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CeresBannockburn Monument

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir William Bruce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Scotstarvit Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Drummond of Hawthornden

 

 

Sir Robert Lorimer

 

Hill of Tarvit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Provost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceres High Street


 

 

 

 

Weigh House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceres Weigh House

 

 

Ceres Auld Brig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bannockburn Monument

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceres Parish Church

 

 

Effigy inside Parish Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ceres Folk Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tossing The Caber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



History of Ceres


Buildings and History

Both 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.

Some 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.

It 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.

Sir 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.

Struthers Castle

Situated 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.

Struthers 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.

In 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.

In 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.

In 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.

Sir 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.

Scotstarvit Tower

This 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.

In 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

After 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 Cupar.

Teasses

The 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.

The Provost and the Kirklands

The 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.

As 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.

In 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.

The 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.

The " 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)

The 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 spot.

After 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.

Little 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.

In 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

Running 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

Overlooking 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.

Military History of Ceres, Fife, Scotland

The 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.

In 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.

The 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.

Churches and Church History

The 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.

In the churchyard there are a number of interesting old tombs tones.

An 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

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

The 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.

Thomas 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.

William 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.

Another 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.

Joseph 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".

Schools and Education

According 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 Mill.

One 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.

Penmanship, 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.

The 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.

The 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 and useful

Educational 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.

Trades and Industries Past and Present

If 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.

In 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.

A 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.

There 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.

The 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.

Ceres Highland Games & Recreations

Mention 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.

At 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.

In 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.

There 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.

Other Parts of Ceres Parish

Baldinnie 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.

Pitscottle 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 Baldinnie.

Craigrothie 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.

Chance 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.

Comments 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

I 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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