Culross - a beautiful royal burgh
The seaside village of Culross is considered as one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland. It is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries and is often used as a film and television location.
It is believed that Culross was founded by St Serf, and is located in the south west of Fife, overlooking the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland.
Wandering around the steep cobbled streets of this charming village is about as close to stepping back in time to the 16th century as possible.
Culross has many notable buildings and the National Trust for Scotland has been working on their conservation since the 1930s.
The whitewashed, red-tiled buildings are therefore well preserved, such as the Town House, where witches were tried and held while awaiting execution.
Nearby is ochre-coloured Culross Palace with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. It was built by wealthy coal merchant George Bruce in the late 16th century, and is in fact not a palace but a grand and impressive house. It can be visited to get a sense of what it would have been like to live there in its prime, with original painted woodwork and beautifully restored 17th- and 18th-century interiors.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the town was a centre of the coal mining industry. Culross' secondary industry was salt panning. There was a considerable export trade by sea in the produce of these industries and the prevalence of red roof tiles in Culross and other villages in Fife is thought to be a direct result of collier ships returning to Culross with Dutch roof tiles as ballast. The town was also known for its monopoly on the manufacture of 'girdles', i.e. flat iron plates for baking over an open fire.
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