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Friday, 21 December 2007

Leven Fife Scotland

Leven, Fife, Scotland. Tour Leven, Fife, Scotland, on an Ancestry Tour of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours, Best Scottish Food, Best Scottish Hotels, Small Group Tours of Scotland, Rent a Cottage in Scotland. Leven in 1846. Leven, a sea-port and ancient burgh of barony, and a bathing-place, in the parish of Scoonie, district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife, 3 miles (W. S. W) from Largo, and 9 (N. E.) from Kirkcaldy; containing 1827 inhabitants. This place, which is agreeably situated on the sea-shore at the mouth of the river whence it takes its name, was erected into a burgh of barony by charter of the proprietor of the lands of Durie, now belonging to the Christies, but once in the possession of the family of Gibson, whose descendants, the lords Durie, are distinguished in Scottish history. The town consists chiefly of two parallel streets, connected with each other by several smaller streets crossing them in various directions; the houses are neatly built, and the inhabitants are supplied with water, and the town cleansed and lighted, by a board of police established for some years under act of parliament. A handsome suspension-bridge has been constructed over the river, near its mouth, connecting the town with the village of Dubbieside, on the opposite bank; but it is adapted exclusively for foot-passengers, and there was till lately no bridge for carriages nearer than Cameron bridge, about three miles further up the stream. The want was severely felt; and consequently, in the spring of 1841, a carriage-bridge was opened on the line of the new road to Kirkcaldy. A subscription library, containing a well-chosen collection of nearly 700 volumes, has been for some time established; and there is also a mechanics' institution, to which is attached a library of useful works.

The weaving of linen is one of the chief branches of the trade of Leven, and affords employment to about 170 persons, who work at handlooms in their own dwellings; there are also five mills for the spinning of flax and tow, in which 250 persons are engaged, of whom upwards of 150 are females. An extensive iron-foundry has been for many years in operation, and gives constant occupation to about fifty men; and thirty are employed in a saw-mill. A considerable manufactory of bricks and tiles is carried on; the town also derives a degree of traffic from its proximity to the markettowns of Kirkcaldy and Cupar, and the post-office has two deliveries daily. Fairs are held in the spring annually, and likewise in July and October. The former for linseed, and the latter for white linen, were numerously attended by merchants from distant parts of the country; but they have now become little more than pleasure-fairs. The trade of the port, which appears to have been once chiefly confined to the shipping of the coal procured on the Durie estate, consists at present likewise in the exportation of linen-cloth and yarn, bone-dust for manure, grain, potatoes, whisky, cast and pig iron, ochre, and bricks and tiles; and in the importation of flax, hemp, malt, coal, stone for building, timber, slates, herrings, and bones to grind for manure. There are belonging to the port two brigs, of 374 tons' aggregate burthen, chiefly in the American trade; and five sloops, of 188 tons' aggregate burthen, employed in the coasting trade. In a recent year, fifteen foreign ships, and 222 coasters, entered inwards; and the amount of the exports was £60,483, and of imports, £43,190. The harbour, naturally formed by a creek of the river, is accessible at spring-tides to vessels of 300 tons, which can unload and take in their cargoes at the quay; but from the banks of sand near its mouth, which after storms or floods frequently shift their position, the entrance is rather difficult. The quay, also, is not sufficiently extensive for the increasing trade, which, however, if it should continue to make the same progress it has made for the last few years, will ultimately lead to the improvement of the harbour and the enlargement of the quay. Facility of intercourse with the neighbouring market-towns is afforded by turnpike-roads that pass through the parish; and there is communication with Edinburgh by steam-boats, which leave the port during the summer twice, and in winter once, every day. The parochial church is in the vicinity of the town; and there are places of worship for members of the Free Church, the Relief, and Independents.

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