Photographer's Note

When we wander aimlessly around the beautiful little village of Culross in south Fife, lying on the north bank of the Forth estuary, it is easy to think that life here was always idyllic and easy. Life here might be easy nowadays, but in the days of the industrial revolution in Scotland, this was a place of hard toil and sweat, what with its coal mining, salt panning and iron foundries.

During the 16th and 17th Centuries, this town was a centre of the coal mining industry. Sir George Bruce of Carnock, who built the splendid 'Palace' of Culross, established here in 1575 the very first coal mine in the World to extend under the sea, the mine being prevented from flooding by an ingenious mechanism of an endless chain of buckets driven by horse-power.

The town also had a busy harbour through which it traded with other local and distant ports. In fact, coal was exported to Europe and again, while we marvel at the lovely red pan-tiled roofs of the houses in Culross and other Fife villlages, these roof tiles were yet another product of the coal industry: ships carrying coal to Europe required ballast to steady them on their return journey and cheap red clay roof tiles from Holland provided the answer and were quickly snapped up for roofing the workers' houses.

This is Tanhouse Brae in Culross, a little narrow meandering street which leads up to Culross Church and the ruins of Culross Abbey of which I shall try to upload another picture later.

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Additional Photos by John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1811 W: 411 N: 6535] (26470)
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