A Brief History

In a Field between Kilrenny and Cellardyke is the ” Skeith Stone” . This ancient stone is probably  7th Century . Our new Health Centre, opened in 2002 , is named after it.

In the early 12th Century Alexander I granted the lands of Anstruther in Fife to William De Candela. He is probably a descendant from the Normans of Italy who came over with William the Conqueror  in 1066

Anstruther  was one of the principal fishing ports in Scotland  as early as 1318 when the Balmerino monks owned land at the Harbour.

In their charter confirming their grants to Balmerino the family had dropped the name Candela and were described as Henricus de Aynstrother dominus ejusdem.

The monks  16th Century lodgings are now part of the National Scottish Fisheries Museum.

Another descendant , Again Henry, accompanied Loius IX to the crusades and swore fealty to Edward 1 in 1229 and again in 1296. In 1483 Andrew Anstruther of Anstruther obtained confirmation of the Barony and fought at Flodden in 1513. His youngest son fought in the battle of Pavia in 1520. His eldest son John married a Douglass of Loch Leven and their great grandson was a companion to the young King James VI, who in 1585 appointed him Hereditary Grand Carver. This office is still held by the head of the family.

Another descendant ,Sir Phillip , fought on the royalist side in the civil war and received King Charles II at Dreel Castle after his coronation at Scone in 1651.

Anstruther gained its royal charter in 1587 giving the town the right to hold weekly markets and an annual fair. Anster Fair is remembered in a poem of that name by William Tennant ( 1784- 1848) , founder of the musomanic society and professor of oriental languages.

In 1866 the annual tea race from China to London finished with the closest  results ever . After 99 days at sea  the “Taeping” and the “Ariel “docked in the Thames  in London on the same tide. The “Taeping” was owned by Captain Rodger of Cellardyke and had Dykers in her crew. The “Ariel” was skippered by Captain Keay of Anstruther and had Anstruther men as crew. The “Taeping” was judged the winner by 20 minutes

A Tahitian Princess , Titaua Marama, is buried in Anstruther churchyard. She died in 1898 aged 56.