Parish of Dunfermline

DUNFERMLINE, a royal burgh, and parish, in the district of Dunfermline, county of Fife; including the villages of Charlestown, Crossford, Halbeath, Limekilns, Mastertown, Patiemuir, North Queensferry, and part of Crossgates; 12 miles (W. by S.) from Kirkcaldy, and 16 (N. W.) from Edinburgh. This place, which is of great antiquity, is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language “the castle on the winding stream,” or “the watch-tower upon the stream,” from the erection of a castle on the summit of a peninsulated eminence in the glen of Pittencrieff, by Malcolm Canmore, about the year 1056. The church, once a portion of the ancient abbey, and but ill adapted to its purpose, was rebuilt in 1821 to the east of the former nave, which is now its western approach. It is an elegant cruciform structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower rising from the centre to the height of 100 feet, and crowned with pinnacles. The church contains 1400 available sittings. A church dedicated to St. Andrew was built in 1833, to replace an old chapel of ease which had become dilapidated; and in 1835 a district of the parish was assigned to it and for a short time formed a quoad sacra parish. It is a neat edifice containing 797 sittings. An extension church, also, was erected at the east end of Golfdrum, in 1840 and a district in the neighbourhood, with a population of about 3000, was formerly attached to it: the edifice contains 800 sittings. There was till 1843 a quoad sacra church in Canmore-street; but on the induction of its minister to the parish of Thurso, the congregation dispersed, and a Free church was built on its site in 1844. The parish likewise contains several places of worship for members of the United Associate Synod, one for the Relief Congregation, which was the first established in Scotland, one each for Baptists and Independents, and an Episcopalian chapel.

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