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Coaltown of Balgonie

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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Balgonie, two villages and an estate in Markinch parish, Fife. Balgonie proper or Milton of Balgonie stands on the left bank of the river Leven, 1½ mile ESE of Markinch station; and has a post office under Markinch, and a former chapel of ease, with 650 sittings, erected in 1875 into a quoad sacra church. Flax-mills are adjacent, and form three sides of a rectangle, 160 by 140 feet.-Coalton of Balgonie village stands near the North British railway, 1½ mile S of Markinch, and has two suburbs called West Coalton and Lady's Square. A bleachfield is on the Leven, a little N of Lady's Square, and nearly a mile W of Milton.-In 1823 Balgonie estate, having belonged to the Earls of Leven from the reign of Charles I., was purchased for £104,000 by James Balfour of Whittinghame, whose son, Charles Balfour (1823-72) was owner of 919 acres, valued at £1763 per annum. The ancient mansion on it, Balgonie Castle, stands on the banks of the Leven, about 36 feet above the bed of the stream, in the western vicinity of Milton; is an edifice of different ages, large and massive, strong and picturesque; comprises two sides of a quadrangle, with a strong wall on the other two sides, enclosing an oblong area of 108 by 65 feet; and includes a donjon or keep, 45 feet long, 36 wide, and 80 high. Rich coal mines are on the estate, and have been worked for centuries. The title of Baron Balgonie (cre. 1641) is still borne by the Earls of Leven, the first of whom, Alex. Leslie, the celebrated Presbyterian general, died at Balgonie in 1661.

Coaltown, a village, with a public school, in Markinch parish, Fife, 2 miles S of Markinch town.

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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