name, the field of the pigs, indicates that the community started
as an agricultural one. The original field for the pigs was probably
cleared from the forest which covered most of Fife, and Scotland,
in medieval times. On the higher ground above the marshes of the
Howe of Fife the land was fertile.
When the Scottish Monarchs began to stay at Falkland during the
15th century the village of Auchtermuchty started to grow, providing
provisions for the Royal Court and accommodations for those who
could not find it, or afford it, in Falkland. Thus though agriculture
remained the mainstay of the village, by the beginning of the
16th century Auchtermuchty was turning into a commercial center.
The Royal Charter of 1517 allowed the Burgh to hold weekly markets
on a Wednesday, and a public fair starting on St. Serf's day,
lasting for eight days. The Burgh itself was allowed to buy and
sell wine, candlewax, woollen cloth, linen cloth and other merchandise.
Auchtermuchty became a trading center situated ideally on the
Stirling - Kinross - St. Andrews road and the Falkland across
to Newburgh road.There was produce and grain from the farms and
fish from the River Tay and Loch Rossie, which was not drained
until 1805. Auchtermuchty at an early stage became a center for
weaving linen which was processed in a bleachfield just north
of the Burgh.
In 1728 the present Town House with its characteristic steeple
was built. The weekly markets were held at the Mercat Cross outside.
The Town Officer resplendent in gold braided black cap, directed
traders to their stalls with his sword. Burgh officials tested
the grain and measures.
By 1755 the population of the parish had risen to 1,308 people,
of whom about 1,000 lived in the village. In the next 75 years
the population tripled.There were now 700 households in
the well cultivated parish. The increase was partly due to to
a fall in child mortality, but mainly due to the great increase
in the very skilled business of handloom weaving. There were nine
farmers employing 85 laborers and thirty eight small holders,
employing no laborers. Manufacturing workers had reached 402,
and the number of persons employed in the retail trade had jumped
to 246. Prosperity had also brought many professional and
other " educated " men to the Burgh. There were about 1,030 handlooms
in the parish in 1839, of which 800 were in the Burgh. A good
weaver could make 35 pounds per year in wages. During the next
50 years the weaving became mechanized and Auchtermuchty's heyday
is now a quiet village with a vibrant annual Music Festival, an
interesting Town Square and other picturesque burgh features.
The village is the location for a UK TV Series called "Dr Finlay's
"Muchty" ,as it is known locally, is certainly worth a visit,
and is an excellent place as a base location or for a visit.
Royal Burgh of Auchtermuchty.
Church of Auchtermuchty and Dunshalt.
Russell offers a comprehensive range of pH electrodes and
Kilnheugh Auchtermuchty Fife Scotland.
is ideally located for easy trips to the St Andrews, Dunfermline,
Culross, Perth, Edinburgh, Falkland Palace, and all of historic
Fife and Perthshire. If you would like to visit this area as part
of a highly personalized small group tour of my native Scotland
please e-mail me: