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Green War Memorial 3.jpg
Leslie War Memorial
Grid reference: NO249017
Location: 56°12’7"N, 3°12’41"W
Population: 3,092  (2006 est.)
Post town: Glenrothes
Postcode: KY6
Dialling code: 01592
Local Government
Council: Fife

Leslie is a large village on the northern tip of the River Leven Valley, to the west of Glenrothes in Fife. According to the population estimates in 2006, the village had a population of 3,092. The village was granted burgh of barony status by James II in 1458 for George Leslie who became the first Earl of Rothes. Later, this was upgraded to a police burgh in 1865.[1][2]

Leslie is a linear settlement with the historic High Street as its main focus. A large proportion of housing in Leslie is traditional however there are concentrations of more contemporary housing in the west of the village. The high street contains a number of community facilities including shops, pubs, restaurants and a dentist. Leslie also has a primary school which is located in the west of the village. The former Fettykill Paper mill lies within the Leven Valley to the south and historic Leslie House, former stately home of the Earls of Rothes, sits in large grounds to the south-east of the village within Riverside Park.


Leslie House

Little is known about the history of Leslie before 1300. The village bears the name of the Leslie family who were descended from Bartolf or Bartholomew who was a Hungarian or maybe Flemish tradesman, who according to legend arrived in England with Margaret, the sister of Edgar the Ætheling in 1057.[3][4] Margaret married King Malcolm II of Scotland and, finding favour with King Malcolm, Bartolf became the governor of Edinburgh Castle and was knighted and granted with lands in the Garioch in Aberdeenshire, making his residence at Leslie.[3][4] A charter by William the Lion between 1172 and 1190, granted the lands in Aberdeenshire which were owned by Bartholomew to be passed down to his descendent.[4] In 1283, Norman de Leslie (the fourth descendent of Bartholomew) was granted the lands 'Fettykill' or 'Fythkill' from Alexander III.[3][5] A settlement also known as 'Fettykill' began to develop around these lands.[3][5]

In 1455, the settlement was renamed '"Leslie"' after George Leslie, 1st Earl of Rothes. Burgh of Barony status followed in 1458, awarded by James II after Sir George Leslie who became 1st Earl of Rothes (a title which came from the family owning land at Rothes, near Elgin).[3][6] During this time, the family started to become prominent at court.[6] John Leslie, the then Earl of Rothes, was awarded the title of Lord High Chancellor to Charles II in 1667 and then became known as the Duke of Rothes in 1680.[1][6]

Leslie House was built for the Duke of Rothes between 1667 and 1674 and this became the seat of the Rothes family.[1] The house which was dubbed Villa De Rothes was the centre of life in the village and once rivalled Holyrood Palace for both size and glamour.[1][6] When a fire destroyed the building in 1763, the north, east and south wings were demolished.[6] Only the west wing was retained and this was reconstructed between 1745 and 1747.[1][6] In later years, Leslie House was known as the family seat of Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes, famed as a survivor of the Titanic disaster in 1912.

Leslie House was again severely damaged by fire in February 2009. Restoration of the building, as well as plans to create 17 luxury homes from the renovated property, are currently underway.


The village has its own 9-hole golf course and a public park to the north.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lamont-Brown Fife in History and Legend pp.157-158.
  2. Fife Council Kirkcaldy's History, Its Places and Its Famous Folk p.11.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fiet Old Leslie p.3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ferguson A History of Glenrothes p11
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ferguson A History of Glenrothes pp13-14
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Ferguson A History of Glenrothes p.17.
  • Lamont-Brown, Raymond (2002). Fife in History and Legend. Edinburgh: Birlinn Publishing. 
  • Ferguson, Keith (1982). A History of Glenrothes. Glenrothes Development Corporation. 
  • Fiet, William (1998). Old Leslie. Stenlake Publishing.