infobox UK place
country = Scotland
map_type= Scotland
official_name= Burntisland
population= 5,667 [cite web|publisher=Scotland's Census Results Online|title =Comparative Population Profile: Burntisland Locality | url=http://www.scrol.gov.uk/scrol/browser/profile.jsp?profile=Population&mainArea=burntisland&mainLevel=Locality | date = 2001-04-29| accessdate =2008-09-01 ] (2001 census)
est. 5,700 [http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data] (2006)
os_grid_reference= NT233859
unitary_scotland= Fife
lieutenancy_scotland= Fife
constituency_westminster= Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
constituency_scottish_parliament= Kirkcaldy
post_town= BURNTISLAND
postcode_district = KY3
postcode_area= KY
dial_code= 01592 87

Burntisland is a town and former royal burgh in Fife, Scotland on the Firth of Forth. It is known locally for its sandy blue flag beach, the 15th century Rossend Castle, and its traditional summer fair and Highland games day. To the north of the town a hill called The Binn is a landmark of the Fife coastline; a volcanic plug from the same volcano as the Edinburgh Castle Rock, it rises 193m (632ft) above sea level. Burntisland is a Fairtrade Town.

The town is served by Burntisland railway station.


Early evidence of human activity in this area has been found in rock carvings on The Binn, thought to be about 4000 years old. The Roman commander Agricola used the natural harbour and set up camp at the nearby Dunearn Hill in 83 AD. In 1119 a castle was built at Rossend, and by 1130 there was a large enough settlement for King David I to grant land for a church at Kirkton (now part of Burntisland). James V granted the town a Royal Charter in 1541, which was confirmed by James VI in 1586. Burntisland developed as a seaport, being second only to Leith in the Firth of Forth, and shipbuilding became an important industry in the town. In 1633 one of the barges, the 'Blessing of Burntisland', carrying Charles I and his entourage from Burntisland to Leith sank with the loss of Charles' treasure.

In 1592 a new church, St Columba's was opened in Burntisland. It was one of the first churches built in Scotland after the Reformation and is the oldest post-Reformation church still in use. It has been listed as one of the ten most historic churches in Scotland. It is built on a square plan with the pulpit standing against one of the four internal pillars. There are pews on all four sides. The design was due to the Reformation, as it put the Bible, in the form of the sermon, at the heart of the church. The sacraments of baptism and communion were also to happen in the midst of the people. The building has what may well be the best collection of 16th-17th century woodwork, metalwork and painting in Scotland in a religious building.

In May 1601, King James VI of Scotland attended the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at St. Columba's Church, and proposals were put forward for a new translation of the Bible into English. The King James Version was eventually published in 1611.

Burntisland became an important port for the local herring and coal industries, and in 1847 the Edinburgh and Northern Railway opened from Burntisland north to Lindores and Cupar. By 1850 the world's first roll-on/roll-off rail ferry service was crossing the Firth of Forth between Burntisland and Granton, enabling goods wagons to travel between Edinburgh and Dundee without the need for unloading and re-loading at the ferries. (Passengers had to get off the train and use separate passenger ferries). This operated until 1890 when the Forth Bridge opened. In the late 19th century, the area experienced a short-lived boom in shale oil mining and processing at the Binnend Works.

Shipbuilding was a major 20th century industry until the shipyard closed in 1969. A plant for the refining of alumina was also opened in the early 20th century, closing in 2002. Industries related to the North Sea oil industry remain important for the town.

The town is also home to the eleventh oldest golf club in the world, Burntisland Golf Club (The 'Old Club', as it is known among its members). Although it is not a course owning club, its competitions are held over the local course now run by Burntisland Golf House Club.

Town twinning

Burntisland is twinned with the Norwegian town Flekkefjord.


Burntisland Primary School is the town's only school. It caters for nursery age children through to those of primary 7 age. On "graduation" most children attend Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy although some may attend faith schools in the local area.


In the summer months the annual fair comes to town.

There is a leisure centre called The Beacon. Facilities include a 20m swimming pool with a wave machine and flumes.

There is also the Burntisland & District Pipe band. They have achieved well in the 2007 Competition Season, and the drummers of the band have achieved the status of British Drumming Champions 2007, European Drumming Champions 2007 and the Drummers Champions of Drummers 2007.


A major part of Burntisland's economy is retailing. There are a number of stores and supermarkets in the town with many being privately operated businesses owned by residents. In recent years the town's High Street has seen significant redevelopment to attract retailers to properties and encourage visitors through convenient car parking.Burntisland also benefits from having a lower than average crime rate.


Burntisland has a disproportionate number of services on offer, both public and private, when compared to its total population. The clearest example of this is hairdressing - the town features no less than five salons catering for both women (Hazel Smith Hairdressing, Directors Cut) and Men (Salon Denis, Short 'n' Curly, Billy Brown's). Additionally, the town features a large medical centre with facilities for chiropody and other out-patient services alongside the standard GP practice.

A regular bus service is operated by Stagecoach in Fife which covers most areas of the town. The small bus offered by the company serves as a meeting point for many residents as they make their way from residential areas to the town centre.


* [http://www.collinswell.co.uk/alcan.html Collinswell Land Ltd] History of closure and redevelopment of Alcan site

External links

* [http://www.burntisland.net/ Burntisland Online]
* [http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/Burntisland Burntisland on FifeDirect]
* [http://www.burntislandhighlandgames.co.uk/ Burntisland Highland Games]
* [http://www.brand-dd.com/burntisland/index.html The Burntisland Pages]
* [http://freespace.virgin.net/buts.64/BurntislandGC/history.html Burntisland history]
* [http://burntislandfairground.fotopic.net/ Burntisland fairground]

ee also

*List of places in Fife

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