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Carnock Parish Church - - 840288.jpg
Carnock parish church
Grid reference: NT042890
Location: 56°5’2"N, 3°32’24"W
Post town: Dunfermline
Postcode: KY12
Dialling code: 01383
Local Government
Council: Fife
Dunfermline & West Fife

Carnock is a village and parish in western Fife, approximately three miles north-west of Dunfermline.[1] The parish contains the village of Oakley, a mile to the east. It is bounded by Torryburn to the south; by Dunfermline to the east; by Saline to the north; and by Culross (in Perthshire detached) to the west.

The village is said to be named after St Cearnock, a disciple of St Ninian. Alternatively the form may derive from Caer-cnoc, the meaning of "Caer" to be a fort or castle and "cnoc" which is known to mean an isolated hill. Carnock is known to have had military significance in antiquity.


On the Main Street of Carnock lies the parish church which was built in 1840, though in the nearby kirkyard lies the remains of the original 12th-century church which was rebuilt in 1602. Next door to the church is Carnock Primary School, which serves both Carnock and Gowkhall. The school was built in 1864 with an extension added in 1912 and another in 2007. On Main Street is the Carnock Inn. The village also boasts a Community Centre built in 2005 and available for hire.


In 1774 upon Carneil Hill, near Carnock, several urns containing Roman coinage were discovered. It is believed that the local inhabitants, the Horestii, unsuccessfully defended this location against the Roman general Gnaeus Julius Agricola. The local names Easter Camps and Wester Camps are suspected to originate from this time. Another native fort is located at the nearby Craigluscar only two miles away. Subsequent Roman encampments are suspected three miles east of Dunfermline and a large camp at Loch Ore.

The Church in Carnock was held from 1592 to 1645 by the ecclesiastical historian John Row. Latterly the parish was overseen by Thomas Gillespie from 1741 to 1752. Thomas Gillespie was founder of the Relief Synod which was latterly incorporated into the United Presbyterian Church.


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