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Parish of Scoonie

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.

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1791-99: Scoonie
1834-45: Scoonie

Scoonie, a parish on the S coast of Fife, containing the post-town and station of Leven. It is bounded N by Kettle and Ceres, E by Largo, SE by the Firth of Forth, S by Markinch (detached) and Wemyss, and W by Markinch and Kennoway. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 4 5/8 miles; its breadth varies between 5 furlongs and 2¾ miles; and its area is 4286 ¼ acres, of which 184¾ are foreshore and 10½ water. The shore, 1 3/8 mile in extent, is flat and sandy, and beyond the town is skirted by Scoonie Links. The river Leven flows 1¾ mile east-by-southward along all the southern boundary to Largo Bay; a burn, coming in from Kennoway, runs eastward and south-by-eastward through the interior to the bay; and a copious spring, called the Boiling Well, rises in a sandy flat a little way from the beach. The surface rises gradually northward to 200 feet near Springfield, 380 near Toddy Bridge, and 600 near Kilmux Wood in the extreme N; and the higher grounds command an extensive and brilliant view of the Firth of Forth and the Lothians. Beds of coal of various thickness lie beneath all the surface, and were formerly worked; and a bed of ochre, 4 feet thick, on the estates of Durie and Aithernie, has furnished considerable quantities of ochre for exportation. The soil is variable; but nearly nine-tenths of the entire area are in village, whilst over 260 acres are under wood. A tumulus on the Aithernie estate in 1821 was found to contain about twenty stone coffins. The chapman-scholar, Jerome Stone (1727-57), was the son of a Scoonie mariner. Mansions, noticed separately, are Durie, Kilmux, and Montrave; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 11 of between £100 and £500. Scoonie is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and the synod of Fife; the living is worth £426. The old parish church, in the centre of the burying-ground, ¼ mile distant from Leven, is now reduced to a fragment, which serves as the family vault of the Durie property. The present churches have been described under Leven; but we may add that an organ was placed in the parish church in August 1884. Two public schools, Leven and Smithy Green, with respective accommodation for 916 and 65 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 510 and 29, and grants of £460, 5s. and £29, 2s. Valuation (1856) £11,824, 7s., (1885) £19,044, 0s. 11d. Pop. (1801) 1681, (1831) 2566, (1861) 3257, (1871) 3178, (1881) 3730.—Ord. Sur., sh.

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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