Markinch Parish Church, Fife, Scotland


This evening, I am posting information on the ancient settlement of Markinch ( pop 2400 ) in central Fife, eastern Scotland. Summary information as follows:

  • The name is of Gaelic origin and translates as ‘horse-field’.
  • Markinch and its environs has been occupied by man for about 5000 years. Nearby Balbirnie Park has standing stones on a site which was in use from 4000 BC to 2000 BC.
  • Markinch may have been a Pictish power base during the first millennium. Today, the parish church is dedicated to the Pictish saint, Saint Drostan.
  • The Parish Church (shown above) occupies the highest point. It was not built as single project. The tower incorporates Romanesque carvings and dates from the 11th/12th centuries. The body of the church dates from 1786 whilst the spire was added in 1807. Originally Roman Catholic the church has been used for Protestant (Presbyterian) worship since 1560.
  • The town grew and adapted during the industrial era with spinning, weaving, mills and iron-works. Water power was key.A paper mill remains in production today and is powered by latest biomass technology.
  • The name ‘Balbirnie’ is prominent in the area. There is a Balbirnie small luxury hotel close to the village and Balbirnie Park Golf Club.
  • Today, Markinch is well served by roads, rail and buses.The town is close to the administrative centre of Glenrothes.


Balbirnie Street, Markinch, Scotland