Milnathort - an historic walk around the town.

We start our gentle stroll around the heart of Milnathort, at the northern end of South Street outside the United Free Church. This impressive landmark (situated on the corner of South Street and Church Street) was built in 1869 and was converted into residential flats in 2000. On the opposite side of South Street is an attractive, narrow lane; here you will find a house with a lintel date of 1692. Rather appropriately then, the shop on the corner sells antiques! Continuing our walk north, you can't miss Milnathort Town Hall, with its imposing clock steeple. The hall was opened in 1855 and is a great community asset, still regularly used for a wide variety of purposes. A police post and cells were originally accommodated in the hall, whilst the present ante-room was part of an earlier building which was utilised as a corn exchange. The hall is built over the Back Burn; this once ran across the road as a ford, prior to the construction of New Road.

To the right of the Town Hall, further along New Road, you will find The Thistle Hotel, one of the area's original Coaching Inns. During 1849, Mr. Stalker's coach, "The Lochleven Castle", was advertised as leaving Milnathort for Burntisland at 5am. To travel inside the coach, the princely sum for a single fare was 2 shillings; alternatively, you could economise and travel outside for a mere 1 shilling and 6 pence!

Walk back to the Town Hall, which is situated on the corner of New Road and Westerloan. Stroll up Westerloan to visit the Cross Keys Inn, where you will find the date 1792 on its lintel. Continue to walk up the steep hill (Ba'Hill, Bael's Hill or Bahill's Braes) and at the top you will find the Parish Kirk of Orwell, built in 1729. Back then it was just a rectangular building with an earthen floor, tiny windows, a small belfry and a high pulpit in the middle. Even although the sermons often lasted over two hours, there was no seating!

Return to the foot of Westerloan (as the weary parishioners no doubt gladly did after attending church) and you will find Back Loan which runs behind the Town Hall and parallel with New Road. This was once part of the Stage Coaches' Great North Route. It ran by the N.E. side of the hall, fording the Back Burn. Walk along Back Loan and you will find several cottages bearing lintel dates from 1688 to 1750. The first one on the left was Milnathort's original Ale and Porter House.

Adapted from the writings of Mrs Nan Walker, as published by the Kinross Historical Society in 1980.
Return to the page

Click here to close this window