Tourist Information in Kingdom of Fife
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Burntisland Town Information




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This Royal Burgh owes its existence to a natural harbour probably used originally in prehistoric times. It is claimed that the invading Romans, under Agricola, landed here and established it as a naval base around AD85. In the 12th century the Castle of Rossend was built as the residence of the Abbots of Dunfermline. (It has now been modernised and is used as offices.)

King James V granted the town a charter in 1541 since when it developed and thrived as a trading port and naval base. In 1563, Mary Queen of Scots stayed here and in 1651, Oliver Cromwell's English army arrived and troops were garrisoned in the town.

St. Columba's Church, built in 1594, is the oldest post-Reformation Kirk still in regular use and both historically and architecturally is something all visitors should see.

It was in Burntisland in 1850 that the world's first rail ferry, Leviathan, commenced operation linking to Granton on the other side of the Forth, transporting railway wagons of coal, limestone, whisky and grain as well as thousands of passengers. It was, of course, made obsolete by the building of the Forth Railway Bridge.

Although the town's Aluminium industry still survives, the fishing, shipbuilding and coal exporting have all gone leaving Burntisland to its residents and holidaymakers.

In the local library, which was gifted in 1906 by Andrew Carnegie, there is a small display of the town's history.

In many parts of Fife there are hills which are the remnants of volcanic plugs and one such hill, just inland from the town, is "The Binn". Walk to the top you will have excellent views over to Edinburgh and up to the Bridges.

Rossend Castle, Burntisland - Photo © Kevin Rae
Rossend Castle, Burntisland -
Photo: Kevin Rae CCL



View towards the Binn, Burntisland - Photo © Kevin Rae
View towards the Binn, Burntisland -
Photo: Kevin Rae CCL