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Kilconquhar (Listeni/kˈnjʌxər/ ki-NYUKH-ər or Listeni/kɪlˈkɒŋkər/; Scots: Kineuchar ,[1] from the Scottish Gaelic: Cill Dúnchad or Conchad, Church of (St) Duncan or Conchad)[2] is a village and parish in Fife in Scotland. It includes the small hamlet of Barnyards.[3] It is bounded by the parishes of Elie, Ceres,Cameron, St Monans, Carnbee, Newburn and Largo.[4] It is approximately 9 miles from north to south. Much of the land is agricultural or wooded. The village itself is situated inland, north of Kilconquhar Loch. Also in the civil parish are Colinsburgh and Largoward,[5] the latter since 1860 being a separate ecclesiastical parish.[6]

The coastal village and royal burgh of Earlsferry was formerly in the parish, but in 1891 the burgh and that part of the parish south of the (now disused) Fife Coast Railway line and Cocklemill Burn was transferred to the parish of Elie.[4]


Kilconquhar Castle was formerly owned by the Adams of Kilconquhar. Adam of Kilconquhar married Marjorie, Countess of Carrick to become the Earl of Carrick. Adam went to the Crusades with Prince Edward of England and died in Acre. His widow subsequently married Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, who thus became Earl of Carrick and Lord of Kilconquhar. Their son was Robert the Bruce.[7][8]

In the 18th century the village was noted as a weaving centre. This industry employed 235 persons in 1856[5] but faded in the late 19th century. The population was at a high in 1836 of 558 but dropped to 350 in 1881. By 2011 it had fallen to just over 200.

Parish Church

Kilconquhar Parish Church is within the Church of Scotland. The historic church building is still in regular use; it is an exact, but larger scale, copy, of Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church in Midlothian[9] has an unusually tall tower for such a small parish.

St. Conquhar is noted as a Scottish saint in a 15th-century Perth Psalter. His saint's day is noted as May 3.

The new church was planned in 1818 and designed by R & R Dickson in 1819, based on Cockpen Church which they had overseen the construction of, following the death of its designer, their employer Richard Crichton.[10] The church opened in 1821. It contains several fine stained glass windows including "The Acts of Charity" by Ward and Hughes installed in 1867 and four biblical warriors installed in the 1920s by Mrs Andrew Grant in memory of her four nephews lost in World War I.[7]

The church bell was donated by Robert, son of the Countess Dowager of Crawford, in the mid 19th century, but is an 18th-century bell, formerly in Greenwich Hospital.[7][9]

The remains of Old Kilconquhar Church lie in the churchyard. This was originally called Culdee Church and is first mentioned in 1177. In 1200 Duncan, Earl of Fife bestowed revenues from this church to the Cistercian nunnery in North Berwick. The church was consecrated in 1243 by Bishop de Bernham. In 1499 Patrick Dunbar, Laird of Kilconquhar, set up an altar to "Our Lady of Pitie (Pity)".

Other notable buildings

The local pub is the Kinneuchar Inn. It dates from the 18th century.[3]

Lochside Farm, Allan Cottage and Woodlands all date from the mid 18th century.

Kilconquhar gallery


  1. The Online Scots Dictionary
  2. Taylor, Simon; Gilbert Márkus (2009). The Place-Names of Fife, Vol. III. Donington, Lincolnshire: Shaun Tyas. pp. 303–6. ISBN 978-1-900289-97-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Kilconquhar, Fife". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 22 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, by Francis Groome, 2nd edition 1896; article on Kilconquhar Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "groome" defined multiple times with different content
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland. II. Fullarton. 1856. p. 105.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Web site of Largoward and St Monans Church of Scotland Parish Churches retrieved May 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Kilconquhar: A Hidden Gem by Jean Lindesay-Bethune 2011
  8. Kilconquhar Castle
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mitchell, Robin I. (January 1965). "A Bell Called The Countess". The Scots Magazine: 365.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Dickson

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