About Blairhall

Population: 1,000

Blairhall is a quiet village, nestling south of the A907, several miles west of Dunfermline. It was once a thriving mining community, with the local colliery situated to the south of the village, and Comrie Colliery about two miles to the north.

The Coltness Company acquired the lease of minerals in Blairhall in 1883 and, for the next 25 years, worked the ironstone and upper coal seams. In 1906 work began on sinking two deep shafts - named after the son and daughter of the Earl of Elgin, the Lord Bruce and the Lady Veronica - to work the lower measures. To meet the requirements of the new pit, the company had to transfer men from Lanarkshire but, before then, housing had to be provided for them.

Blairhall village, on the Comrie Castle Estate, which consisted of two rows of houses, was extended and soon had a population of more than 1000. Much of the former estate parkland is still in evidence, while Comrie Castle itself is actually located in Blairhall. Today, the Fife Council Local Office and Community Centre provides residents with access to all local authority services.

Blairhall Secondary School opened in 1924 but, because of a lack of suitably-aged children, became a primary school in 1945. In recent times, pupils were involved in the design of the mosaics round the memorial garden at the top of the village which records over 100 years of mining in the neighbourhood. The village has a general store, newsagent and Post Office, off-licence, general store and public house.

Just over a mile south of the village (on the road to Culross) is the 17th century Blairhall House, birthplace of Sir William Bruce, Surveyor General to King Charles II. Bruce, an architect (born in 1630), who made frequent trips abroad, gave advice to his friends of the Scottish nobility and is credited with extending and rebuilding Holyrood House in Edinburgh.

He also built some of Scotland's finest country houses, including Kinross House and Hopetoun House.

Details taken from "West Fife Villages Guide" produced Links Media for West Fife Villages Community Planning Group.

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