History of Ceres
Buildings and History
the village and Parish of Ceres possess interesting remains of
past history. Among them are the ruins of its Castles - Craighall,
Struthers and Scotstarvit. The first of these was well situated
on the North side of a lovely Den which was, at one time, planted
with a variety of trees and was about 1 mile from Ceres village.
writers suggest that the Syras family lived nearer Ceres than
Craighall. Foundation for this suggestion exists in the fact that
a part of Ceres is called "the castle". No ruins in
or near this area have been traced and it would seem that the
Scotts of Balwearie into which family Margaret de Syras, the heiress
of the Syras (Ceres) lands married, and whose family succeeded
to her estate, resided in the original Craighall Castle.
is highly probable that in the Scotts' time, this Castle was the
residence of the Baron Baillie, or head of the village. From the
South-east corner of the High Street with its Baron's Courthouse,
a direct road called "the Gollop" led up to the Castle.
From this road, the Tower House, called "Chemises" was
reached and further up the hill is the croft called "Dove's
Loan", where the pigeon or "doo-cots" existed.
From these facts, it would appear-"the gollop", then
up the steep ascent by Dykeneuk was the main, as well as the nearest
road to the Castle in early days. It was from a subsidiary road,
leading to Teasses Corn Mill, that Sir Thomas Hope made a delightful
avenue up through the Den when he bought Craighall. Most of the
Den and the site of Craighall Castle was gifted to Cupar District
Council some years ago by Colonel Hope of Luffness, a descendant
of Sir Thomas, and it has been made into an interesting Nature
Trail. Sir Thomas also made a service or "kitchen" road
to the Castle in order to avoid the steep incline of the old Dyke-neuk
road and this was known as the "High Road" and is the
present road up to Craighall Farm.
Thomas Hope was a well-known and important figure of his day.
He was made King's Advocate in 1617 and appointed Lord High Commissioner
to the General Assembly in 1644. About 1637, he built himself
a castle at Craighall on the site of an earlier one and in 1697,
the great colonnaded front was added, the architect being the
well-known Sir William Bruce. By 1793 this great house was in
ruins and what remained had to be totally demolished in 1957 as
it had become unsafe. All that now remains near the site is the
Limekiln built in 1814 with stones from the nearby ruined castle,
but this business venture was only to last about 20 years.
2 miles South--west of Ceres on the Craigrothie - Kennoway road
and near the former main road from Edinburgh/St. Andrews was Struthers
Castle. The portion of this road from nearby Struthers Castle
to Ceres was known as the "waterless way" but is now
known as the Denhead and Woodburne Road.
Castle is probably the oldest historical building outside Ceres
village. Part of the existing ruin has been assigned to the end
of the 14th century and there are traces of alterations made to
the building during the 17th century. The castle was abandoned
by its owners at the beginning of the last century. Neglect and
lack of repairs, aided by the weather, soon reduced the building
to a ruinous condition and today, some parts of the walls are
all that remain.
1124, during the reign of David I, Struthers is said to have belonged
to Radolphus de Ochter--Struther. It later became the property
of the Keiths, Grand Marischals of Scotland, and before the Battle
of Bannockburn in 1314 Sir William Keith is reputed to have instructed
the men of the district in the use of the Bow on the "Bow
Butts" at Ceres.
1382, Sir William Lindsay of the Byres, son--in--law of Sir William
Keith, became the proprietor of Struthers and this ownership was
retained by the Lindsay and Crawford family until fairly recently.
the 15th century, Struthers and other lands were united into the
barony with the astounding title of "OUTHIROTHISTRODYR",
which one historian says gave the title of Lord Struthers to the
first Earl of Lindsay in 1633.
David Lindsay of the Mount, the celebrated poet and author of
"The Three Estates", was a distant relative of Lindsay
of the Byres and spent much time at Struthers, round about 1550
and wrote some of his poems whilst there. Charles I was entertained
at Struthers by Lord Lindsay in February 1651 following on his
Coronation at Scone. Lord Lindsay, who held the office of Lord
High Treasurer of Scotland, suffered for his hospitality and in
1653 guests of an unwelcome nature arrived. A detachment of horse
and foot soldiers of Oliver Cromwell's army occupied the castle
for 3 months.
landmark is situated almost half a mile North--west of Chance
Inn village and although it was at one time associated with Struthers
it is quite different in appearance. A typical Tower House, it
has been well and carefully repaired. The building is L-shaped
and rises to a considerable height with only a few small windows
let into the walls. There is an uncovered rampart around the top
of the tower at one corner. On a clear day it is well worth climbing
to the top of the tower as there is a magnificent view to be had
of the surrounding countryside. A steep stone stairway connects
4 rooms, one on each floor with vaulted roofs. A fine stone fire--place
in one tower-room bore the date 1627 and the initials J.S. and
A.D. but this was removed from the tower In 1906 and incorporated
in the rebuilding of the nearby house " Hill of Tarvit, "
which was formerly known as " Wemysshall". These initials
are also found above the door leading on to the parapet, therefore,
the tower was probably rebuilt or added to in that year. there
having been a building on this site from the 14th century.
1627 Sir John Scott bought the Scotstarvit Estate. He was born
in 1585 and had a distinguished career in both the literary and
political field. lie married 3 times and had 19 children. He was
chiefly responsible for getting Timothy Pont's Maps of Scotland
published by "Blaeu" in 1654. These Maps formed the
fifth volume of Blaeu's Great Atlas of Europe and was the first
Atlas of Scotland. Sir John also founded a Chair of Humanity at
St. Andrews University. One Lady Scott was a sister of the poet
-William Drummond of Hawthornden, who frequently stayed at Scotstarvit.
A direct descendant of Sir John Scott, the Duchess of Portland,
sold the estate to Oliver Gourlay of Craigrothie about the end
of the 18th century and he in turn sold it shortly afterwards
to Colonel Wemyss of Wemysshall.
Hill of Tarvit
many years of ownership, the Wemyss family sold Wemysshall and
also Scotstarvit to Mr. F.B. Sharp of Dundee in 1903 but retained
the family burial ground near the old Doocot. Mr. Sharp called
in the very well-known architect Sir Robert Lorimer to alter and
enlarge the old house and lay out the surrounding gardens. The
result was to make it a most beautiful country house set in equally
beautiful gardens. On the death of Miss Sharp, the estate, which
had been re-named Hill of Tarvit, was left to the National Trust
for Scotland. The house is now open to the public at stated times
and the gardens can be visited at any time. A walk leads up to
the monument on top of the hill behind the house which commemorates
a convivial evening spent by Colonel Wemyss and the Provost of
estate of Teasses lies within a few miles of Craighall and was
at one time connected with the barony. A charter of 1510 describes
the lands as "Hall or Hill Tacis". In 1542, the owner
was the Master of Rothes, but because of his part in the assassination
of Cardinal Beaton in St. Andrews Castle, the property was forfeited
to the Crown. In the 17th century, Teasses was part of the Craighall
estate but early in the 18th century it was sold as a separate
property. The present mansion house was build in 1879.
Provost and the Kirklands
two--storey house now named "Kirklands" serves as a
reminder of the nearby property which once contained the old Presbytery
and buildings connected with the church. In Roman Catholic times
these included a brewery which was worked by the monks and which
survived for quite a long time after the last monk had disappeared.
the years went by, changes took place and in 1788 the house now
known as "Mansefield" was built and became a fine dwelling-house
and garden with stables and outhouses for the minister. Kirklands
- the old manse with a beautiful garden and orchard, surrounded
by a high wall, was situated where the engineering works and a
row of council houses now stands.
1837, the Rev. Joseph Crichton, one of several men of character,
who were ministers in Ceres, (in his case for almost 60 years),
bought the old Kirklands. In the garden he and his wife, having
purchased the well-known figure of " The Provost, "
carved by John Howie of Saughtree. had it erected where it remained
for many a year. The quaint, sturdy figure was supposed to represent
the last occupant of the Ceres Provostry, the Rev. Thomas Buchannan
who became the Provost in 1578 and was a relative of the more
famous George Buchanan.
Howies of Saughtree lived within a stone's throw of the Kirklands
and on the gable of one of the Saughtree cottages can be seen
the delightful left-handed piper and another carved stone-head,
while across the road is a panel let into the wall which is said
to commemorate 3 village girls lost in a great flood.
" Provost " was nearly lost to Ceres as he was sold
to a Cupar lady in 1933 when the ground was being redeveloped,
but so great was the indignation of the villagers that "he"
was retrieved and set up in a prominent place at the head of the
village with a carved panel also by "Howie", showing
a scene from the Battle of Bannockburn.
The Barony Court House (The Jougs)
High Street is the oldest part of the village and has 3 outlets.
The first led via the Gollop to both the Castle of Craighall and
also to the East, where in olden days a road went by the White
Den and possibly on to St. Andrews. The second crosses the Auld
Brig and proceeds to the West and South. The third goes to Cupar.
In the centre of the West side of the Street stands the ancient
Baron's Court House, complete with prison-cell, which was instituted
under the feudal system, introduced into England by the Normans
and later into Scotland. As Baron with authority over the Ceres
district, the landlord of Craighall sat on fixed days in this
Court House for the administration of justice. "The Jougs"
still hang on the outside wall of the Court House. This relic
of former punishment shows the iron band which was padlocked round
the neck of the offender, while the bracelets chained him to the
1748 the Crown undertook the administration of justice and Ceres
came under the jurisdiction of the County Court at Cupar. The
old village Court House was closed and the cavalcade no longer
clattered down from Craighall by way of the gollop. At a later
date the Court House became the Weigh House for the expanding
village trade. The stone tablet over the doorway showing scales
and the motto "GOD BLESS THE JUST" may have been added
at this time, but both scales and motto would fit the administration
of justice equally as well as the weighing of commodities.
remains of the old houses in the High Street, but there are still
some "marriage stones" to be seen, built into the walls
with initials and dates of 1707, 1722 and 1758.
the Weigh House and two adjoining cottages, the Central and North
Fife Preservation Society have organised the interesting and attractive
Fife Folk Museum, where many of the exhibits have been either
made in Fife or used in Fife homes, from the cottage to the Castle,
and may be seen along with a comprehensive display of craftsmen's
tools and agricultural implements. There is also a charming costume
display as well as a children's section.
The Auld Brig
alongside the Bow Butts and the village green is the Ceres Burn,
and spanning it is the attractive 17th century bridge, also known
as the "Bishop's Bridge". Archbishop Sharp was one of
the most hated men in the country. From being Presbyterian minister
of Crail he had become Episcopalian Archbishop of St. Andrews
and renowned for his severity towards the Covenanters. In may
1679, the Archbishop, accompanied by his daughter, in his grand
coach with coachman, postillions and 4 serving men, came from
Kennoway where he had slept the night on his journey from Edinburgh
to St. Andrews. By the old waterless way he would come down the
hill to Ceres and over the bridge to a building at the corner
of the High Street where he smoked a pipe with the curate and
then onwards towards Magus Moor, where, within sight of St. Andrews,
he was brutally done to death by a group of Covenanters who had
spent the previous night in a barn at Baldinnie. These men had
received word that the Sheriff--Depute, by name Carmichael, and
also hated for his treatment of Covenanters, would be hunting
in the neighbourhood next day, but Carmichael had received a warning
and was safely in his headquarters at Cupar. Just as the party
were preparing to break up and go home, a message reached them
that the Archbishop was nearby. Hardly able to believe their good
fortune, the 12 men galloped after the coach, caught up with it
and committed the murder. After searching the coach they cantered
away but stopped after 3 miles to give thanks to God "for
the awful deed they had been permitted to perpetrate".
St. John's Masonic Lodge
the Auld Brig Is St. John's Masonic Lodge built in 1765. There
has been no Lodge in the village for many years and the building
was in a sad state of disrepair, being in part a dwelling and
in part a hen-house. In 1964 the Central and North Fife Preservation
Society, in conjunction with the National Trust for Scotland,
bought the building and re-conditioned it under the "Little
Houses Scheme". Alongside the house is a long and wide terrace
with some curious vaulted chambers beneath. The main part of Ceres
from Meldrum's Inn to St. John's Lodge is now a conservation area
which also includes Baltilly House and cottages which are on the
outskirts of the village over the burn from Meldrum's Inn.
History of Ceres, Fife, Scotland
early military history of Ceres has been mentioned. The result
of Sir William Keith's instruction in archery bore fruit when
he led the men of Ceres to the Field of Bannockburn. Over and
above the holding of the Games, In commemoration of the aid and
valour by and of the Ceres contingent, a Memorial was unveiled
in 1914 beside the green by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres
in honour of those who struck a decisive blow for the freedom
of Scotland in 1314.
that year, marking the 600th anniversary of Bannockburn, the call
came again to the men of Ceres to fight once more for freedom
in the War of 1914-1918. In the Boer War a hundred and twenty
men from Ceres Parish were among those trained by Colonel Sir
John Gilmour of Montrave and 4 of these were included In the first
draft of the "Fife and Forfar Light Horse" regiment
sent out from Cupar; this regiment being amongst the last of the
mounted volunteers. When War came again in 1914, the men of Ceres
once more responded to the call. The women also gave their services.
The Holiday Home became a Red Cross Hospital staffed by Members
of the Local Voluntary Aid Detachment. A work-party met regularly
and there was a large camp at Rumgally, a mile or two from Ceres.
The Second World War of 1939-1945 saw most of the young men in
the Parish called to serve with the Army, Navy and Air Force,
while many young women joined the Women's Branches of the Services.
During the War, a succession of English, Canadian, Polish and
other troops were billeted in the village halls, in some private
houses and in a camp at Baltilly.
Roll of Honours is a large one for a rural parish. There are 2
Brass Tablets In the Parish Church vestibule, one for each War
and also a Roll of Honour in the Village Hall which was restored
as the Village War Memorial after the First World War.
and Church History
present Parish Church of Ceres is situated on high ground in the
centre of the village and forms a fitting nucleus for the life
of the village. It is also a familiar landmark, visible from afar.
The Church was built in 1806 on the site of a much older one.
It is a plain, but well proportioned stone building with a gallery.
The seating has never been altered and down each side of the centre
aisle, the box-pews with their tables still remain. The dividing
partitions can be removed and this was done In the days gone-by
when Communion was celebrated at the two long tables. In the vestibule,
below the Memorial Brass Tablet, lies the stone figure of a Crusader.
This figure was probably the main part of a monument In the earlier
Church and at the time of the demolition, was left lying In the
churchyard, becoming gradually overgrown and covered up. The Spire
was added to the Church about 1870. According to a plan of Ceres,
dated 1785, the former Church was a cruciform building with its
nave running East and West and with North and South transepts.
The Struthers family of Lindsay-Crawford had a tomb within the
early Church but some time around 1616 no more burials could take
place for lack of space, therefore, when Robert 9th Lord Lindsay
died, his widow is thought to have been responsible for the erection
of the mausoleum in the cemetery, a short distance from the Church.
Lady Lindsay later married the 6th Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock, but
after his death she returned to Fife. She lived mostly with her
daughter, Lady Scott of Ardross, where she died in 1646. While
no record can be found, it is probably true that she was buried
beside her first husband in the mausoleum she had built and often
the building has been referred to as "Lady Boyd's House".
Various members of the Lindsay family have been buried in the
mausoleum, the last being John, 20th Earl of Crawford (1702--1749)
- First Commander of the Black Watch and his young wife, Lady
Jean Murray, who died only 9 months after her marriage.
the churchyard there are a number of interesting old tombs tones.
interesting Church crucifix belonging to the 12th century and
thought to have been used by the Ceres Priest in the Processional
in Roman Catholic times, was found in Ceres churchyard In 1882,
at a depth of 3 feet. A bronze figure of Christ, six and a half
inches in height, with the arms outstretched and on the head a
crown, with only the feet showing below a long, richly ornamental
robe. Both hands and feet are pierced. The drapery is filled in
with blue and green champlene enamel. The eyes of precious stones
have been lost. Experts consider the crucifix to have been made
about 1150, and It is now to be seen at the Scottish National
Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh.
Churches of Ceres
at one time came under the Culdee Bishop of St. Andrews and the
Church would be worked by some of the minor clergy belonging to
the St. Andrews settlement. In 1273 Ceres, along with other Culdee
possessions, was handed over to the Roman Catholic Church. From
1306-1566 it was a Rectory held in conjunction with the Provostry
of St. Mary's, a religious house In St. Andrews. In the 15th century,
the family from Craighall worshipped in a Chapel dedicated to
St. Ninian. Some 200 years ago, there were 3 Churches in Ceres
in addition to the Parish Church. The Seceders built a Meeting
House in 1744 and in 1799 the Relief Church was built just across
the road. It is now the Public Memorial Hall. There was also the
Free Church in the St. Andrews Road. In 1885 the Seceders Church
and the Relief Church united and some years later the Free Church
joined them. They became the United Free Church of Scotland until
1929, when the Union of the Churches took place and the United
Free Churches and the Parish Churches all became Parish Churches.
The original Parish Church was retained, the United Free Church
sold, as was the Parish Church Manse and the Free Church Manse
became the Minister's residence.
Some Ministers of Ceres
first Protestant Minister of Ceres was Patrick Constan or Constance
(1560) who afterwards became Bishop Adamson. He started and maintained
an efficient Grammar School in the village.
Buchanan, a relative of the well--known George Buchanan, was a
Minister of Ceres who became a Moderator of the General Assembly
of the Church of Scotland.
Row is perhaps unique for being 3 times Minister of Ceres. He
was twice deposed for refusing to submit to Episcopacy in the
reign of Charles II but was finally restored in 1689.
Parish Minister was Robert Arnot, during whose ministry the first
known Airman arrived in Fife. During the afternoon of 5th October
1785 the Minister was in his "glebe" when an excited
boy drew his attention to "what he thought to be a hawk soaring
at a very great height". The Minister was convinced it was
no bird and as it began to descend he saw it was a "balloon".
The villagers at first thought their last day had come but when
Vincent Lunardi landed safely in a field between Ceres and Baldinnie,
he was greeted with great acclamation. His flag was carried in
procession before him and the Church bell rang in his honour.
Crichton, the Minister from 1793-1849, more than once came to
loggerheads with his kirk session and with his Heritors. At this
time, there existed in the Parish a small hamlet on the Pitscottie
Road named Sodom and another called Gomorrah on the waterless
road, while on the waterless road there was a cottage called Purgatory.
Joseph Crichton died in 1849 aged 95, the "Father of the
"Church of Scotland".
to a record of 1845, although it is hard to believe, there were
3 contribution schools, 1 secession school as well as 2 schools
for girls and 1 or 2 small private schools in Ceres. There were
also schools at Baldinnie, Craigrothie, Pitscottie and Tarvit
lady had her school near the Weigh House and latterly in the old
Board Room just below the Parish Church. Another was at Croft-Dyke,
where sewing was principally taught. Bridgend School opened in
1855 with a Glasgow lady as chief teacher and some of the villagers
remember hearing that her assistant used to walk over the Muir
from Cupar where she resided, her crinoline swaying and jumping
as she went along.
in those days, was a fine art and classes in this subject were
conducted in a house somewhere in the Castle district of the village.
Sunday Schools and schools at the Mills had libraries attached
to them and it is interesting to note that in 1828 a subscription
and circulating library began with 500 volumes and 100 subscriptions
mentioned in one report.
present Ceres School, built by the Heritors and named Ceres Parochial
Academy, was opened in 1836 and was described at that time as
being a very handsome building far surpassing the cannon structure
of schools. The original school building has now been enlarged
and modernised and has good class--rooms, assembly hall (where
school dinners are also served) as well as staff and rest rooms.
It is now a Primary School and the older children, instead of
remaining in Ceres all their school-days, move on to Bell--Baxter
High School in Cupar. A variety of classes under the Adult Educational
System are held in the evenings in Ceres School and are both popular
records in Ceres Parish date back to 1631, when Sir Thomas Hope
of Craighall entered into a contract with Lord Lindsay, patrons
of the Parish, the Heritors. the Minister and Kirk Session. One
hundred Merks (Scots) were mortified yearly for the benefit of
the School Master in addition to the fees he received. The right
of appointment of the School Master was rested in the Kirk Session
in by-gone days.
and Industries Past and Present
the number and variety of schools in Ceres has decreased in the
last 80 years, the industries show an even greater change. In
the flourishing years of the last century, as may be seen in the
Folk Museum, almost every rural trade seems to have been represented
in the village.
1793 there were 138 looms in the Parish and about 800 weavers
and winders. At this time, almost 200 villagers found work in
the Mills and some 50 in the Lime Works. Later, there is mention
of 500 handlooms in the Parish and 3 mills for spinning yarn.
In 1827 two of the latter were built at Pitscottie and were worked
by a water-wheel, assisted by a steam engine in sunnier. Much
flax was grown in this part of Fife at one tine and during the
First World War an attempt was made to grow it again. In a Parish
Record of 1862 we are told that "the linen manufacture by
hand-- loom weaving has long been carried on here, but is at present
in a rather declining state". There were also several Bleachfields
in Ceres but they, along with the handlooms and spinning mills
are long defunct. Westwood's Parochial Directory for 1862 describes
many of the inhabitants as being employed in agricultural labours
and in the lime quarries and coal--pits. The lime kilns are long
burnt out and the small, more or less, opencast form of mining
also ceased many years ago, although one inhabitant of Ceres remembers
going to a part of Craighall in a pony-cart with his grandfather
to gather coal which existed in parts of the Parish, south of
the water of Ceres. Several Feuars still have a right to take
stones from a quarry at Cairngreen for building purposes, a right
not often exercised in this day and age. At Greenside there was
a windmill which threshed corn, ground meal and sawed wood. A
miller's business was carried on at Ceres Mill and there was the
brewery beside the Parish Church.
hundred years ago, Ceres had 5 boot-makers, 10 dressmakers (one
of whom made straw bonnets), 5 tailors, 8 joiners, 9 grocers,
a saddler, a wheelwright and a cooper.
were 2 Annual Fairs held in March and October, when there were
large numbers of horses and cattle brought to market, also wool
and corn and the 25 Inns in the village no doubt did a roaring
trade as would the boot-makers, dress-makers and other traders.
village post-office, housed in one of the grocer's shops, means
a regular postal service, instead of the villagers having to pay
a messenger to take their letters into Cupar. The local "carriers"
who used to carry goods of all kinds to neighbouring towns no
longer function and in place of the daily coach, which met the
ferry-boat at Largo, there are buses and also a small postal bus-service
to certain villages which have no regular bus-service. "Nannie
Nairn" no longer goes to the coast in her little pony-cart
to fetch fresh fish, including the "caller herrin' frae the
Forth", but various fish vans from the coastal fishing villages
come regularly with their wares.
Highland Games & Recreations
has been made of the Annual Market held in March and October,
but by far the most important events in the Ceres calendar were
the 2 days in June, when on the first day the Market was held,
and on the second day the "Fair" or "Games"
were held. Ever since Bannockburn Games have been held on the
green) except during the War years so far as is known. The King's
Charter granting the villagers the right to hold a Market and
a Fair on June 24th and 25th has long been lost to sight and the
Market no longer takes place. The date is now always fixed for
the last Saturday in June and the old name of "Plack and
Penny Day" has been replaced by "The Ceres Games".
On that day, the "world and his wife and family" stream
into Ceres, coning from far afield to crowd round the green or
throng the bank along the side of the arena. In the centre of
the "ring", dancers compete, sturdy athletes toss the
caber and the sheaf. Round the perimeter go the racing cyclists
and the afternoon culminates in the "Ceres Derby". The
small ring provides an exciting spectacle and on one occasion
one of the entrants and his horse ended in the burn The day started
officially about noon when Ceres Brass Band assembled in the High
Street and led the Free Masons from their Lodge through the village
to the green. Though Band and Free Masons have long passed into
memory, the Games President or a Member of the Committee leads
the Pipe Band through the village to the green.
Halloween there is another regular celebration of an old custom
when the "guisers" go round the village and perform
their "sing or say" in return for some reward. "Guy
Fawkes Night" is always remembered and a huge bonfire is
built in the centre of the Bow Butts. For days beforehand, small
groups of children are seen wheeling barrows laden with paper,
cartons, boxes etc., while the older ones cart along anything
from old tyres to discarded armchairs.
Ceres, there are various activities and organisations connected
with young and old. A Brownie Pack, a Cub Pack, the Monday Club,
as well as a Nursery School and the organisations connected with
the Church are all attended regularly.
are Bowling and Tennis Clubs. The Curling Club was founded in
1857 and has its pond beside the Tennis Court and Bowling Green,
but the outdoor game is not often played nowadays, most of the
curlers going to the indoor rinks at Kirkcaldy and Perth.
Parts of Ceres Parish
lies about one and a half miles from the village of Ceres on the
Anstruther Road and is situated considerably higher than Ceres.
Extensive views can be had from here towards the North and West.
The few houses which make up the hamlet have now no school, post--office
or shop and the Hall has become a barn.
is another collection of houses clustered round busy crossroads
also about one and a half miles from Ceres on the St. Andrews
Road. With 2 garages, a general store-cum-post office, an Inn
and a large agricultural spraying depot, it is much busier than
is a larger and still growing village and stands about 2 miles
west of Ceres on the Kirkcaldy Road. It still has a Primary School,
but the shop has closed down. Quite a number of Council houses
have been built over the years and several old houses and cottages
have been renovated. The village has a very good Hall, recently
modernised mainly by the efforts of the villagers, where religious
services are sometimes held and the S.W.R.I. meets regularly,
as do other local organisations. At the foot of the village is
the old village Inn and a road opposite leads to Craigrothie House,
part of which was built in the 18th century, along with its "Ice-house".
In its old garden is the great Cedar Tree of unknown age, now
a shadow of its former self, owing to storm damage. Robert Gourlay
was born at Craigrothie House in 1778; heir to a large estate,
he was to prove himself ahead of his times in his ideas of farming.
He fell foul of fellow land-owners and public authorities, first
in Fife and later in both England and Canada, and suffered imprisonment
and banishment for his beliefs.
Inn the last collection of houses within the Parish, lies about
a mile west of Craigrothie. Once known as Change Inn because it
was a stage where the coach horses were changed before continuing
their journey to Cupar. Now there is no Inn nor shop and the tiny
village lies peacefully on a side road, but within sight of the
traffic rushing past on the nearby main road.
by site visitors:
I have been reading your history of the village of Ceres.Very
interesting and well done. I was born at St Andrews and brought
up in Ceres. I lived at Woodburne House for all my childhood and
have many happy memories of Ceres. I was christened at Ceres Parish
Church by the Reverend Russell Brown. I attended Ceres Village
School in the early 1950s when Mr Morrison was Headmaster. I left
the village in 1964 and moved to London, then Australia. My father,
Major Athole Laing, had Baltilly Farm for over 30 years.I used
to work on the Farm during the School holidays.He was with the
Fife & Forfar Light Horse during World War 2, and continued afterwards
in the Territorials for a while. He was president of the Ceres
games for many years and a member of the Bowling Club and Curling
Club. We,as a family spent many evenings at Meldrums Hotel when
it was run by the Sieth Family. I remember the shops well. There
was the Butchers run by Davie Simpson and his son Billy, Smiths
the Grocer run by Mr Cameron,the other Grocer run by the Mitchell
Family. The best Fish 'n Chip shop in the region run by Sandy
Bonelli and his mother. I rember "Sweetie Rashioning" and going
to the shop run by the three old Forrester sisters. I returned
to Ceres in September 2001 for two days. But, like all towns and
villages, it has changed. The Statue of the old Provost still
sits proud in it's old spot ( this was painted red white and blue
during the Coronation in 1953!). The old Heritage is being kept
alive by people like yourself and the tireless volunteers of the
Folk Museum. Keep up the good work. Yours aye, David Laing
used to go dancing in Ceres in the late 50s I lived in Cupar and
spent mony a guid time there. The Games dancin and the warm history
on your site really warmed ma 'hairt. I was looking for Ceres
Muir where we always picknicked, when I found your webpage. I
remember Bonelli's weel, especially on a cold night with hot orange.
My name was Buchan family from my grandad who lived in St. Andrews.
My family were fisher folk related to Stevensons and Hutchinsons
St. Andrews all from NE originally I believe.
Yours aye, Margaret in australia
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