| Kingsbarns Community Council - General
Report from 'Future of Kingsbarns' sub-committee,
on the future of the village
Kingsbarns Community Council
Notes to support our response to the Fife Local Plan
Historical Background of the Village.
The name Kingsbarns derives from the hamlet
that grew up around the grain stores of King John Baliol (c.1292/6). At this
time there was a castle situated between the east side of the village and the
sea. The castle has long gone but local tradition has it that the stones from
it were used to build the small harbour, the remains of which can still be
seen. The grain collected from the Crown lands was stored here and then
transported to Falkland.
Kingsbarns became a parish in its own right in 1631 and a
church was built at that time later to be enlarged in 1810-11. The church is a
T-shape. This was a post Reformation design, a device which considerably
augmented auditory space, accommodating not only the laird and his family but
also his tenants. Anstruther Easter and Elie built in the late 17th
century follow this design.
Parish records are extensive. Kingsbarns was a reforming
parish in the 1640s. Parliament in 1592 had moved markets that of before
were kept on the sabbath to weekdays, though they left enforcement up to
sessions; in the heady atmosphere of reform in 1639, they considered abolishing
markets on Saturday and Monday also, lest they undermine sabbath preparation
..Kingsbarns in Fife was among the parishes that followed
through on this initiative in the 1640s.
The Manse was built in 1834-5. The parish is now joined
with that of Crail
The village developed as a weaving and agricultural
community and a primary school was built in 1822. The pump in the village
Square was erected in 1831.
To the south of the village is the Cambo Estate. This was
originally given by William de Lion to Robert de Newenham in 1250. It was sold
in 1688 to Sir Charles Erskine, brother of the Earl of Kellie. In 1878 the old
mansion house burnt down and was replaced by the current mansion in 1879-81.
The Erskine family still live on and run the estate.
The Kingsbarns Golf Course is a links course and runs along
the coast at the eastern border of the village. The coastal footpath has been
preserved and upgraded and runs to St Andrews to the north and to the rest of
the Neuk to the south.
The village includes a variety of types of architecture. A
basic classification might be;
- The village terraced cottage: a single storey
construction of rubble with dressed stone doorways, and either pan tiled or
- The village house: a two storey version of the cottage
but sometimes with dressed stone façade or harled gable ends, sometimes
- Georgian buildings constructed of dressed sandstone with
slate roofs. There are some modern copies of these designs.
- Steadings: single storey buildings in courtyard shape
with a reference to their farming origins. There are several modern versions of
- Modern housing from the 1970s, some detatched single
storey bungalows as in Seagate, some terraced as in Back Stile, and some two
A survey of village architecture was made in 1967 listing
all buildings which were considered to be of architectural or historic
interest. This is available in the archive.
There are 368 residents of Kingsbarns according to the 2001
- 56 (15%) are aged 0-15 17
- (4.6%) are 16-19 147
- (40%) are aged 20-60 108
- (29%) are aged 60+
We have few teenagers in the village; a viable school roll;
a significant economically active age group and lower than the Fife average in
the proportion of older people. 22% of the population is of pensionable age,
taken as 65.
Housing tenure is as follows;
- Owner Occupiers
- LA/SSH Tenants
- Tied or job related tenancies
28% of residents live in detached houses, 62% live in
terraced or semi-detached houses and 15% live in flats. 25.8% of residents live
in pensioner only households.
Travel to work data shows that there are at least 164
people economically active (+ 33% of pop). Most of them travel out of the
village to work, and 53 people work or study at home or walk to work.
If we exclude the home study we estimate that 32 people
work in a local economy since they are shown as being able to walk to work. The
data on 147 economically active residents in terms of type of employment is as
- Real Estate/Renting/Business
- Wholesale and Retail Trade
If we look at occupations of 163 residents rather than
sectors the picture is;
- Managers and Senior Officials
- Admin and
- Plant and Machinery Operation...
- Sales/ Customer
Unemployment in the village in 2001 was 3.7% (10 people).
There were 84 people reported as having a limiting long-term illness. We have
no other data on the health status of the residents. There were 192 vehicles
owned by residents in 2001 and this figure as a ratio of population may be some
guide as to the increase in traffic that can be expected from new housing
development (.64 vehicle per resident).
Facilities and Quality of Life.
The village currently has the following facilities;
- Shop and Post Office
- Public House and Restaurant
- Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
- Cottages for Holiday Lets
- Golf Course
- Broadband Internet Access
- Bus Service
The Undiscovered Scotland Guide describes the
village as an exceptionally well preserved conservation village.
The sea and coastal areas provide a border of exceptional beauty and a coastal
path which is a valuable recreational resource. The unspoilt and undeveloped
seaside area is a great attraction and the beach is an award
winning clean stretch of superb sand. The views both south and north are
exceptional. The village sits centrally on a coast whose land mass is bounded
on three sides by water.
The village has had Conservation status since 1967 (?) and
the developments that have taken place have been in the main in
filling developments within the village footprint. There has been no
expansion of the village in this sense since the steadings development at the
north west of the village.
The Fife Local Plan 2005.
The plan is an opportunity for us as residents to consider
the future of the village and to take part in the consultation exercises
planned in order to the shape and influence the debate.
At this stage we have the first outline proposals from Fife
showing the potential areas in and around the village which may be developed
for housing and other residential purposes. We are not aware of any specific
planning applications in relation to these specific sites. The plans do not
include developments for which planning applications could be made where there
are existing buildings, for example at Barns Law. The plans also show a
field (the Glebe) which is owned by the Church of Scotland and at this time we
have no information of their intentions. The map may not in fact be accurate
and this will need to be checked.
The Fife Planning Committee will consider the Plan at a
meeting on January 11th and observers from KCC will attend. There will be a
public consultation period on the Local Plan from March 7th to April 18th and
we will be able to comment during this period so we need to get our
consultations underway and prepared as soon as possible. Individuals who want
to comment direct to Fife can do so also using the form attached to these
It is the intention of the Community Council to undertake a
local consultation on the Plan and on wider issues affecting the future of the
This may take a number of forms;
- A Survey. A questionnaire to each household asking for
responses to the Local Plan, seeking views on a range of other possibilities,
and asking for any other proposals.
- A village meeting to discuss the outcome of the survey,
and to listen to presentations from those proposing developments and to consult
with representatives from Fife Council.
There are some legal matters to be clarified in terms of
the Data Protection requirements both on the collection side (can we ask
householders certain questions) and on the access side (who owns and hols the
date and who can see it).
There are some practical issues for certain groups, for
example a household survey will not directly consult young people, and there
are specific stakeholders such as the Post Office/Shop, Church, school and the
We need to devise some form of consultation for these
A draft survey questionnaire is attached for
Huw Lloyd Richards
back to Kingsbarns Community
Council up to Top
For the Subcommittee. 10/1/05.