Description of Cairneyhill in 1883

Dear blog reader

I spotted this series in a local newspaper on the geography and local history of Fife in 1883 and I thought the section that covered Cairneyhill, from Pitfirrane House to Gillanderson Toll-House was very informative.

I hope you also find it interesting.






Further west is Pitfirrane House the residence of Mr Laurence Dalgleish JP; and in a little we enter Cairneyhill village.

The school and the Church are situated at the east end of the long straggling village, and as you pass through the one long street of which it is composed you see scores of houses uninhabited and many of them roofless. The village is in the parish of Carnock, and the village of Carnock itself is situated two miles north of Cairneyhill.

In Cairneyhill  scores of handloom weavers wrought years ago, and the Dunfermline manufacturers had no better men in their employ. Now not a single loom is standing, and the noise of busy weaving lays is never heard in the place. Most of the people find work in Carnock or Oakley and not a few of them are engaged in gardening, farming etc.

At the west end of the village we reach ‘Conscience Brig’, and at it there flows past a stream where plenty of trout can be got. Further on appears the old toll house known as Gillanderson. Here in other days thirsty travellers and carter’s could obtain from the obliging toll-keeper a glass of Glenlivet, and in the house itself –

‘Oft has the merry joke gone round,

Oft, oft, the auld Scotch sang;

And mony hearts were gladdened when

The ingle neuk was tyrant.’

Ah! Forbes MacKenzie, thou hast indeed much to answer for! Like thyself ‘the former things have passed away’.

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