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Fife

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(Click on the picture to see a larger one)

Fife can lay claim to once having been the most important county in the country.  Whether or not the town of Dunfermline was the nation's medieval capital is a matter of some dispute,  but it was an important royal residence ("The King sits in Dunfermline town, Drinking the blude red wine") and its Abbey was the burial place of some eight Scottish kings, including Robert the Bruce (less his heart, which is buried in Melrose).  On the coast, St. Andrews, with its great sea-shore cathedral and grim bishop's palace, was the nation's ecclesiastical capital and also the home of Scotland's first university, founded in 1412.  Now of course the town is internationally famed as the home of golf which may well have been played on its links in one form or another since the 12th century.   Because it was felt that golf discouraged archery practice,  James II issued a decree in 1457 banning it!  Another royal residence in the county was the magnificent 16th century Falkland Palace (the gardens of which, incidentally, contain Britain's second oldest Real Tennis court). 

Fife has long been popularly known as "The Kingdom of Fife" but opinions differ as to the reason for this; perhaps it was that the MacDuff Thanes of Fife held the area in the Celtic manner - by grace of God - rather than from the Crown, thereby giving it a degree of independence, or perhaps the title merely relates to the county's self contained nature, bounded as it is by the Firth of Tay to the north and the Firth of Forth to the south.

The small town of Anstruther (locally known as Anster) in Fife's picturesque East Neuk was visited by a Spanish galleon in December 1588. Last survivor of a squadron of 20 galleons forming part of the mighty Armada, the El Gran Grifon sought refuge in the town and food and shelter for its half starved crew. The Spaniards were treated well by the Anster people and were eventually able to sail back to Spain where, by an amazing coincidence, their commander found an Anster ship being detained in Cadiz. Needless to say, goodwill was unbounded, the Anster ship was released, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Also on a seafaring theme, Robinson Crusoe came from Fife. Well, that's not strictly accurate, as Robinson Crusoe was actually a fictional character. However, Daniel Defoe based his famous hero on a real man, Alexander Selkirk, who came from Largo in Fife and who, as a rebellious privateer, spent some four years marooned alone on a desert island.

Fife family names include Wemyss, Lindsay, Beaton, Moncrieff, Stuart, Hay, Melville, Murray and Boswell, while in medieval times the MacDuffs were the Earls of Fife.

Our map of Fife has a stich count of 246 x 165 and, when stitched on the supplied 27-count Linda evenweave, measures 18 x 12 inches (462 x 310 mm). It has 26 buildings, a lightship, fishing and sailing boats, place names, compass and crest.  Twenty-nine shades of Anchor stranded cotton are included.

Kit 30.95 UK pounds
Chartpack 15.25 UK pounds

Mearnscraft
87 Charleston Village, Forfar, Angus, Scotland.
Tel. (+44) (0)1307 840451

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Midi file sequenced by Allen Zagel