Parish of Ceres

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: Ceres
1834-45: Ceres

Ceres, a small town and a parish of E central Fife. The town, standing on the left bank of Ceres Burn, 2½ miles SE of Cupar station, was originally called Cyrus or Seres, after St Cyr, its patron saint in pre-Reformation times. It consists of the town proper and the north-western suburb of Bridgend, the former old, the latter modern; and comprises several streets, some good houses, and a neatly-kept green. Over its ancient narrow bridge the men of Ceres marched, according to tradition, to join Robert Bruce's army on the eve of Bannockburn; over it, too, Archbishop Sharp drove, in his lumbering coach, to meet his murderers on Magus Muir. A burgh of barony, under the Hopes of Craighall, Ceres carries on considerable industry in several departments of the brown linen trade, and has a post office under CuparFife, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, gas-works, an infirmary, horticultural, yearly, and total abstinence societies, and fairs on the last Tuesday of March and on 20 Oct. The parish church, rebuilt in 1806 on an eminence in the middle of the town, has a square castellated tower, and contains 1100 sittings; adjoining it is the small tiled mausoleum-a transept of the former old church-in which lie several illustrious members of the Crawford-Lindsay family. There are also a Free church, and 2 U.P. churches, East and St Andrews Road, the latter of which was erected in 1876. Pop. (1841) 1079, (1861) 1068, (1871) 882, (1881) 724. The parish contains also the villages of Craigrothie, Chance Inn, Baldinnie, and Pitscottie, which stand respectively 1½ mile WSW, 2 miles WSW, 2 E, and 1½ mile NE, of Ceres town. Irregular in outline, it is bounded N by Kemback and St Andrews, E by Cameron, SE by Kilconquhar, S by Largo, SW by Kettle, W by Cults, and NW by Cupar. Its greatest length from NE to SW is 6 miles; its breadth varies from ½ mile to 3¾ miles; and its area is 10,075½ acres, of which nearly ½ acre is water. The Eden flows 2 miles along the north-western boundary; and its affluent, Ceres Burn, formed just above the town by Craigrothie, Class How, Craighall, and two lesser burns, flows 2 miles north-eastward into Kemback parish, and there 9 furlongs northward through Dura Den. The surface is pleasantly diversified, here rising to 500, there sinking to 100, feet above sea-level; Walton Hill (622 feet) is the highest point in the parish. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous; and basaltic columns form a range or cliff, extending ½ mile N and S on Newbigging farm. Trap rock has been largely quarried, both for building and for road-metal; sandstone abounds in the N; and limestone and coal are found in the S. The soil, near the town, is a friable earth, incumbent upon gravel; along the Eden is light and sandy; and elsewhere is partly reclaimed moss or moor, but mostly a deep cold earth, incumbent variously on trap, limestone, and tilly clay. About two-fifths of the entire area are in tillage, one-half being in grass, and one-tenth under plantations or waste. Craighall Castle, Struthers House, and Scotstarvet Tower are the chief antiquities, and will be separately noticed. Natives or residents were Rt. Lindsay of Pitscottie, a 16th century historian, and Sir John Scott of Scotstarvet (1585-1670), author of The Staggering State of Scots Statesmen; among the ministers were Thomas Buchanan, cousin of the more famous George, and Thos. Halyburton (1674-1712), divinity professor at St Andrews. Teases House and Edenwood are good modern mansions, the former commanding a brilliant view of the Firth of Forth; and 8 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 18 of between £100 and £500,12 of from £50 to £100, and 19 of from £20 to £50. Ceres is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife; the living is worth £372. Three public schools-Bridgend Infant, Ceres, and Craigrothie-with respective accommodation for 72,220, and 108 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 50,170, and 57, and grants of £36,4s., £167,11s., and £46,8s. Valuation (1881) £17,541,8s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 2352, (1841) 2944, (1861) 2723, (1871) 2381, (1881) 2063.—Ord. Sur., shs. 40,41,1867-57.

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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