Medieval Grave Yard

Bridge Street
Close to Kirklands House, Saline
Saline, Fife
KY12 9TS

Medieval Grave Yard

Historical FeatureArchaeological Site


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A number of the gravestones date back to the 17th century though the majority bear 19th century dates. Several of the monuments indicate that that the former occupation of the recumbent residents were farmers. Not surprising in our rural parish. These particular gravestones depict emblems of the sock and coulter of the plough and were vital metal parts of the old wooden plough. These plough parts have no connection whatever with the Barrowman plough.
It is known from documentary evidence that a church existed close to the churchyard up until about 1810 when it was demolished and the materials sold off by public roup A quantity of the old stones were bought by Mr. Rolland of Devonside, a farm close to the village. One of the stones may still be seen there built into a garden tool-house. This particular stone is said to be the lintel of the main door of the old church and bears the words: - “Glory to God only”, inscribed in both Latin and English with a date of 1640. Considering the local terrain in the Kirkland area, Douglas Speirs, the archaeologist from Fife Council's Archaeological Unit, visited the site in May, 2003. He was of the opinion that the old church probably stood at the east end of the churchyard on land that is now part of the garden of Kirkland House. Douglas added that a geophysical survey of the area might well define the foundations of the old church. The church would be surprisingly small by modern standards but it is quite possible that a succession of stone churches had stood on the same spot since the seventh or eighth century. We are still trying to determine where exactly the church was located within the graveyard.

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