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Balcomie Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Balcomie, an ancient castle, a farm-house now, in Crail parish, Fife, 1 mile W of Fifeness, and 1¾ NNE of Crail. It belonged in 1375 to a John de Balcomie; passed in the time of James IV. to the Learmonths, in 1705 to Sir William Hope, and afterwards to successively Scott of Scotstarvet and the Earl of Kellie. In June 1538 it entertained Mary of Guise on her landing at Fifeness to be married to James V. Originally an edifice of great size and splendour, it was reduced by the Earl of Kellie to only one wing, but it still is of considerable size, and serves as a landmark to mariners. A small cave near is falsely alleged to have been the scene of the beheading of Constantin, King of the Picts (863-77), by Northmen; and a group of islets, ¾ mile NW of Fifeness, is called Balcomie Brigs. See part ii. of Thos Rodger's Kingdom of Fife (Edinb., n. d.).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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