New School for Cairneyhill




Fife is to have another new school. The Education Authority yesterday decided to proceed with the erection of a school between Crossford and Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline, for the accommodation of pupils from these two villages. The new school will comprise five classrooms.

The position at Crombie was also considered, but it was agreed to take no action until the Admiralty decide whether Crombie is to suffer through the reduction of armaments.


Dear blog reader

The school described above was in use until 1980/1981. As a family we moved to Cairneyhill in July 1977 and so I actually attended the school mentioned above for 3 years.

Here are two photos of the old school, with the second being people leaving the school on the last day (source of photos: ‘Cairneyhill Residents Are Proactive Facebook group):

Cairneyhill Old School
Cairneyhill Old School

Cairneyhill teacher interferes with father’s effects



At the Dunfermline Sheriff Small-Debt Court on Tuesday – Sheriff Gillespie presiding- an action was heard at the instance of Colin Mathewson, clothier, against Andrew Roberts, teacher, Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline, on the ground of, as alleged, intermeddling with the goods of his deceased father, John Stanley, 14 Stanley Street, Glasgow, and concluding for the sum of £4 11s 1d as per pass book.

Mr Gorrie, solicitor, appeared for the defender, and pleaded that the son had not been guilty of intermeddling with his father’s effects. The case went to proof, from which it appeared that prior to September last the defender resided with his father in Glasgow, but kept separate apartments. It was also shown that prior to his father’s death he sent to the defender, who had then removed to Cairneyhill, certain articles of furniture, some of which were defender’s own property, and others were given as a present to defender.

The defender had possession of no articles whatever belonging to his father except what he had received voluntarily from him prior to his death.

In these circumstances, the Sheriff held that the pursuer had failed to prove that the defender was an unlawful intermeddler, and gave decree of absolvitor, with 5s of expenses.

Cairneyhill Scholarships



The United Presbyterian Church lately provided a fund of £400 to institute a few scholarships for the most deserving of the students in Divinity attending their hall, and issued subjects for study, on which competitors were to be examined.

The competition took place a short time since, and we are happy to say that two of the highest scholarships were carried off by young students in our own western district. Mr John More, Cairneyhill Manse, obtained one of £25, and Mr George Morris, teacher, Cairneyhill, got one of £20. The lowest were £10 each.

Several ministers were appointed as examiners, and they carefully prepared themselves for their duties. The examination was conducted with great rigour and impartiality, and in such a manner that nothing like cramming could have been of any advantage. The advantages of such scholarships on the rising race of students will soon become apparent, and the body will shortly possess a host of highly educated and clever men.

An unusual medical matter

Dear blog reader

I was most intrigued when I found the below report. It’s curious that a medical matter in Cairneyhill attracted such attention but it’s perhaps a shame that the young woman isn’t named.




The following case deserves to be recorded:- A young woman belonging to Cairneyhill, got a large thorn into her foot about ten months ago. During all that time she had several surgeons attending her, but without success.

Happily Mr Scott, surgeon, Culross was called in, and succeeded in extracting the thorn, which was very large, and has been shewn by the girl to more than a hundred persons. She is now quite well.

From the size of piece of wood extracted, the length of time it remained in the foot, and the long but in effectual efforts made to promote a cure, the case has excited considerable interest in the village where the young woman dwells.

Cairneyhill Valuation Roll 1895

Dear blog reader

Welcome to the fifth part in a series, a list of the people, with occupation where known, who were connected with Cairneyhill in 1895.

In 1895, there were 106 people listed with 9 occupations comprising 5 weavers, 1 Church minister, 1 blacksmith and 2 joiners.

This compares with 98 people listed in 1885 with 17 occupations comprising 10 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 joiners and one farmer, with 75 people listed in 1875 with 22 occupations comprising 14 weavers, 2 Church ministers, 2 wrights, 3 farmers and one joiner, with 65 people listed in 1865 with 27 occupations comprising 22 weavers, one blacksmith, one joiner, 2 wrights and one Church minister and with 66 people listed in 1855 with 4 occupations comprising 3 weavers and one blacksmith.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Cairneyhill will find this list useful.


Mrs Matilda Addie [Adie]
Miss Isabella G Addison
James Arnott
Alexander Bald
James Bald, weaver
William Bald
William Beveridge
Thomas Blair
David Deas Blair
Alexander Bowie
Miss Ann Bruce
Mrs Janet Buchan or Devon
Mrs Agnes Bute or Calderhead
Robert Calderhead
John Calderhead
George Chalmers
Mrs Chalmers
James Chalmers
Henry Cook
Miss Christina Crombie
Matthew Cullen
William Deas
Mrs Christina Deas
Mrs Eliza Dobbie, weaver
Thomas Downie
George Drysdale
John Drysdale
Campbell Drysdale
Reverend Peter C Duncanson, minister
Alexander Duncanson
John Duncanson
James Duncanson
William Erskine
John Erskine
Alexander Erskine
Ralph Erskine
Agnes Erskine, weaver
Robert Finlayson
Alexander Flint
William Fotheringham
Mrs Mary H Fotheringham
Mrs Christian Fotheringham or Walker
David Gilmour
James Hall
Mrs J Hardie, widow
David Herd
Isabella Hodge
Miss Jane Hodge
Thomas Hodge
Angus Hodge
Peter Hogg
John Howieson
James Hunter, smith
John Jones
Thomas Landale
James Lawson
Robert Lindsay
Alexander Lindsay
William MacCulloch
James MacDonald
James MacIntosh
Michael MacKenna
Daniel MacMillan
James MacNab
Andrew MacNair
Michael MacNeil
Mrs Jane Marshall or Kennedy
James Morris
Mrs Marion Morris
Miss Jessie Morris
Donald Murray
James Niven
William Paterson
George Paterson, weaver
Mrs Isabella Philp
John Philp
John Pryde
Mary Ramsay
Mrs Betsy Rattray or Black
Mrs Agnes Reid or Downie
John Rennie
Charles Robertson
David S Robertson
Janet Robertson
John Robertson, weaver
John Robertson, joiner
Charles Robertson, joiner
James Robertson
Miss Elizabeth Robertson
Mrs Isabella Robertson or Finlayson
Alexander Struth
Thomas Templeman
John Templeman
Robert Templeman
William Templeman
Mrs Janet Thomson
Miss Isabella Thomson
George Tod
Edward Turnbull
David Wilson
Thomas Wilson
John Wright
Alexander Wright
Alexander Young
William Young

Examination of a school in 1838



On Friday last, the school in Cairneyhill taught by Mr W S Reid was examined by the Rev Messrs Gilston and More.

The progress of the pupils in the various branches of a useful education was very satisfactory; the readiness of their answers, and their correct explanation of the meaning of what they read, shewed at once the success of the intellectual system of education. and the pains bestowed by the teacher on his youthful charge.

We are glad to know that Mr Reid’s value as a teacher is fully appreciated by the inhabitants, among whom he is deservedly a favourite. Next to the blessing of having a faithful and devoted minister ranks that of having a laborious and energetic teacher, and with these Cairneyhill is well supplied. After the examination the youths were formed in procession, and marched with music and flying colours, under the guidance of the school committee, to Pitfirrane House, where they were graciously received by Sir Peter Halkett and family.

The youngsters having been all served with a refreshment, Sir Peter drunk their health in a goblet of wine, and hoped they would live to do honour to their countryside. This was responded to with three cheers, when the whole marched back to the village. The committee and their friends sat down to an excellent dinner in the school, and spent the evening very happily together.

Cairneyhill Temperance Society



The annual soiree of the Cairneyhill Temperance Society took place on the evening of Friday last, and seldom has a more harmonious meeting assembled.

At seven o’clock the chair was taken by Mr Noble, teacher in Cairneyhill, who, in a neat and appropriate speech, advocated the cause of temperance, and whose conduct in the chair called forth a very hearty vote of thanks at the conclusion. Messrs Paterson, Blair and Kirk severally addressed the meeting on the importance and value of acting on temperance principles, and their language, though in plain garb, was to the purpose.

Songs, glees, and recitations varied the entertainment of the evening, and after having spent four very happy hours together, the meeting separated all highly pleased, and acknowledging the truth that ardent spirits are totally unnecessary for the promotion of social happiness.

This soiree was got up and managed by a committee of ladies, to whose exertions and lively manners much of the pleasure of the evening may be attributed.

Table-cover given to Mrs More



Last week a splendid table-cover was presented to Mrs More, Cairneyhill Manse, by the members of the Cairneyhill Horticultural Society in token of gratitude for her many acts of kindness to the society for several years past.

The cover was furnished by Messrs Dewar and Co. It was one of those superior crimson and drab fabrics wrought by Mr John Gilmour, Cairneyhill. ‘J. P. More – 1849’ was woven in it at each end.

It is always pleasant to record the exhibition of grateful feelings. The above presentation , however, is only a faint manifestation of the gratitude generally felt here towards this lady, who peculiarly distinguishes herself not only in the boarding school in her arduous and successful labours as an instructor of young ladies, but by her disinterested benevolence to the poor classes in the district – in feeding the hungry, providing fire and warm and comfortable clothing for aged and destitute women, supplying the sick with medicine and nutriment, and in every good work.

Properties for sale

Dear blog reader

I thought the attached property advert from 1859 gives a very good insight into the wealth and conditions of Cairneyhill weavers at that time.

I hope you also find it interesting.





To be sold by private bargain, the following properties, which belonged to the deceased John Henderson, weaver, Cairneyhill.

1st, that dwelling-house and shop, with stable, lying on the south side of the Turnpike Road, in the village of Cairneyhill, with garden behind, all as lately occupied by the said John Henderson.

2d, these two dwelling-houses, with byre, and garden, and ground behind, lying on the east side of the Turnpike Road leading south from the village of Crossford.

For particulars apply to James McFarlane, Writer, Dunfermline, who is in possession of the title-deeds, and will receive offers.

Dunfermline, August 10, 1859.

Fatality at Conscience Brig




One man was killed and two injured when two cars collided at Conscience Brig, Cairneyhill, near Dunfermline, on Wednesday.

The man who lost his life was Thomas Kelly (36), rigger, 129 Portal Road, Grangemouth. He was a passenger in a car driven by Martin O’Hara (29), 10 Scott Street, Grangemouth.

The car skidded on the icy road. It collided with a car going in the opposite direction and driven by James Dunsire (47), 116 Dick Crescent, Burntisland. O’Hara’s car turned on its side.

O’Hara was taken to hospital but was allowed home later. Dunsire escaped with minor injuries.