al. 2000).

 

c.885  Aethernasus and missionaries ‘laid the foundation of what is now the church of Largo and Newburn’. (Howie et al., 1988, p.47).

 

c.1070  Villa of Ballechrystyn  [Balchrystie, Newburn Parish]  given by King Malcolm III to the Culdees of Louchleuen. (Simon Taylor 1998). See also Farnie, 1880.

 

1153-65  Reign of Malcolm IV who granted land to his chamberlain Philip de Lundin. (Eunson 2011, p.3).

 

1166  Newburn old church erected, related to Dunfermline Abbey. (Lamont-Brown, 1988, 172).

 

c.1200  Thomas de Lundie recorded as ‘doorward’ of King William the Lion (Bower,  Scotichronicon vol.9, iv 465 in Watt; plus William de Lundie of that ilk, ditto vii 419).

 

1224-53  King David I.  Dromachie belonged to Barons of Lundin; Robert de Lundin, son to King William, Walter de Lundin son of Philip de Lundin. (Sibbald, 1803, p.330.)

 

1243  15 July  Church of Newburn re-consecrated by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews (Lister & Gillies, 1968, p.17.)   17 July. Largo church dedicated by Bishop David de Bernham as above.

 

1304  The abbot of Dunfermline represented to Edward I that they held as gift from King David . . . Nithbren [Newburn] in which they are, and they might have coniggers (keepers of rabbit warrens). (Cunningham, 1907:125).

 

14th century. The north part of the Barony of Lundin included the estate of Pitcruvie (aka Balcruvie) belonging to the Ramsay family.  Went to David 2nd Lord Lindsay of the Byres on his marriage to Janet Ramsay (date?) (Millar 1895, p.34).

 

1478  ‘Tack’ [lease] of Land of Largo granted to Sir Andrew Wood by James III (Eunson, 2011, p.4).

 

1481 – 1491  Sir Andrew Wood was awarded ownership of his Largo lands for repelling English ships from the Forth;  1482 Largo estate elevated to barony; 1491  Wood given permission by James IV to build a castle on his land, only surviving remnant, ‘Wood’s tower’ was a later addition (all Eunson 2011, p.4).

 

1498  Estate including hamlet of Hatton Law and Pitcruvie Castle (late 15th C.) ‘came into the ownership of the Lindsays; castle in disuse following tenancy of James Watson, provost of St Andrews in 17th C. (Lamont-Brown, 2002).

 

1513  Largo east of the Keil Burn became a ‘burgh of barony’ (Smith 2001 The making of Scotland); Nethertoun of Largo and Seaton of Largo combined  ‘in a free burgh of barony’. (Taylor 1998).

 

1513  Within a fortnight of his [James IV] fall at Flodden [9 Sept 1513] he granted a charter to Sir Andrew Wood of Largo, that he and his heirs should accompany the king and queen and their successors on their pilgrimages to the Island of May when required. (Conolly, 1819, p.289.)

 

1539  Sir Andrew Wood died. (Lamont-Brown, 1988).

 

1540  Drummochy became a ‘burgh of barony.  (Smith 2001  The making of Scotland).

 

 1548  Battle of St Monans. Unsuccessful part of the land and sea invasion by the English to force the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots and Edward of England. Sir John Wemyss and the men of Largo developed the tactics of the fight and led the battle from the start to encourage the English to attack.  (Low, 2007. Pp.37 and 138).

 

1555  Mary Queen of Scots visited Lundin Castle on her way from Edinburgh to St Andrews. (Lamont diary in Low 2013).

 

1596  David Lundy made a charter of the land of Lathalland. (Black, 1993, p.444.)

 

1620  Issobella Lundie was retoured her portioner od William Lundie in Sutherfauldfield. (Black, 1993, p.445.)

 

1623  Largo Parish School.  (Smith 2001 The making of Scotland).

 

1628  Parochial register of Newburn Parish started (Laurie, 1836); spire of Largo church built, gifted by Peter Black of Largo House; bell added 1838  (Lister & Gillies, p.3).

 

c.1642  Blaeu’s atlas, based on work by James Gordon in 1642, shows Kirkton, Lundy Mill on the Boghall Burn, and ‘Largow Bournsmouth’.

 

1649-71  Diaries of John Lamont of Lundie Castle, published in 1810 ( . . .), but the following entries selected from those selected and published, with some amendments, by Low (2013, chapter 5).

 

    1649 Sept. Parish in Largo built house for school master Thomas Wilson.

    1650 Jan. Robert Maitland, Laird of Lundin Castle, repented for ‘having a hand in the late  engagement       against England’.

    1650 ‘Irish Aygo’ (malaria type disease) rife in Largo.  Pitcruvie estate purchased from Lindsays by Watson of Aithernie. (Millar, 1895, p.34.)

    1651 Sept. Earl of Lundie Castle, probably with many others from Largo, taken prisoners at battle near Worcester against Cromwell.

    1652 Aug. Mr J Magilly, minister at Largo, arrested by soldiers of Major General Dean’s regiment for praying for the Earl of Lundie etc. Subjected to his own ‘cuttie stool’.  Sept. Robert Seaton, a ploughman of Lundin, executed for having ‘laid several times with several mares’.

     1653 Feb. A hermaphrodite from Lundin was hanged in Edinburgh ‘because he was unclean and had lain with several men’s wives in the area’. March & Aug. Largo Parish (amongst others) was ‘demanded to provide coals for English forces. 146 loads, some to Struthers and Falkland.

    1654 March. Laird of Lundin Castle returned home to Lundin. Required to pay £1000 to Cromwell for pardon for his involvement in the recent war.  April, 3 horses taken by the English from Largo Parish , 2 from Lundie and 2 from Newburn.  May. Bridge built over Lundie mill burn with timber from Largo. 

 

1654  Map of Blaeu reproduced in Reid & Zuill, 1996, 2 copies with GBC, 1 sheet, 12 folded. ‘Fifae vicecomatatus/ the Sherifdome of Fyfe, compiled from survey of Timothy Pont by James Gordon of Rothiemay as published in Atlas Novis of Johan Blaeu, 1654’ reprinted in 1662. Published by John Bartholomew jointly with Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Scale 2 Scottish miles to inch. Names in Largo area: Largow Law, Largow C [church at Upper Largo], Lundy, Lundy Mill, Largow K [at Drummochy], Largow Burne-mouth, Hall-Hilll, Reres, Newbyirn, Drumalrik, Bal-christ.

 

1660  Sir Alexander Durham appointed Lyon King of Arms (Lamont-Brown, 2002, p.126).

 

1662  A fire destroyed part of a mill at ‘Lundy Mills’, the ‘measter of the mills’ being William Lundy; Largo Parish lost 11 bags of oats.   Sir Alexander Durham bought Largo Estate.

 

C.1665  Wood’s Hospital  founded, designed by Robert Mylne, King’s Master Mason; provided for 13 indigent and enfeebled persons with services of gardener, porter and chaplain. (Pride, 1990, p.175.)

 

1666  Black death (plague) arrived from south; many deaths, with burial in communal pits in Largo cemetery.  (Lamont diary/ Low 2013).

 

1676  Alexander Selcraig (later Selkirk) born Lower Largo; at sea 1695-1701; at sea on privateer 1704; marooned on a small island between Venezuela and Trinidad 5 years; died 1721 of yellow fever off west coast of Africa. (Last from Brown, 1994)

 

1696  An act required heritors to supply a schoolhouse and fund a schoolmaster’s salary (Lamont-Brown, 2002, p.11).

 

1710  2nd edition of Sibbald’s History of Fife and Kinross, reprinted, with copious updating footnotes, in 1803. From the original part: W of Largo  ‘Drumochie – a village belonging to the baron of Lundin, with a fishing, and they claim a right to the tithes of fish for some miles to the west of them’.‘The Sea-toun of Largo, belonging to the lairds of Largo,  hath ordinarly 3 fishing boats, with five men in each, and in the herring season four boats with 7 men in each’.

 

1719  Publication of the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, based on the experience of Alexander Selkirk but changing his island to Juan Fernandez in Chile, where Selkirk never was.

 

1740-42  Salt making began at Drummochy by James Lundin, using coal mined nearby; closed in 1787. (Eunson, 2011, p.4). Mine shaft just west of Periwinkle House at west end of Drum Park, under paved area at NO41290249. (From owner of land, part of Heswall House, N of road, Sept.i9).

 

1746  Strathairly Cottage built for Captain Laing whose wife was daughter of Andrew Lundin of Strathairly.

 

1749  Inn opened at Lower Largo, now the ‘Railway Inn’. (sign on outside wall).

 

1750  Largo House designed by John Adam built for James Durham. (Smith, 2001); Eagle and East gates late 18th C. (Pride, 1990).

 

c.1750  John Wood of Orkie ‘destined that property after his death for erecting a free grammar school in the parish of Drumeldry alias Newburn for poor scholars, boys with surname Wood to have preference (from 1792/3 below)

 

1755  Population of Newburn Parish 438.

 

1759  James Durham began saltworks at Viewforth, E of Lower Largo; drawing reproduced by Eunson & Band 2000, p.62. 

 

1760  Battle of Emsdorf in 7 year war (probably = present Ems close to Koblenz on the Rhein, W Germany) inspired William Erskine, who had a feu of land south of Lundin Mill, to name it, and the village developing on it, Emsdorf to commemorate the successful role of his father (also William Erskine) in the battle (Google, May 19).

 

1766 John (later Sir John) Leslie (1766-1832) born in Upper Largo, became Professor of Mathematics 1805, and of Natural Philosophy 1809 at Edinburgh University. Biography in Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, vol. 23 (date?). (Magnusson, 1990, Lister & Gillies).

 

c.1770  Lower Largo pier built (Lamont-Brown, 2002). Dr  John Goodsir was medical practitioner in Largo, and married a Largo girl Agness Johnstone but moved elsewhere before most of his children were born, three of whom became surgeons, mainly in Anstruther. A grandson Harry Goodsir was surgeon on the Erebus & Terror expedition to Arctic Canada in 1845 where he and the rest of the crew died.

 

1776  Andrew Lundin of Strathairly died and estate purchased by David Briggs (whose wife was a cousin of the Laings)  (East Neuk Pres.Soc. 2012, p.9.)

 

1780  Most recent Largo House built by Robert Adam for James Durham (1732-1808), grandson of Sir Alexander Durham. (Eunson, 2011, p.4).

 

1781  Sir Philp Charles Henderson Calderwood Durham was acting lieutenant on HMS Victory, at Trafalgar in 1805;  made admiral 1815 (Lamont-Brown 2002, p.126).

 

1789  Strathairly House bought by Briggs from Lundins. (Lamont-Brown); John Falconer Briggs born there; long military service (to Colonel) including Peninsular War under Wellington (Lister & Gillies, p.16.)

 

1790  Stake-net fishery for salmon resurrected (Eunson 2000, p.5).

 

1790-99  Turnpike road developed (from Upper Largo to Leven?), with Toll and Toll-house at the site of the later post-office at Lundin Links (lundinlinks.weebly.com)

 

1791  Poem O Largo Bay published in The Bee. (Jardine 1982, p.35).

 

1792/3  Entry for parish of Newburn by Rev. Mr Lawrie, minister, in Statistical Account of Scotland. Parish in Presbytery of St Andrews and Synod of Fife. ‘Mr Craigie of Lawhill (Hall-hill) began enclosing and the farmers seem fully convinced of its advantage; main crops wheat, turnips and potatoes. Annual average (10 years) of births 30, marriages 3, deaths 6, poor 7. Patroness of parish Mrs Halket Craigie of Hall-hill. 7 heritors, only 3 resident in parish.  Entry for Largo included ‘where ten years ago haddock … abounded, now there is not one in the bag – all that remains are a few small cod, ‘podles’ (Saithe) and flounders. (Quoted by Smout & Stewart, 2012, p.42).  Other chapters on ‘Price of labour and provisions; improvements suggested; antiquaries’ etc.

 

1793  Rev.Dr. Lawrie ordained minister of Newburn Church on 26 Sept. (died 1843). (Cunningham 1907).

 

1794  Population of Newburn Parish 456.

 

Late 18th century. Coates House built, upper storey later. (Pride, 1990, p.173, photo).  (Gilston (Gillie’s toun o’ Lundin’) probably crown-held under Malcolm III but ‘fell to the ownership of the Lundins of that Ilk up to the 18th C’. (Lamont-Brown, 2002, p.47.)

 

Early 19th century   Limestone quarry at Dumbarnie closed (3rd statistical account).

 

1800  Pier built at Largo. (Eunson 2011, p.5).

 

1802  First record  of new village of Emsdorf. (Eunson 2011, p.5).

 

1803  Principal heritors listed by Sibbald 1803, appendix III: David Biggs of Strathairly; Charles Demster of Pilmour; Mrs Halket-Craigie of Dumbarnie; Col. Halket-Craigie of Hallhill, younger of Dumbarnie; James Calderwood Durham of Largo; James C.Durham of Barcormo, younger of Largo; Col. Thomas C. Durham of Pitcruivie; Capt. Philip C .Durham of Lundin Mill; Col.John Anstruther-Thomson of Coats.

 

1803  House of the ancient barons of Lundin then ‘a seat of William Erskine, Baronet of Torry’. (Source?)

 

1804  Balchrystie Estate bought by Mr Buchan, from Alexander Chrystie, and gave congregation of the chapel there notice to quit – they moved to Earlsferry. (Chapel congregation as then constituted had been begun by James Smith, minister of Newburn, and Robert Ferrier, minister of Largo).

 

1815  Newburn Church built, during ministry of Rev. Dr Lawrie.

 

1819  Hoard of silver found at Norries Law (NO 410074) in the extreme north of Largo Parish; only a few items now in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh (Eunson & Band 2000).

 

1822  Paddle steamers between Largo and Newhaven.

 

1827  Map of Ainslie & Bell reproduced in Reid & Zuill, 1996.   (Date of publication 1827) Map of ‘East Part of Fife’ from survey of John Ainsley and John Bell, with corrections, c.1/2 inch to mile. Published by John Thomson, Edinburgh. Shows parish boundaries and names of most farms. GBC.

 

1829 St Andrews Road (from Upper Largo) created. (Eunson 2011, p.54.)

 

1830  Wood’s Hospital rebuilt. (Lamont-Brown, 1988.)

 

C.1830  Strathairly House refronted (built mid/late 18th C.). (Pride, 1990, photo).

 

1832  John Leslie (see 1761) created a knight of the Guelphic Order but died Nov. same year at Coates House, Newburn (Lister & Gillies).

 

1832  Peter Ross, illegitimate son of Helen Ross, the ‘Rich Beggar of Crail’ bought the ‘Largo Inn’ (Hendrie, 1998, p.231).

 

1836  2nd Statistical Account of Newburn Parish written by Rev. Laurie. Main landowners Charles Halket Craigie Esq. of Dumbarnie, resident at Hall Hill; John Anstruther Thomson, Esq. of Charleton; James Wyld Esq. of Gilston (Lathallan); General Duncan of Largo; Matthew Wilkie of East Newburn the heir of the late Sir John Leslie of Coates; and James Buchan Esq. of Balchrystie. Population in 1806 412, in 1811 428, in 1821 398, in 1831 415. Only 1 alehouse in parish.

 

1838  Steam ferry twice daily Lower Largo to Newhaven, connecting with coaches to Dundee ferry and horse drawn omnibuses to Anstruther.

 

1840  Chapter on ‘Parish of Largo’ in Leighton, J. History of the County of Fife : pp.129. Population in 1755 was 139, in 1791, 1913; in 1803, 1973; 590 families; 48 male coal workers, 14 in quarries. Lower Largo 567, Upper Largo 413, Lundin Mill 453, Backmuir of Gilston and Woodside 316. Post office at Upper Largo. Except in winter, a daily coach between Lower Largo and Cupar.  [Next page not seen]   Flax spinning mill opened at Lower Largo (east of burn just north of viaduct, employed 55 men and women); closed in 1864. (Jardine 1982).

 

1840  Largo Curling Club founded.

 

1841  2nd Statistical Account of Scotland, entry for parish of Largo by Rev. R Brown; mentions subscription library with 500 volumes. Population of Lundin Mill 453 (Fife volume in LL Lib.)

 

1841  Largo Curling Club admitted to Royal Caledonian Curling Club. (Jardine 1982, p. 59, includes undated photo).

 

1845  Map of proposed ‘East Fife Railway – Thornton to Anstruther’, eng. John Miller, 5 sheets scale 4”/mile, in Scot. Record Office. (Moir, 1983, p 103).

 

c.1846  Rev. Alexander Urquhart became minister of Newburn church (Cunningham, 1907).

 

1848  2 gold torques found at the Temple, dated 300 bc to 80 ad (Eunson & Band 2000, p.11.) Just north of railway, east of east branch of Serpentine path (OS 6” map c.1960).

 

c.1850  Crusoe Hotel built, once a granary. (Lamont-Brown 2002, p.118).

 

1852  Lundin estate purchased by Standard Life Assurance Co.

 

1855 36 herring boats based at Lower Largo, crewed by 80 men and boys. (Smith 2001)

 

1853-87  Midwife Mrs M Bethune kept records of all births she attended in parish of Largo: births 2034, still births 29, mother died 1. (Jardine 1982 p.14 with photo of Mrs Bethune)

 

1856  Map of Largo Saltworks at Viewforth including that done for E Fife railway survey. (In Eunson & Band, 2000: p.64).

 

                                                

1856-8  Cemetery discovered at Massney Braes/Drummochy, confirmed as Pictish following further excavations in 1933 and 1965. (Eunson & Band, 2000, p.10; Greig et al. 2002)

 

1857  Railway line from Leven to Kilconquhar opened 8 July by East Fife Railway Company, with stations at Lundin Links and Largo.

Largo then had a ‘net-making factory, a spinning mill and a fishing harbour at the mouth of the Keil Burn’  (From the North British Railway Study Group Journal, issue 50, c.1992)

                                                                   

1858  Lundin Mill primary school built in Crescent Road, cost £700, ½ from government, ¼ each from Mrs Durham and Standard Life Assurance Co, the owner of the land; there until 1973/4. (Howie 1988, pp 53-55).

 

1860  Chapter on ‘Largo, with Lundin Links and Newburn’ in Farnie, H. The Fife coast from Queensferry to Fife Ness, Cupar.  Keil Burn crossed below viaduct by a foot suspension bridge. Lundin Links described as a ‘benty common’. [Plus history of Largo House and Estate etc.]

                   

1861  List of boat owners and skippers, Largo. (Jardine, 1982, p.33).

 Lundin Links

 

1861 Minister of Free church in Largo was Robert Lundin Brown.

 

1863  Largo Field Naturalists’ Society instituted. Copies of rules in LL lib and GBC.

 

1864  Flax spinning mill at Lower Largo closed. (Jardine 1982, p.13).

 

1865  Scale model of original Selkirk family house made by David Gillies before it was demolished. (Jardine, 1982 p.56, photo).

 

1866  Plan of Largo Estate (lithograph 1:7900). Listed in Scottish Record Office 1988 Descriptive List of Plans vol. 4.

 

1867  Mechanised Cardy fishing net factory opened by David Gilles (employed c.50 women. (Jardine, p.30).

 

1868  Lower Largo school, at NE corner of net factory, closed.   Memorial tablet to Alexander Selkirk erected on Juan Fernandez Island, Chile. (Jardine, pp. 30 photo of school when ruinous, 58).   Lundin Links golf course created by extending the 9-hole course between Scoonie and the Mile Dyke east to the dunes of Lundin. (Lamont & Brown, 2002, p.136; Moran nd p.23).

 

1869  Lundin Links golf club founded. (Jardine, 1982, p.39).

 

1860s  ‘In the outer firth round fish were more plentiful than higher up, and more varieties of flatfish, especially plaice, flounders, sole and sometimes turbot wherever there were sandy or shingly bottoms, as … off Largo’. (Mitchell, 1864, quoted by Smout & Stewart, 2012, p,97.

 

1870  Dr George Lumgair and wife photographed outside their house in S Feus, Upper Largo. (Jardine, 1982, p.14).

 

1871 (March)  Thomas Graham Wishart born; his father John Wishart bought an acre at E end of Upper Largo to make a market garden [when?]. Tom started business of manufacturing cycles etc. Howie et al., 1988, p.56).

 

1871/2  Largo St David’s church built (stone on S wall).

 

1872  Education (Scotland) Act made the state directly responsible for educating children. Village school board charged with administration and setting the fee, usually 2d per week (fee abolished in 1890)  Trade card of Cardy works (drawing). (Jardine 1982, p.25).

 

1876  Three schools mentioned as recipients of money from James Kettle: Lundin Mill, Kirkton and Durham (Lister & Gillies, p.13).

 

1876  Engraving of fishwife by William Ballingall of Largo (Jardine 1982, p.33).  Lundin mansion demolished, leaving tower (Lamont-Brown, 2002, p.136).

 

1877  Mr Charles Howie purchased old parish school [Upper Largo?] for the purpose of a district museum, in connection with the Largo Field Naturalists Society (from minutes of the society 4 June 1879).

 

1877  Alan Gilmour, from Renfrewshire, moved to Fife and bought Lundin estate; history of family. Howie et al., 1988, p.57.

 

c.1880  ‘It is 42 years since a badger was killed in the district around Largo’ , ( informant Charles Howie).

             A weekly corn market held on Thursdays at Upper Largo (Farnie, 1880.

 

1881  Copy of minutes of Lower Largo Feuars meeting on 22 Oct., chair John Gillies; 34 fishing boats and 60 fishermen in Largo  (Jardine 1982, p. 37, 90).

1884  Photo of Cardy net works from Cardy House;  (Jardine 1982, p.29).

 

1885  Photo of workers at Cardy net factory,   Unveiling of statue of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ on 7 Dec.; (Jardine 1982, p. 23, 59-66).

 

1886  Herbert Henry Asquith became MP for East Fife, including Largo, until 1918 (prime minister1906-16).

 

1886  Largo fishing boat ‘Brothers’ lost at sea east of Is of May, skipper Samuel Gillies and 6 others died (Jardine 1982, p.69).

 

1887  A bonfire of top of Largo Law on  Queen Victoria’s jubilee. (Snoddy, 1950, p.52.)

 

1889     A  ‘cinerary urn’ containing calcined  human bones ‘having been lately discovered in a cyst during a cutting of a trench into Reres Law’ was donated to the Largo Field Naturalists Society by ‘Messrs Adamson & Howie’. Probably from the tumulus on the Newburn/Kilconquhar parish boundary at NO453049. [GBC has a hand-written copy of a page of donations to the Society.]

 

1890  Photos of Lower Largo from roof of Cardy House; of 6 salmon fishers with boat;  of Largo silver and brass band;  of Largo church from south; of James Roger of Branxton Farm and 5 East Fife workers;  of Largo House; and of 18 people outside Free Kirk, Upper Largo.  (Jardine, 1982, pp 31, 32, 44, 54, 104).

 

1890-1910  1500 glass negatives of photos by Lady Henrietta Gilmour of Montrave deposited in St Andrews University 1978. (Jardine 1982. P. 50).

 

Late 19th C. Gilston House built and stable buildings of 1875 converted for domestic use. (Pride, 1990, p.171 photo). Footbridge built by John Gilmour as shortcut from Victoria Road to Lundin Links beach. (McNeill, 2012).

 

1891  Lundin Ladies Golf Club founded (moved to present site in 1908/10). Simpson Institute built, funded from will of Mrs Janet Simpson in memory of her father George Simpson of Upper Largo (Howie et al., 1988).

 

1896  Lundin Links Golf Club House opened, 150 members; family photo including Mrs Forgan, Lundin Mill, on her 100th birthday, on return from Duluth, Minnesota, USA. (Jardine 1982, p.177); photos of Lower Largo from beach, and of McKenzie family (x7). (Jardine 1982, pp. 39/40, 94, 177).

 

1896  Post-office opened at corner of Leven and Largo roads,  with telephone exchange in adjacent building in Links Road.

 

1899  OS map of Largo etc. reproduced in Reid & Zuill, 1996.

 

1899/1900  Lundin Links Hotel built, on site of coaching inn. (Smith 2001).

 

1900  Photo of Captain John Gilmour. (Jardine 1982, p.43).

 

1900s  25 photos (plus a few before and after) matched with ones of 1995/6. Reid & Zuill, 1996.

 

1901  At Largo there were still good fishing grounds for plaice (Smout & Stewart, 2012, p.117).

 

1901-10?  Two shoemaking establishments in Newburn Parish closed, presumably at Drumeldry; earlier employed 8-10 men. (3rd Statistical Account, 1952).

 

1905  John Nicoll took over grocers shop at Appleton on Main St, Lower Largo, previously owned by Methven family since  1880 and before that by Robert Horn.

 

1905  Map of Fife (2 miles to inch) showing results of ‘Botanical Survey of Scotland’ by R & W G Smith. Habitats shown by colour. GBC.

 

1907  Roseneath boarding house built, now Peacehaven care home (Eunson, 2011, p.73).

 

1909  Andrew Jeffrey Rintoul, son of Robert Rintoul, owner of Lahill (Cunningham, 1907).

 

1912  Fishing boats at Largo 17 of 1-9 tons, + 1 of ½ ton. (Smout & Stewart, 2012, p.119), from British Fishermen’s Nautical Almanack, St Andrews, 2011.

 

1913  Mill upstream from viaduct labelled as ‘Oilcake Mill’ on OS map, 1:1250, revised 1913 (not shown on 1893 edition).

 

1914  Salmon fishing discontinued (3rd Statistical Account, 1952); present bridge over Keil Burn at Lower largo built (Eunson 2011, p.29).

 

1919  Gas works built. (Smith, 2001).

 

1926  OS map of Largo etc. reproduced in Reid & Zuill, 1996.

 

1920s  Lower Largo as seen by a ‘wee boy’, including names and locations of 10 shops. (MacDonald, 2019.)

 

1931  Bronze age cist found at NE corner of Lundin Links Golf Course (NO 404029) (OS 6” map).

 

1932 A Scops owl ‘now in the Largo Museum’ (where was that?)  (Rintoul 1932 Largo Village Book, p.117).

 

1938  Strathairly Estate, including cottage, sold to Briggs family (East Neuk P. S. 2012, p.19).

 

c.1940  Sea-wall of old wooden railway sleepers W of Lundin Links golf club house probably ‘part of wartime defence work’ (Ritchie, 1979, p.65).

 

1940  The ‘Cadre Brigade’ of the Polish Army arrived in Fife, many billeted in boarding houses and hotels in Lundin Links, Largo  etc.

 

1941 Polish Parachute Training centre began at Largo House. A ‘parachute jumping tower’ constructed at Lundin Links – c.400 trained parachutists by Sept 1941. (Harvey, G. pp.132-140 in King, 2005)

 

1945  Many Polish soldiers chose to remain in Scotland when war ended.

 

1946  Building of council housing in Upper Largo started (planned in 1936)

 

1947  Newburn Men’s Club formed (Howie et al., 1988, p.23).  Hall built at Newburn Church.  (3rd Statistical Acccount, 1952).

 

1948  National Health Service Bill made medical services free to all. Last commercial fishing boat at Largo sold, (Smith, P., 2001: 80).

 

1950  Largo House, then used as a boys prep school, burned down in the summer. (Smith 2001)

 

1951  Population of Newburn Parish 191 (3rd Statistical Account).

 

1951  No electricity nor domestic water supply in Drumeldry (Eunson & Band, 2000).

 

1953  Summer Letter of Largo & Newburn church included 23 entries in trade directory plus addresses of church officers and organisations, and article on Largo Pictish stone.

 

1956  White Pillars built – 8 Hillhead Lane -  by Antoni Giemza, on land bought from Trustees of Edward Gilmour, including remains of Woodwell House on Largo Road.

 

1956  Article on the life of Evelyn Baxter (Upper Largo)  by Tom Weir in the Scottish Field.

 

1958  Parishes of Newburn and Largo united (Lister & Gillies, 1968  - includes list of ministers, with dates).

 

1959  Evelyn Baxter of Upper Largo died 1st October. Obituary in Scottish Birds by JB, probably John Berry.

 

1961  John Gilmour, unionist, elected as mp for E Fife, including Largo.

 

1965  Passenger services terminated on coast railway line from Leven to St Andrews Sept 65 (closed completely July 66). Journey time had been c.1 hour 47 minutes Glasgow to Largo. (N Brit Railway Study Group J. 50 , 1992). Largo station was S of track, with footbridge near E end of viaduct (OS 6” map c. 1965).

 

1965  Remit of East Neuk of Fife Preservation Society extended to include Lundin Links and Largo (Martin 2011, p.6.

 

1965-66  Storm in winter, early 65, exposed Pictish graves at Massney Braes, leading to archaeological studies at Easter 65 and Easter 66. Detailed results published by Greig et al. 2000

 

1968  Professor Kennedy presented a collection of geological specimens to Largo Field Studies Society (minutes of the Society). [Presumably for the Largo Museum.]  Sept.,  3 bronze age cists in field at Strathairly, excavated by members of Largo Field Studies  (Howie, 1988, pp. 10/11).

 

1970  Drawings of a horse-mill at Balmain and steading with castle at Pitcruivie (Bevan, 1970). Iron footbridge across railway at bend of Victoria Rd removed.

 

1974  Primary school moved from Crescent Road to new building at Pitcruivie Park. (Howie, 1988, p. 54).

 

1975  Photo at Largo annual Burns Supper (Jardine 1982 p.127).

 

1976  Photo of visitors from Chile at Tercentenary Exhibition of Alexander Selkirk. (Jardine 1982, p.130).  Largo Area Community Council began (Howie et al., 1988, p.46).

 

1979  E Coates Farm sold to Wardrops by Baron Knut Harald St Clair Bonde (Stockholm) and Baron John Anstruther Carl Knutson Bonde (Charleton).

 

1980  Photos of  some members of Largo Bay Sailing Club and winners of the ‘Semiquaver shield’; Braehead Cottages and Cardy House; and Largo Pottery/ Anne Lightwood.  (Jardine 1982).

 

1982  Restoration of Wood’s Tower, the oldest surviving building on Largo estate, organised by a subcommittee of the E Neuk of Fife Preservation Society, with funding from N E Fife District Council, a descendant of the Wood family, the owner Mr M M Crichton and a public appeal (Martin 2011, pp 9,10).

 

1986. Proposal for Community Council to purchase Serpentine Walk from Mr C.M.M.Crichton (E Fife Mail, 29 Jan.)

 

1987  Fir Park (wood) transferred to ownership of Fife Council from trustees of Sir John Gilmour and Andrew F Gilmour; copy of map and document with GBC.

 

1989  Little Dumbarnie built on land purchased from E Coates Farm.

 

1991  Largo & East Neuk Local Plan/ 1st review. Fife Council. Population change 1979-1989 (p.6).  Proposed new housing at: Emsdorf St, E Harbour Brae, Harbour Wynd, within walled garden at Largo House, Lundin Mill, Woodland Road, Durham Wynd (p.66).

 

1993  Map sent to Scottish Wildlife Trust from Earl of Lindsay showing boundaries of his property at Newburn (and  Kilconquhar); and also that of Edward Baxter from Drumeldrie to West Muircambus. Copy with GBC.

 

1993  May  The NE Fife Community Woodland Plan, published by the Forestry Authority, included a map showing ‘Areas of greatest potential for Community Woodland, including one for Largo area.

 

1995  Penrice Park housing developed, involving destruction of early 19th c bridge over the Keil Burn. (Eunson, 2011, p.4).

 

 1996  Proposal by Coalbed Methane Co to drill for gas at Little Pilrig Farm (E Fife Mail, 28 Aug.)

 

1997  July. A wildlife survey of Largo Law was undertaken by Peter Matthews for Scottish Wildlife Trust.

 

1997  Wood’s Tower and  ‘associated barony’ bought by Judge Ralph Lownie (Martin 2011)

 

1998  Largo pier badly damaged by storms ‘in the closing days of 1998’ (Eunson & Band, 2000, p.197).

 

1998  The Scottish Wildlife Trust bought a small part of Dumbarnie Links, helped by a grant from Fife Council. It had been part of the glebe of Newburn Church. Although only 7 hectares and with limited habitat (no woodland nor permanent fresh water) intensive study had recorded 2064 species by 2017. Articles by Corbet 2000, 2005, 2011.

 

c.2000.  Massive stone (from where?) placed on grass N side of Links Road, with inscription: ‘The site of/ Mrs Nisbet’s garden/ 2000’. [Mrs Nisbet lived across the road, (29A Aberforth or 27?) but developed a small garden around the stone.

 

 2001  Archives of Largo Field Studies Society (1968-2001) went to Fife Council Archive Centre in June, their accession no. 01/16.  2-page copy of the list of files with GBC: Minutes (2 files), Correspondence (4 files), Membership records (3 items) Publications by Society (8 items); Largo Field Naturalists Society (1863-1889, 3 items).

 

2004  Sept. Largo Area Community Council summer 2004 diary, 4-page A4 leaflet, to commemorate the ‘300th anniversary of landing of Alexander Selkirk on Robinson Crusoe Island, Juan Fernandez, Chile’. [It was the fictional Robinson Crusoe who landed on Juan Fernandez; Alexander Selkirk landed on a small island between Venezuela and Trinidad, at the extreme opposite end of South America. (Wilson, 2009).

 

2012  The iconic façade of Lundin Links Hotel listed by Historic Scotland as being of ‘architectural or historic interest’. Plan for redevelopment has been emended to retain the façade. (East Neuk Pres. Soc. report ).

 

2013 Lundin Links Hotel closed.

 

2015. Betty Stott died at Peacehaven age 100; head teacher at Lundin Mill Primary School 1958 – 75.

 

2018  Exhibition of Pictish cemetary at Massney Braes opened at McManus Museum, Dundee until 31.3.19. (Anonymous article in East Fife Mail 17.10.18, p.11.)

                                  

 

 

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