I spent 24 hours in the Kingdom of Fife with my very lovely friend Claire and her adorable companion Bramble the kitten. While there, Claire brought me on a tour of the place and proved, once again, her abilities as a tour guide. I came home feeling full of knowledge so I've decided to share some of the interesting facts that I learnt while on my trip to Fife.
1. There is a place called Pillars of Hercules in Fife, which boasts a working organic farm started by Bruce Bennett in 1983. There is much debate about where the name Pillars of Hercules comes from. The most accepted theory is that there was once a house on the estate called Herculaneum and pillars marked the entrance. Cool huh?
2. Falkland palace, once the favourite of Scottish kings and queens has the oldest tennis court in Britain!
3.In 1879, the centre of the Tay Bridge in Dundee collapsed during a storm taking a full train of passengers with it. The bridge, designed by Sir Thomas Bouch made no allowance for wind loading when designing the bridge which along with other maintenance and casting flaws led to the disaster. Future bridges had to adhere to specific regulations regarding wind loading as a result.
4. The Hopetoun Monument on Mount Hill in Fife was erected in 1826 in memory of John Hope, the fourth Earl of Hopetoun. It was erected by the people of Cupar and a similar monument can be found erected in East Lothian!
5.The crowning place of Scottish Kings was Moot Hill at Scone Castle, the last of being Charles II. On March 25th 1306 Robert the Bruce declared himself King. The place of coronation was called Caislean Credi.
6. The Stone of Scone/The Stone of Destiny was taken from Moot Hill to Westminster Abbey at the end of the 13th century. It was returned to the people of Scotland in 1996 when it was released to Edinburgh Castle. It was last used in the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Hill of Tara in County Meath. According to Irish lore, the last King of Ireland to be inaugurated on the stone was Muirchertach mac Muirdaig, a grandson of Niall of the nine hostages in 500AD.
8.The best tea shop I have found to date in Scotland is Small Talk in Perth. Ornate furnishings, delicate china, massive teapots, wholesome food and yummy cakes. If you are from Perth, or going to Perth you should check it out. Thanks Claire for the introduction and Claire's mum for the recommendation!