See our Daunders Walks

2 October 2018 - Markinch Circular

On this beautiful sunny autumn day Liz led members and visitors on The Braes Loan Historical Trail at Markinch and followed a well-produced pamphlet collated by Markinch Heritage Group. Midway, a diversion to go up Cuinin Hill was made. The views were extensive and greatly admired from the Lomond hills to the left then passing over hills and valleys until Largo Law, Bass Rock and Berwick Law were seen to the right. A descent led to the village of Star and a route which reconnected with the original trail.

The whole trail was well documented and gave an interesting insight into the history of the area and how important Markinch was in the past. The church, built c1050 AD, and its manse gave shelter to the pilgrims passing en route to St Andrews.

The Bow Butts was where it was compulsory for all boys over 12 years old to train as archers for the Scottish Army and further along was the site of the gas works where local coal from Balbirnie Estate was used while it was in operation1842-1950's.

Passing under the railway bridge Moot Hill was reached believed to be the Ancient Heart of Fife and from the top of which the Earl or his representatives would hold court, It was Fife's place of Legal Assembly. The trail continued along tracks probably used by pilgrims and cattle.Braes Loan viewpoint offered another panoramic view over the Forth Estuary while in the foreground The Myres was seen. This was an important area providing reeds for thatching, peat for fuel and grazing for cattle.

A descent was made to alongside Brunton Estate where a mill once stood with a farm and bleaching fields adjacent. The ruins of the home farm and walled garden for Brunton House were visible while the house itself was demolished c 1973. The opening of the railway in 1847 was a big event. To ensure it passed through Markinch the Balfours of Balbirnie made financial contributions as well as partly mortgaging Balbirnie Estate for security towards the section with the 10 arched viaduct.

Many more facts and figures were provided throughout the pamphlet which  made the walk very interesting. As is custom on a Daunderers walk a lunch venue is found. The Carlton Bakers provided us with a warm friendly welcome and satisfying meal which was enjoyed by all.


The next Daunderers Walk is on Tuesday 6 November 2018. See link for further information.