Crail (Cathair Aile) is a former royal burgh in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Crail probably dates from at least as far back as the Pictish period, as the place-name includes the Pictish/Brythonic element caer, ‘fort’, and there is a Dark Age cross-slab preserved in the parish kirk, itself dedicated to the early holy man St. Maelrubha. Crail East Neuk Burgh and became a Royal Burgh in the 12th century. Robert the Bruce granted permission to hold markets on a Sunday, in the Marketgait, where the Mercat Cross now stands in Crail. The decision caused such outrage in religious circles that John Knox delivered a sermon at Crail Parish Church in the Marketgait damning the fishermen of the East Neuk for working on a Sunday. Despite the protests, the markets were a huge success and were amongst the largest in Europe.
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