Burntisland

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Burntisland is a Town in the Fife area of Scotland 22 miles north of Edinburgh, via the Firth of Forth Road Bridge.

The Town is popular for its Beach with a Leisure Centre, vast Links Park that holds Highland Games in late July and a Summer Fairground, Museum in the Library, House Mary Somerville lived in, and Old Parish Church.

Burntisland Map 28 Large Images
Hotels B&Bs Self Catering
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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

Camping & Touring Parks in the area.

The image top is of the Burntisland War Memorial at the north end of the High Street.

The second image is of the Fountain at the north end of the High Street, at the entrance to Links Park.

The third is looking down the High Street with the Town Hall in the middle. The earliest parts of the Town Hall were built in 1598. That building was rebuilt in 1843, with little left of the original.

Next to the Town Hall is the Library and Museum, with the Free Museum giving information on the Towns history.

At the south end of the High Street is the Harbour, with Rossend Castle sitting High above.

Rossend Castle was built from 1119 as the Tower of Kingorne Wester. The building was later named Burntisland Castle, then in 1382, named Abbot's Hall, after becoming home of the Abbot of Dunfermline. The Castle has changed ownership many times over the years and been extended. It is now used as offices for a local Architect business.

Mary Somerville House is situated between the High Street and Old Parish Church, a short walk up Kirkgate, on Somerville Square. Mary lived here form a child to young woman. She went on to become a famous Astronomer. You cannot enter the house, just read the Plaque above the door.

The Old Parish Church is situated a short walk up Kirkgate from the High Street. This Church was built in 1592, one of the first Protestant churches built in Scotland after the Reformation that made Catholic worship illegal. The King James Bible was first discussed at this church.

The Beacon Leisure Centre is a short walk south of the High Street by the Beach and vast Links Park. The Beacon has a Pool with Wave Machine and Flumes, Fitness Centre, Astro Park, and a Skate Park. The Beacon opened in 1997, on the site of an open air bathing pool that closed in 1979.

The vast Links Park is next to the Beacon with the Erskine Church overlooking the park. This church was built in 1903 as a Free Church to replace a 1700s Church of the same name.

Links Park was granted by Royal Charter in 1541 to the Burgh of Burntisland by King James V of Scotland.

Burntisland Highland Games are held at the Park on the third Monday in July. Beginning in 1652, they are the second oldest Highland Games in Scotland, and one of the largest.

A large Fairground is set up at the Links between May and August every year.

Burntisland Golf Club, also known as Dodhead Golf Course, is situated under 1 mile northwest of the Town centre. The Club was founded in 1897.

The large Pettycur Bay holiday park is situated about 2 miles north of Burntisland with a Restaurant and Leisure Centre with sea views. The holiday park also has an area for Tourers and Tents.

Burntisland History

1100s - the earliest record of Burntisland is of Monks of Dunfermline Abbey, 11 miles west, owning the harbour and land around where Burntisland is today.

1541 - the land here was granted Royal Burgh status by King James V, after he acquired the land from Dunfermline Abbey.

The Town grew around the Harbour, becoming one of the largest and busiest in the area, used for ferries across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, and for the Herring and Coal industries.

1592 - Burntisland Parish Church, known as St Columba's, was completed, one of the first Protestant Churches built after the Reformation that ended Catholic worship in Scotland. This is the Church used to discuss a new translation of the Bible, that became known as the King James Bible.

1633 - one of the early wooden sail Ferries crossing the Firth of Forth sank during a storm, with the loss of 30 people. This Ferry, named the Blessing of Burntisland, is said to have been carrying Royal Treasure of King Charles I. Divers continue to this day to try and recover the Treasure, estimated to be worth £500 Million.

1651 - as the English Civil War spread into Scotland, forces of Oliver Cromwell gained control of Burntisland and Rossend Castle, enlarging the Harbour for their needs.

1715 - the Jacobite's occupied the Town for two months, as they unsuccessfully tried to have the Stuart's returned to the throne.

1800s mid - the first of over 50 Modern Coal Mines opened in the Fife area, producing vast amounts of coal and providing many thousands of jobs.

1844 - a new Pier was completed at Burntisland for a ferry link with Granton Harbour at Edinburgh.

1847 - the Railway Station was opened at Burntisland.

1850 - the world's first roll-on/roll-off Rail Ferries began operating between Burntisland and Granton, allowing Trains to be transported across the Firth of Forth.

1878 - Burntisland Oil Works opened to mine and process Shale Rock in the area, at one time employing over 1,000 men. This early way to produce fuel from Shale was to mine the rock, then crush it to extract Oil.

1890 - the Forth Rail Bridge opened 8 miles west of Burntisland, leading to the end of the Rail Ferries.

1894 - the Burntisland Oil Works closed.

1918 - the Burntisland Shipbuilding Company began operating with it producing ships for the two World Wars.

1964 - the Forth Road Bridge opened next to the Rail Bridge, ending the car/passenger Ferries across the Firth of Forth.

1969 - the Burntisland Shipbuilding Company closed with it at one time employing over 1,000 workers.

2002 - the Longannet Coal Mine closed after flooding, the last Fife Coal Mine to close, although Open Cast Mining still goes on.

2000s - Fracking for Shale Gas becomes big business around the World, with Fife claimed to be an ideal site for Fracking, with £Billions of Gas waiting to be recovered from its large Shale deposits. This new way of producing fuel from Shale involves pumping liquid down into the Shale Rock to force the Gas to the surface. Concerns about water contamination and tremors from the Fracking, have led to campaigns to stop Fracking in Fife. Some of the liquid that cums back up during Fracking, contains some really harmful Chemicals.

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