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Published: Thursday 28 Nov 2002 by Fife Council



''''METHIL - a small sea-port village. It is an ancient and decayed place. It was elected into a free burgh of barony in 1662. It has a better harbour on the Forth than any in the neighbourhood. Population 530. Many of its houses are in ruins, and its trade nearly gone. It seems to be the shrivelled-up skeleton of a once important place.''''

From Descriptive and Historical Gazetteer of Fife. M. Barbierie. 1857.


Methil, a seaport village in Wemyss parish, Fife, on the Firth of Forth..... It is the terminus of the Buckhaven branch of the Edinburgh and Dundee section of the North British Railway. Constituted a burgh of barony in 1662 by the Bishop of St. Andrews, it has long possessed commercial importance in consequence of its harbour being one of the best on the S coast of Fife. It was created a port in 1892, and there is a joint Local Authority for Methil, Buckhaven and Innerleven. The E port was greatly injured by a storm in 1803, with the effect of choking the entrance to the harbour, but was restored in 1838 at a cost of more than £6100. A new wet dock, principally for facilitating the shipping of coals, was constructed in 1875. This was sold by the proprietor, (R. Erskine Wemyss of Wemyss, who was also its builder) to the North British Railway Company. It is fitted with hydraulic hoists and cranes, and is lighted with electricity. The formation of a new dock by the railway company was begun in 1894. It is to have an area of 6 and a quarter acres, and is estimated to cost £200,000..... A new school - the first public school in the village - has been erected at a cost of £2,700.

From Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland; a survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical,  and Historical. New Edition. Francis H. Groome.

Archived Feature originally published 28 Nov 2002 - 28 Nov 2003

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