Well every time I go into Kirkcaldy by bus, at this time of year, I see wonderful skeleton trees with the coast line as a backdrop and the ruins of what looks like a tower behind the most beautifully kept cemetery ….so today I got off the bus with my camera.
I peered through the thicket that surrounded a ploughed area of land that bordered the trees and then found an opening, which allowed some closer access. I really must return during the following seasons, to capture them as they burst into leaf and then shed their copper treasures in autumn.
I did not take photos of the cemetery as there were no ties to my family and I feel those that lie at peace there, are owed their privacy but I really should learn not read the inscriptions …especially those that are children and I actually shed a tear as I read one that said that their angel had been born a sleep but would never be forgotten.
I crossed the grass, not yet filled with others loved ones, and reached the ruins which lay behind a huge hedge.
The tower …I found on my return home, with the aid of the net …is where it is thought that a castle may have been built by the MacDuff Thanes (or Earls) of Fife in the 11th century, at the time of Macbeth. The Wemyss family built the present castle in the 14th century. Edward I of England paid a visit here in 1304, staying with MacDuff's descendant, Michael Wemyss. However, Wemyss later joined forces with Robert the Bruce and Edward ordered the castle to be destroyed. After the Wemyss family moved to nearby Wemyss Castle, it passed to the Livingstone family and then in 1530 it was taken over by the Colvilles’ who built a second tower in the south-west corner and an enclosed courtyard. It is that second tower which still survives.
But now it houses an ever expanding family …of pigeons
Its present ruinous state is not just due to the fact that it has been unoccupied for several hundreds of years. The sandstone used in its construction has not weathered well and resulted in a pitted exterior ... but the stone work made me feel quite arty as its texture excited me.
For those who like ghost stories a “Grey Lady”, said to be a Mary Sibbald who was found guilty of theft and died in the castle, supposedly haunts the castle tower, which is now owned by Historic Scotland.
A final look towards the coast, before I returned home for lunch, showed that the midday winter sun had turned the water below silver and I so wished I had taken sun glasses ...even though it was February.
Take Care xx