The west foreshore, Pittenweem
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

The west foreshore, Pittenweem

A fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife, situated on the Firth of Forth between St Monance and Anstruther.

Designated a burgh of regality in 1452 and a royal burgh in 1541, Pittenweem developed a prosperous trade with the Low Countries in mediaeval times. Its harbour, which succeeded the earlier 'Boat Haven', was first built in stone c.1600 and many of its houses have been restored by the National Trust for Scotland under its Little Houses Improvement Scheme.

Interesting buildings include the parish church, which largely dates from the 16th Century; Kellie Lodging, the restored 16th century town house of the earls of Kellie; and the ruins of Pittenweem Priory, a foundation of the Augustinian canons who came from the Isle of May in the 13th century. In the cliff face beneath the priory is St Fillan's Cave which was the alleged retreat of St Fillan in the 7th century.

A railway station opened here in 1863 on the Fife Coast Railway, but this closed in 1965. Pittenweem, which still has a thriving fish market, has also produced handmade oatcakes since 1887. The village has bowling and tennis facilities, together with an annual festival in August.

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