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Charlestown

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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Charlestown, a seaport village in Dunfermline parish, Fife, on the Firth of Forth, at the terminus of the Charlestown railway, ¼ mile W by N of Limekilns, 4 miles SSW of Dunfermline, and 14 WNW of Leith by water. Founded in 1778 by the Earl of Elgin, whose seat of Broomhall stands ¾ mile to the E, it was designed, and has well served the design, to be the commercial outlet for lime, limestone, ironstone, and coal from the Elgin estate. It has such close connection with Limekilns, and with the extensive lime-works there, as to be practically one with them; and it was early connected, by a private railway, 5 miles long, with the Earl of Elgin's collieries. It is a regularly aligned and well-built place, with a square enclosing a bleaching-green, and with rows of cottages some distance apart. and each provided with a good-sized garden; at it are a post office under Dunfermline, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, a steam saw-mill, an iron foundry, and a tolerable harbour. The railway from it curves northward to the north-western vicinity of Dunfermline, there joining both the Stirling and Dunfermline railway, and with the West of Fife Mineral railway; it was purchased in 1859 by the North British Company; and in 1861, as held by them, was amalgamated with the West of Fife Mineral railway. Improvements on the harbour were made concurrently with improvements on the railway. The quantity of coal shipped was 258,011 tons in 1869,192,532 in 1879, and 199,869 in 1880, in which last year there entered 1075 ships of 130,398 tons. A public school, with accommodation for 215 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 117, and a grant of £106,14s. 6d. Pop. (1841) 772, (1861) 701, (1871) 749, (1881) 588.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857.

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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