Cupar in old picture postcards volume 2

Cupar in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Margaret W.W. Boyd
:   Fife
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4865-8
:   96
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Margaret W.W. Boyd

European Library - ZaltbommellNetherlands



rSBNlO: 90 288 4865 7 rSBN13: 978 90 288 4865 8

© 1989 European Library - Zaltbomme1/Nether1ands © 2010 Reprint of the original edition of 1989

No part of this baak may be reproduced in any farm, by print, photoprint, microfihn or any other means, without written permission from the publisher.

European Library post office box 49

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Cupar's importance through the centuries has always been its central position in the Kingdom of Fife. Fife was part of Pietland, one of the four divisions of Northern Britain whieh came into being in the fifth century. Cupar lay in South Pietland and the existence of a high eminence within it made it suitable as a military station and probably Cupar's castle developed from a Pictish fort. The castle probably dated from the eleventh century and its owner ruled over a large area and was reponsible to his king for hel ping hirn in time of war.

Cup ar was always important for its law courts. The first Sheriff of Fife, David de Wemyss, was appointed in 1200. The lusticiary of Fife held its courts on the Moat Hill (Mote Hill) whieh was called 'rnons placite' or Statute Hill.

Cupar was a royal burgh from early times. AIthough its only extant charter is 1382, it must have been a royal burgh long before that date. The old minutes of the town Council go back to 1549. The burgh was very prosperous, its burgesses having special rights over a great party of the county of Fife and had overseas privileges as weIl, especially connected with trade with Flanders.

Cupar's position between Falkland and St. An-

drew's made it a half-way resting pl ace for the royal monarchs of Stewart times. A Dominiean Monastery in the town at its eastern end afforded temporary hospitality. Many of the old castles in the surrounding area came into existence on account of the Stewart rulers' love for Falkland. Their important advisers acquired residences suitably adjacent to Falkland, to be near the monarch.

The land round about Cupar was considered to be the best in the country. The Dominiean Monastery had four acres of land called St. Catherine's Haugh, the greater part of which formed St. Catherine Street which was opened up in the nineteenth century.

Cup ar had two schools from an early period, a Grammar School and a Sang School. The latter taught musie primarily but reading, writing and of ten Latin were taught there as weIl. Cupar's Grammar or Burgh School had a fine reputation. Famous men had their early education there, Alexander Berry, the colonist; John Campbell, Lord High Chancellor; Sir Robert Sibbald, historian, and Sir David Wilkie, artist. Sir David Lindsay, poet, reformer, ambassador and king's companion, attended the Burgh School for a few years

befare leaving in 1505 to become a student at St. Andrew's University.

Cupar's church, St. Christopher's, was founded in 1415, to take the place of St. Mary's which had been situated in the north of the town. It survived until 1785 when a new building was erected on the same site. Only the tower of the old building remains. The history of Cupar is very much connected with the history of the country during the long period of religious strife which taak place during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the disruption period of the nineteenth century. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were five places of worship in Cupar and later on in the century others appeared.

The first prison in Cupar was the Tolbooth which disappeared dramatically in 1813 making way for the lovely new street named St. Catherine Street, lts place was taken by a building erected on the north bank of the Eden opposite the foot of St. Catharine Street. lt was replaced in 1843 by a new jail north-east of the Braeside district which lasted in that capacity until 1888. The last public hanging taak pI ace from that building when the Scanlan brothers were taken to the Fluthers to be hanged on

5th July 1852. After 1888 the Braeside building became military barracks.

The nineteenth century was a flourishing period in Cupar. The Burgh School was replaced by a new school erected by the Town Council in 1727 which still stands today. Later improvements and extensions were added and in 1823 the school became known as Madras Academy. In the 1860s an old building which had stood in the middle of the front playground was removed and the children housed in Kirkgate Madras. Later in 1881 an extension was added to that building in the Kirkgate. Other schools or independent establishments existed in addition to the Academy.

Henrietta Keddie conducted a private school for girls at Westfield House for a number of years until 1869. A year later a school was opened almast opposite Westfield House, built by money gifted by Lady Baxter of Kilmaron Castle, wife of Sir David Baxter, Bart., of Kilmaron and Balgarvie. Yet another girls' school, Bonvil School, was opened on the north side of Carslogie Raad which was a boarding establishment. lt was obvious that Cuparians attached much importance to education.

Outing the nineteenth century there were eight incorporated trades in Cupar. There were four masonic lodges and the Lomond grand encampment of Knights Tempiars No. 30. Cupar's first bank, a branch of the Bank of Scotland, was opened in 1787 and in 1792 a branch of the British Linen Bank was established. The Cupar Bank was begun in 1802 and the Fife Bank in 1803. In 1812 the Commercial Bank of Scotland was established but by 1840 the only two banking establishments in the town were the British Linen Company and the Commercial Bank. A Savings Bank was established in the 1830s.

Linen weaving and the spinning of yam were the principal manufactures. The milling of corn, flour and barley was carried on. There was a snuff mill in Lebanon, two tanworks and glue was manufactured. There were three breweries. A briek and tile work at Cupar Muir, and a rope work in the Crossgate existed. In Cupar Parish six quarries were in operation, four of which were of excellent sandstone. In the 1870s a pipe and clay factory started. By 1862 there were forty-six grocers' shops, two carriage works, several joiners' shops, three tinsmiths, a cooperage and an aerated water

factory. There were twelve smithies and a foundry . In 1830 gaslight was supplied to the town. New buildings had appeared. The Knox Cottages were built in the South Road, the Corn Exchange in 1861, the Duncan Institute 1870 and the Sunday School Hall in the Kirk Wynd.

For a town of its size Cupar had an amazing social life. It had alending library. The Guild hall, opened in 1845, offered theatrical entertainment on occasion. There was a golf course at Tailabout, curling on Tarvit Pond, skating on the Carthaugh from 1852 and the Cricket Club acquired its own playing site in Bonvil Park in 1884. There were two bowling greens and excellent fishing on the River Eden. Cupar had had its bad patches toa. It was visited by typhus in 1835 and 1847, by cholera in 1832 and 1854 and by smallpox in 1862. The century began with war which did not finish until 1815. In 1854 the Crimean War began and befare the close of the century there was the Boer War which continued into the twentieth century.

1901 saw the death of Queen Victoria followed by the accession of Edward VII in 1902. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee had been celebrated by bringing back the Mercat Cross to the site it stands on today

after an absence of eighty years. The twentieth century saw the opening of the Adamson Hospital in 1904.

In 1910 Mr. John C. Duffus bought Bonvil House and lands and presented them to the Town Council on condition that the park was called Duffus Park. In 1912 the Highland Show was held on the estate of Kinloss owned by Mrs. M. H. Addison-Scott. 1914 saw the start of the First World War which continued until 1918. On 29th April 1922 Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig unveiled the War Memorial. In 1926 Cupar's Beet Factory was opened. In 1932 the trans-Atlantic wireless station was transferred to Cairngreen. In 1929 a new reservoir was built at Garliebank and a laundry at Riggs Place became a valuable additon to Cupar's industrial life. Many changes for the better had taken place when in 1939 Great Britain was forced to deciare war on Germany. Peace did not come until May 1945.

Since the end of the Second World War Cupar has undergone many changes. The whole character of the old burgh has changed. New housing areas have transformed the town. There is a good variety of shops and supermarkets. Sports facilities are excellent. Educational facilities have increased. An in-

fants' school built in 1951 has now the addition of a nursery department. A new addition to Bell Baxter exists in the west of the town as does the fine further education centre, Elmwood College. The Catholie children have their building in the Millgate and there are two special schools, one in the Perth Road and the other at Dalgairn.

The County Buildings are now the headquarters of North East Fife District Council. There have been changes in churches as weIl. The old Baptist Church in Provost Wynd has become the Age Concern Centre and the Baptists now worship in what was Bonnygate Church. St. Michael's Church at the Bonnygate end of North Union Street is now a hall for Bell Baxter School.

The elderly have been well-catered for. The Adamson Hospital has now a fine health centre and geriatrie wing. Cupar has, indeed much to offer its citizens. There is something for everybody. lts main purpose at the moment is to attract tourism and certainly Cupar has much to offer its visitors. As the century progresses change is inevitable but there is no doubt that Cuparians will meet the changes with courage and dauntless faith as a new century approaches.

1. An old picture of Cupar taken from the east of the town. The East Road is visible and further round to the west is the Tontine Hotel and County Buildings. The tall spire of the fifteenth century tower of the Old Parish Church of Cupar can be seen and also the second prison which took the place of the Tolbooth.

2. An old picture taken of the Eden in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Haugh on the right is just rough pasture. Beyond can be seen part of St. Catherine Street and the Royal Hotel with the school visible behind. On the left is the second prison and in the distance the spire of the Old Parish Church.

3. This picture is that of a group of members of the 'Jolly Bachelors' Club' which was in existence in Cup ar in the 1860s.

4. Castlehill School, Cupar, Class Ex-VI, 1899. The headmaster of the school, Mr. Thom, is with the pupils.

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