Royal Burgh of Burntisland


“Portus Gratiae”

“God gave the hills for protection”

Burntisland town and harbour belonged from ancient times to Dunfermline Abbey.It was created a Royal Burgh by King James V in 1541.

The ship refers to the town’s long history as a seaport and its connection in more modern times with shipbuilding.

Two mottoes were allowed : “Portus Gratiae” ( or “Portus Salutis”) was the name given to the place by the Romans because of its safe harbour; the other motto (also in Latin) ” god gave the hills for protection” was suggested by Mr A Wishart, W.S. of Edinburgh, who was a native of Burntisland parish and an authority on its history.The hills referred to in the motto are Dunearn and The Binn, which guard the town to the north.

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