East Wemyss

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East Wemyss
Coastal defences, East Wemyss.jpg
Coastal defences at East Wemyss
Grid reference: NT340970
Location: 56°9’40"N, 3°3’50"W
Population: 1,928  (2011)
Post town: Kirkcaldy
Postcode: KY1
Dialling code: 01592
Local Government
Council: Fife

East Wemyss is a village standing on the south coast of Fife.[1] According to the 2011 census, the village has a population of 1,928.


East Wemyss was traditionally one of several coal mining communities along the south coast of Fife. The pit was its main employer for many years until it was closed in 1967 due to a fire which resulted in the deaths of nine men. The mine has since been demolished, however a memorial to the pit and the men who died has been erected.

This coastal area is known for its caves and the name of Wemyss derives from the Gaelic uamh, 'cave'); there are eleven caves, several of which contain Pictish incised carvings.[2] The caves were documented by the archaeological television programme Time Team in 2005, in an episode then broadcast in February 2005.[3] The excavations uncovered evidence of prehistoric, Middle Iron Age, Pictish, Mediæval and post-mediæval activity, including a new Pictish carving.[4] In April 2010, the caves were the subject of a short film.

East Wemyss used to be a good spot for fishing although the construction of a sea wall has mainly stopped shore fishing. There are, however, still boat huts which many people use to fish the Firth of Forth. East Wemyss is also home to the ruins of MacDuff's Castle, home to the MacDuff Earls of Fife, the most powerful family in Fife during the Middle Ages.

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