Some notes from Sibbald, History
of Fife and Kinross, 1710 relating to Kinross-shire
are given below:
274 A bridge of several arches has been built by Sir
William Bruce over the South Cuich, just south of the
town of Kinross. It is on the highway between the North-ferry
and St Johnstoun (Perth). There is another old bridge
over the North Cuich.
There is a bridge of several arches over the Water of
Garney near Lathro.
In recent years a bridge has been built over the Leven
where it flows out of Loch Leven, just to the north
of Kirkness. It is on the highway between the coast
and Perth. There is also a bridge at Achmure.
The town of Kinross is on the highway between the North-ferry
282 There was a spittal here, where pilgrims could stay.
of Kinross-shire, Part
I: 490 to 1861, E Henderson; Part II: 1862 to 1870,
R L Wright
There are quite a few short notes relating
to roads and bridges in
these Annals. There is an online copy
on the Kinross Museum website.
Mention of a road running through the parish from east
If rotten rock, which is common here, is
used on a road, it changes into a reddish earth within
a few years. Lime is available but it is so deep and
the road to it so inconvenient that little benefit has
been gained from it.
Fuel: Good coal is available locally, as is peat.
Thirty carts in the parish.
Observations: There are 4 inns on the Queensferry
to Perth road. The selling of sprits at turnpike houses
has a bad effect
In recent years, considerable improvements have been
made to the roads. They were made and are now maintained
under the statute labour system. The carriage of materials
still has to be done but personal labour has been commuted.
Suitable gravel for the roads is available locally.
Several bridges have been built recently. Although the
roads are generally well made, and continue to improve,
more thought should have been given to make them less
There is a toll on the Queensferry to Perth turnpike,
set up in 1753.
There are four forts, sited on an east-west line that
are thought to have been part of a chain of posts built
by the Romans to protect against incursions from the
One tenant performs personal services for his landlord,
viz. making and stacking hay and carting 90 loads of
Basalt which is used for dykes and road metal is available
at Craigencat, beside the main road from Kinross to
Dunfermline. It is easily quarried.
Admiral Adam has contributed liberally to the costs
of an important public road which goes through his land
from Red-Moss, on the great north road, to Cleish, Tullybole,
and the Crook of Devon.
A quarter of a mile east from the church there is a
large rock called The
Lecture Stane which was used in pre-reformation
times to support the coffin while the burial service
bridge mentioned below - more properly it is a commemorative
monument marking the old road to Perth and an incident
involving Mary Queen of Scots. The inscription on
the left reads "The Road to Perth anciently
St Johnston passed here within memory. The Ravine
was much longer and deeper. Cottar Houses stood
around called Parenwell from the Spring which rises
a hundred yards below southwards." The middle
inscription is now nearly illegible but can be seen
on the lower of the two bronze plaques which record
the stone inscriptions. The right-hand inscription
is the larger plaque. NT 139 968
At the east of the parish, there is an inscription
on a bridge marking the road by which Queen Mary fled
from Lochleven Castle.
In a description of drainage schemes in the parish,
the writer remarks that the ground, up till then very
soft, was now able to bear loaded carts.
Market-Town: The nearest market-town is Kinross,
about three miles away. However, much of the grain,
butter, and cheese produced locally is sold at Dunfermline.
The turnpike roads from Queensferry and from Dunfermline
to Kinross run through the parish from south to north.
The roads and bridges here are in good condition. There
is a post-office at Blair-Adam, in the east of the parish:
the main post-office for this area is in Kinross.
Four annual fairs for sale of horses and black cattle.
Mention of the Gulet Bridge at Loch Leven.
There are two inns. Seven post chaisses are for hire,
and seven horses.
Coals are obtained from 5 miles away.
Although there are few indigenous begging poor, the
town is infested with those who travel here easily because
of the excellent roads.
||Loch Leven at Kinross
Parochial Economy:The town of Kinross has had
street lighting since 1793. At present there are 42
Kinross, the only town in the parish, used to have a
weekly market; but the local market is now held in Milnathort,
in the parish of Orwell, two miles away. Kinross is
a post town with daily deliveries.
Turnpike Roads: There are 16 miles of these,
all in good order, particularly the great north road.
The Royal Mail from Edinburgh to Aberdeen passes through
as does the Defiance, which has been used recently to
carry letters north, and the Saxe Cobourg which runs
between Edinburgh and Perth.
The writer notes that although the old mail coach passed
through on the Sabbath, it did so in the middle of the
night and later on the Sunday evening, which was not
thought to be of too much consequence. However, the
Defiance runs during the day and although it carried
few if any passengers at the start, it is now as full
as on any weekday. Attempts to stop this desecration
of the Sabbath had been unsuccessful.
Apart from small bridges, there are 13 larger stone
bridges, all in good condition.
There are four fairs held each year, mostly for
cattle and for hiring. Inns etc: There are three inns,
two of them very good. Kirklands Inn to the south
keeps 3 post-chaises, 1 landau, 1 hearse, 34 post-horses
and 4 post-boys. Kinross Green Inn, or Macgregor's,
has 3 post chaises, a drosky and gig, 5 horses and a
donkey, 7 stables; 4 post-boys, 7 strappers and 1 hostler,
Another inn, the Salutation, near the town centre, has
3 horses and 2 gigs.
Fuel: Good quality coal, obtainable at a reasonable
price comes from Kelty, 5 miles away, and from Lumphinnan
near Lochgelly, 8 miles away.
Gas Establishment: Details are given of the gas company.
Roads: Two excellent roads run through the parish:
the North Ferry to Perth road and the Stirling to Kinross
road, which leaves the first at the bridge of Queegh.
Rivulets, Bridges, and Mills: Of the two rivulets
here, the Queegh runs into Loch Leven. There is a good
stone bridge over it on the turnpike from the Ferry
The other stream runs through Milnathort and has several
mills on it, hence the name of the village. There is
a bridge in the village.
Fuel: With no coal in the parish, it has to be obtained
from Kelty, 6 miles to the south. Peat is used by the
Many passengers to Perth and the north pass through
Market-town: Milnathort is the only market-town,
and is the only village in the parish. There is a weekly
corn-market, attended by distillers or their agents.
Ten years ago an unsuccessful attempt was made to establish
a butter, cheese and poultry-market.
The mail-coaches pass through Milnathort twice daily.
There is only a penny-post to Kinross.
There are about fourteen miles of turnpike roads and
another 14 miles of statute labour roads, all in good
condition. The bridge over the Queich, to the south
of Milnathort is old and badly constructed and in need
of repair. It needs the attention of the trustees of
the great north road who have carried out unimportant
The mail-coaches for Aberdeen and Inverness, the Saxe-Cobourg
to Perth, and the Defiance to Aberdeen, run daily from
Edinburgh on the great north road. The Cobourg and Defiance
do not run on Sundays. Sometimes other stage-coaches
use the road. A service between Cupar and Stirling via
Milnathort ran for a while but stopped operating some
There are six annual markets or fairs. Two are for
the sale of fat cattle and the others are for cattle,
sheep and horses.
Fuel: Coal is easily obtained from pits in Fife
which are 7 or 8 miles away.
Miscellaneous Observations: The roads are in
The only bridge, that over the Leven, was built about
100 years ago. The roads are in poor condition. They
are made under the statute labour system, which is now
and Disadvantages: Fuel is cheap with the coal pits
of Lochow, Keltie and Lochgelly close at hand. Peat
also is available locally.
The parish however is distant from markets and has very
A great improvement would be effected if a turnpike
road were to be made between Kinghorn or Burntisland
through various parishes including Portmoak, to join
the Queensferry to Perth road, north of Kinross. This
would make for a shorter journey to Edinburgh. There
would be a slightly longer crossing but considerable
advantages in facilitating access to the market-towns
on the coast.
|Loch Leven from Portmoak parish
with St Serf's Island in foreground
Fairs: The two largest villages have fairs,
but they are very small with little business conducted
Kinross is the nearest post-town. It does not have a
Means of Communication: Two turnpikes run through
the parish but there are no public carriages. Roads
and fences are in good order as are two bridges lately
built over the Leven.