Parish of Kettle

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: Kings Kettle
1834-45: Kings Kettle

Kettle, a village and a parish of central Fife. The village, standing 130 feet above sea-level, near the right bank of the Eden, has a station (Kingskettle) on the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee section of the North British railway, ¾ mile S by E of Ladybank Junction, 6 ¼ miles SW of Cupar, and 27 ½ N by E of Edinburgh. So low is its site, and so closely skirted by the Eden, as almost to be reached by freshets of that river. Originally called Catul or Katel ('battle') - a name supposed to refer to some ancient unrecorded battle fought in its neighbourhood-it stands on ground which of old belonged to the Crown, and hence assumed its alternative name of King's Kettle or Kingskettle. It is chiefly inhabited by handloom weavers and by artisans; and has a post office under Ladybank, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, an hotel, gasworks, and horticultural and five other societies. The parish church is a handsome Gothic edifice of 1831, with a pinnacled tower, and nearly 1200 sittings. An harmonium was given to it on 4 Jan. 1882, when a new session-hall and class-room were also opened. A Free church was built at Balmalcolm, ¾ mile E by N, shortly after the Disruption. There is also a neat U.P. church (1853; 600 sittings). Pop. (1831) 527, (1861) 567, (1871) 643, (1881) 598.

The parish, containing also the villages of Holekettle, Balmalcolm, Coalton of Burnturk, and Muirhead, was anciently called Lathrisk, and down to about 1636 had its church (St Ethernascus') on the lands of Lathrisk. It is bounded N by Collessie, NE by Cults, E by Ceres, SE by Scoonie, S by Kennoway, SW by Markinch, and W by Falkland. Its length, from E to W, varies between 4 7/8 and 6 ½ miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 2 7/8 miles; and its area is 7612 ¼ acres. The Eden flows 2 1/8 miles east-south-eastward along the Collessie border, then 1 3/8 mile east-north-eastward through the north-eastern interior. The northern district thus is part of the low flat valley of Stratheden, nowhere sinking below 110, or attaining 150, feet above sea-level; but south-eastward the surface rises to 449 feet near Parkwell and 814 on Clatto Hill. The rocks include some trap, but are chiefly carboniferous; sandstone, limestone, coal, and a fine kind of trap have been worked; and ironstone also is found. The soil of the valley is argillaceous alluvium, light friable mould, or moss-covered sand; on the higher grounds and the hills, is partly strong and clayey, partly light and friable, and partly of other and inferior qualities. More than half of the land is in a state of excellent cultivation, and much of the high grounds consists of capital pasture. The antiquities include remains of circumvallations on Bauden and Downfield Hills; the barrows of Pundler's Knowe, Lowrie's Knowe, Lackerstone, and five other places; a cavern at Clatto, formerly communicating with a tower, and notable in old times for the Seatons' deeds of rapine and bloodshed; and the sites of two pre-Reformation chapels at Clatto and Chapel-Kater. Mansions, noticed separately, are Lathrisk and Ramornie; and 8 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 8 of between £100 and £500, 7 of from £50 to £100, and 17 of from £20 to £50. Giving off since 1882 a portion to the quoad sacra parish of Ladybank, Kettle is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife; the living is worth £427. A public school, built in 1876 at a cost of £3500, with accommodation for 400 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 221, and a grant of £193, 7s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £12, 375, (1883) £13, 636, 6s. 9d. Pop. (1801) 1889, (1831) 2071, (1861) 2474, (1871) 2323. (1881) 2054.—Ord. Sur., sh. 40, 1867.

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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