AULD KIRK CHARITABLE TRUST
The Kirk has stood on this site in one form or another from around 1607 which makes parts of the structure almost 400 years old. It is one of the oldest buildings in Tayport and is a landmark with its distinctive leaning clock tower. The Church and Graveyard are listed by Historic Scotland as being of significant historic interest.
The best approach to the building is in fact from the west, the Whitenhill gate, which was the original access from the small hamlet based on Whitenhill, Butterwynd, Rose Street, School Wynd and Greenside Place, which together formed one of three small groupings of buildings on the original shoreline of Ferry Port on Craig . At the gate,on the right hand side, is the old Mortuary Building , now ruinous, the path approaching the significant mass of the Tower, passes by several distinctive Yew trees, themselves very old, possibly 250 to 300 years and planted for religious significance, but now also create an atmospheric setting for the church .
The Tower and Main Building date from 1794 and are of a very robust and simple style. Entering the Main Door on the South West side of the tower is a porch area which is the footprint of the Tower and the likely extent of the Vault below. This is the last resting place of the various 'Lairds of Scotscraig'. The Vault has not been opened as far as we are aware in living memory, but will need to be opened at some stage for structural surveying, and at that time the various remains will be recorded. The small stair to the left was the private access to the Laird's Loft or private room which was used by the Laird and his family for retiring or refreshment, the services in the main church being viewed from a 'box' or balcony, now of course removed. Above the Laird's Loft are three stages of ladders to access the Clock Room and Bell. These cannot be made accessible to visitors at this stage.
Moving into the main volume of the church we see an arrangement first recorded in 1881 on drawings, but not implemented until much later. The original arrangement from about: 1800 is unrecorded, but would have been very simple with a pulpit and choir box possibly at one end and a timber gallery with wooden stairs at the other and significantly, very small windows. The arrangement we now see was obviously a topic of great debate, since further drawings dating up to 1894 show similar proposals, attempting to increase the seating capacity to 900, much to the satisfaction no doubt of the Rev. Christopher Halliday at the time. We may gain a better insight into the various arrangements of the interior as work progresses and will record the details as they are revealed. The final arrangement proposed with the stone internal stairs to the balcony or gallery area seems to have made the best use of the space available.
By 1898 drawings show proposals for the massive alteration to create the bay to house the Organ, and the two large stained glass windows which flank it. The Organ was built and installed in 1899, by The Dundee Organ Manufacturer at 7 Sea Wynd . The proprietor was a Mr John Miller and it is assumed that he designed the Organ. The console was located centrally, but later moved to the side to create more space in the formal area for worship. We have recorded music played at functions in the Building over the past few years and these display how well the Organ works at 105 years of age!
The extent of the alterations to facilitate the Organ installation was truly awe-inspiring, with a huge beam inserted to bridle the opening required and cutting of existing timber trusses in the roof space.
The stained glass windows to either side are currently partly in storage pending restoration at considerable cost, but funding sources for this are in research stage at the moment, and look promising . The very ornate Pulpit and organ front can be seen from all parts of the interior and are truly the focal point of the Church.
We have records of the Graveyard and a catalogue of the
most interesting Headstones within it and will be involving the Carved
Stones Advisor from Historic Scotland and Fife Council to organize consolidation
and safety provision of the Graveyard for the future given the requirement
more regular public access.
Martin Anderson, buried in an unmarked grave in the Kirk yard.
Martin Anderson (later known as Cynicus), was born in Leuchars Fife in 1854. His parents, William and Margaret (nee Martin) Anderson, married in their home town of Tayport, after which they moved to Kingskettle in Fife where William took up the position of stationmaster, later being promoted to a new post at Leuchars junction.
As a Victorian artist, Cynicus created cartoons and those postcard designs for which he is most famous for. His two claims to fame are that he was foremost an outsider who took London by storm in the early 1880s with his satirical cartoons and later, in Tayport, as a successful designer of the very first humourous postcards. It was in Tayport, in 1902, that he started his own publishing company; the postcard craze had taken off (in 1902 alone, it was estimated that 420 million cards were posted in Britain).
Cynicus Publishing Company
(Presently the premises of 'Wings & Things' - previously McGills Furnishings).
Cynicus' company became one of the major employers in the town which, in turn, allowed him to purchase land in Balmullo. On this land he set about constructing a grand mansion house and landscaping beautiful grounds which he opened to the local public for their walks and picnics. The house became his haven for art and pieces of arcaeological interest that he brought in from all over the world; so adorned was it that the locals affectionately called it 'Cynicus Castle'.
1908 saw the beginning of the Depression years which engulfed the country and inevitably began to affect Martin's company and, ultimately, the people of Tayport. Postcards were classed as luxuries that were not needed so the decline in business continued until, in 1911, it faced financial ruin.
Cynicus and his sister, Annie, survived their final years at Castle Cynicus in abject poverty. Sadly, his company never fully regained its former prestige. So when, in the Spring of 1932, Cynicus died with no funds to pay for his funeral he was laid to rest in Tayport Old Church Yard where, to this day, his tomb lies unmarked.
After suffering from many years of neglect and ultimately vandalism his beloved Castle Cynicus eventually fell into disrepair and was finally demolished in 1939. A small part of Tayport's history vanished forever. Cynicus unmarked grave is in the Kirk Yard.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2. Erected by Robert Adamson Inspector of Harbour Works, Ferry Port on Craig, in memory of his daughter Ann Adamson who died 2nd January 1851 aged 15 years and 10 months also in memory of John Skell his brother in law who died 14th March 1851 aged 52 years.
see also Carmichael.AITKEN:
In memory of John Aitken shipmaster Ferry Port on Craig who died 17 January 1869 aged 75
his daughter Annie who died November 1839 aged 12 years, his wife Annie Duff who died 29 December 1841 aged 45, his wife Eupemia Mather who died 12 March 1877 aged 70 years.
see also Christie
Erected by Jean Alexander in memory of her husband John Cook, merchant, Tayport who died 30 September 1873 aged 55 years. and their son David Reekie who died 28th April 1861 aged 2 years and also their son William who died at Calcutta 23 September 1895 aged 34 years and their daughter Margaret who died 7 September 1899 aged 42 years. also their son John Minister of UF chuch Cuberland street Glasgow died 11 September 1901 aged 47. The above Jean Alexander died 15 th February 1908 aged 82 years and their son Alexander died 18th October 1924 aged 73 years. ARCHER:
David Grubb died 4th February 1848 aged 50 years the above Ann Archer died 19th August 1857 aged 70 years. Death is a debt to nature due I've paid the debt and so must you.
Erected by Mrs Barron in memory of her husband John Barron shipmaster who was drowned off Filey Briggs 28th December 1849 aged 46 years also of her son James M Barron shipmaster who was drowned in Cooks Strait New Zealand 14th February 1869 aged 41 years and her two children who died in infancy. BARRON:
In memory of James Barron shipmaster Ferry Port on Craig who died at sea 9th May 1852 aged 52 years and is interred here also his wife Janet Wemyss who died at Ferry Port on Craig 8th December 1855 aged 50 years also their five children three sons and two daughter who died young. Blessed are the dead who die in the lord. Erected by their six children four sons and two daughters.
1859 Erected by David Berry shipmaster and his spouse Janet Scott in memory of their children David who died 21st March 1855 aged 9 years Elizabeth died 31st March 1855 aged 3 years and Margaret died 7th April 1855 aged 6 years. The above David Berry shipmaster was drowned at sea in October 1859 aged 44 years. To screen them from all earthly charms Death took them from their mother's arms. Happy the change they're free from care and dwell where holy angels are. BLACK:
Erected by William Black and Margaret Smith in memory of their daughter Margaret who died 12th March 1847 aged 4 years the above Margaret Smith died 7th November 1862 aged 59 years also their daughter Agnes died 27th November aged 23 years
Erected by Elizabeth Cook in memory of her husband George Black who was drowned by the wreck of the steamship Forfarshire 6th September 1838 aged 42 years and his son George who died 22nd March 1841 aged 19 years also their eldest son Robert who died 2 May 1839 aged 7 months and their daughter Rachel who died 28th January 1851 aged 20 years and Mary who died 20th June 1853 aged 24 years also their son James who died at sea on 9th September aged 41 years the above Elizabeth Cook died 25th February 1875 aged 70 years. William Lamont who died 16th October 1887 aged 52 years also Helen Black wife of the above William Lamont who died 4th January 1920 aged 85 years. Isiah LX1V 6th we all do fade as a leaf. BRAID:
Erected by Charles Duncan shipmaster, Ferry Port on Craig in memory of Isabella Gibson his mother who died 10th December 1857 aged 74. Charles Duncan his father who died 2nd February 1859 aged 67, Charles, Williamina and Isabella who died in infancy. Catherine Braid his wife who died 24th January 1866 aged 53 years her niece Eliza Braid died 15th February 1866 aged 16 years also George Pattie his brother late shipmaster who died 17th February 1880aged 77 and Betsy his sister who died 3rd November 1883 aged 67 years
Erected by William Brand in memory of his father James Brand who died 14th March 1880 and his mother Mary Mitchell who died 18th September 1896 also his grandmother Janet Kidd.
Erected in memory of Janet Ireland, widow of John Brown seaman and their daughters Janet died 12th July 1897, Margaret died 5th March 1915 aged 75 years and Jane died 19th June 1916 aged 90 years.
Erected by William Greig and Christina Brown his wife in memory of their son William born 10th December 1852 died 12th January 1864 also the above Christina Brown beloved wife of William Greig who died at Liverpool 16th April 1879 in her 49th year and was interred. 12th October their son Duncan aged 19 years deeply regretted and their son George White who died at Liverpool 21st March 1898. The above William Greig died at Tayport 20th May 1902 interred in New Cemetery much loved and deeply regretted. BRUCE:
Erected in loving and affectionate memory of Robert Kinnear who died 4th February 1881 aged 54 years also his wife Margaret Bruce died 4th December 1921 aged 85 years Jessie Kinnear died 10th August 1935 aged 80 years Mary Bruce Kinnear died 10th May1950 aged 73 years.
Erected by Joseph Mcintyre and his wife Rachael Cameron in memory of their son Joseph who died 27th March 1861 aged 2 years.
Erected by James Carmichael in memory of his father John Carmichael who died 15th August 1834 aged 64 years also his mother Agness Adamson who died 6th November 1855 aged 80 years, his sister Janet Carmichael who died 3rd February 1884 aged 73 years and James Carmichael died 1st July 1997 aged 82 years.
Erected by Catherine Jack in memory of her husband James Cook shipowner Ferry Port on Craig who died 1st May 1853 aged 56 years and an infant daughter, also her son Thomas Cook shipmaster who died 20th June 1872 aged 50 years and his wife Agnes Russel who died 28th October 1870 aged 44 years and an infant son also her daughter in law Jemima Wilkie wife of Thomas Cook shipmaster who died 8th February 1882 aged 46 years the above Catherine Cook relict of the above James Cook shipowner born 14th October 1799 died 25th January 1887 aged 88 years. ALSO: in memory of James Cook son of James Cook jnr shipmaster downed of Cape Horn 30th March 1890 aged 23 years, Agnes E Cook daughter of Thomas Cook shipmaster died 27th August 1898 aged 38 years the above James Cook jnr shipmaster 16th June 1915 aged 83 years also his son Captain Ebeneezer Cook RNR died 23rd November 1921 aged 53 years interred Great Crosby, James Cook son of Thomas Cook shipmaster born 19th July 1857 died 28th February 1924 and his brother Thomas who died abroad.
Erected by ELIZABETH COOK in memory of her husband George Black who was drowned by the wreck of the steamship Forfarshire 6th September 1838 aged 42 years and his son George who died 22nd March 1841 aged 19 years also their eldest son Robert who died 2 May 1839 aged 7 months and their daughter Rachel who died 28th January 1851 aged 20 years and Mary who died 20th June 1853 aged 24 years also their son James who died at sea on 9th September aged 41 years the above ELIZABETH COOK died 25th February 1875 aged 70 years. William Lamont who died 16th October 1887 aged 52 years also Helen Black wife of the above William Lamont who died 4th January 1920 aged 85 years. Isiah LX1V 6th we all do fade as a leaf. COOK:
Erected by James Cook in memory of his wife Elizabeth Trotter who died 25th November 1835 aged 72 years the above James Cook died on the 20th March 1845 aged 75 years
Erected by Rachel Cook in memory of her husband John Welch shipmaster who died on the 3rd January 1859 aged 51 years also her son John who died 20th February ? aged 2 years and her son Robert who died 12th January 1868 aged 24 years the above Rachel Cook who died 12th July 1888 aged 82 years Elizabeth Trotter Welch died 7th October 1905 aged 54 years. CROCKATT:
Sacred to the memory of William Crockatt shipmaster Ferry Port on Craig who died 27th April 1839 aged 58 years and of Susan Gregory his spouse who died 25th October 1831 aged 50 years also of Bridgess Brown Gilbert spouse of William Crockatt ship owner here she died 11th December 1850 aged 50 years also William Crockatt jnr ship owner Ferry Port on Craig who died 24th August 1851
Erected by Margaret Melville in memory of her husband Robert Culross who died 5th March 1859 aged 34 years and his daughter Helen Culross who died in infancy also his son Robert Culross who lost his life in the fall of the Tay Bridge 28th December 1879 aged 26 years.