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Fife Ness

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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Fife Ness, a low headland in Crail parish, Fife, 2 miles NE of Crail town, 5 N by W of the Isle of May, and 16 NNE of North Berwick. It flanks the northern side of the entrance of the Firth of Forth, is the most easterly point in Fife, and terminates the tract popularly called the East Neuk of Fife. It has traces of a defensive wall running across it, and said to have been constructed by the Danes in 874 to cover an invasive debarkation; and it is subtended for a considerable distance seaward by a dangerous reef, noticed in our article on CARR.—Ord. Sur., sh. 51, 1857.

Carr, a reef in Crail parish, Fife, on the N side of the entrance of the Firth of Forth, 1 mile NNE of Fife Ness. Long a scene of frequent shipwrecks, it was eventually surmounted, at its extreme point, by a beacon of solid masonry, crowned with a pillar-supported ball 25 feet above sea-level; whilst in 1844 it was further pointed out to mariners by the erection of a second lighthouse on the Isle of May, with a light directed towards it. Yet, before the close of that year, it was the scene of the wreck of the 'Windsor Castle' passenger steamship; and the stranding of seven vessels on it during 1870-81 impresses the urgency of either a light or a fog signal.

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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