Markinch Parish Church
©2024 Gazetteer for Scotland

Markinch Parish Church

A small town in central Fife 2 miles (3 km) east of Glenrothes and 6 miles (9 km) north of Kirkcaldy.

Markinch is said to have been capital of Fife when it was one of the seven provinces of Pictland and in mediaeval times it was the burgh of barony of Dalgynch. Terraces on Markinch Hill are thought to be either mediaeval or Roman in origin and on the northern outskirts of the town beside the East Lodge of Balbirnie House stands the ancient Celtic Stob Cross which may have marked the limits of sanctuary of Markinch Church.

The parish church stands on the site of a preaching station said to have been established towards the end of the 6th Century by St. Drostan, a nephew of St. Columba. It overlooks the centre of Markinch which was designated a conservation area in 1973. There is a Tudor Italianate railway station dating from the opening of the first railway through Fife in 1847 and a town house built in 1899.

The town has football, bowling, tennis and curling clubs and two recreation parks, one of which is dedicated to Provost John Dixon who presented it to the burgh in 1919.

The population of Markinch reached a peak of 6,800 in 1901 as a result of the development of papermaking, textile, coal mining, distilling and building industries. John Haig & Company had a sizeable whisky bottling plant here, which employed 600 people until it closed in 1983. This lay next to their brick-build Coronation Bond (1937), a notable landmark which was B-listed in 1996. Robert Tullis (1774 - 1831) bought the Auchmuty Paper Mill in 1809. Papermaking continued as an important local employer until 2015, when Rothes and Auchmuty Mills closed. Employment now involves a wide range of industries mainly located on the industrial estates of neighbouring Glenrothes.

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