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Blythe's Folly.jpg
Blythe's Folly, atop Redwells Hill
Location: 56°10’0"N, 3°13’60"W
Post town: Lochgelly
Postcode: KY5
Dialling code: 01592
Local Government
Council: Fife

Kinglassie is a small village and parish in Fife, adjacent to the border with Kinross-shire, and containing a detached part of that county. The village itself is located two miles south-west of Glenrothes, whereas the parish comprehends the south-western suburbs of that town. In 2011, the population of the village was 1,684,[1] whereas the wider parish has a population of 22,415. Adjacent parishes are Markinch and Leslie (which comprehend the remainder of Glenrothes) to the east and north-east; Portmoak (in Kinross-shire) to the north-west; Auchterderran to the south-west; and Kirkcaldy and Dysart to the south-east.


Little of antiquity remains, except for the Dogton Stone, with its Celtic cross, situated in a field about a mile to the south. For many years, Kinglassie was a weaving village, but in the 19th and 20th centuries it developed as a mining town.

Kinglassie has a primary school, Mitchell Hall (1896), a library, and the Miners' Welfare Institute (est. 1931). Fife Airport lies about a mile to the north-east and, on a hill overlooking the farm of Redwells, stands Blythe's Folly, a 52 ft-high tower built in 1812 by an eccentric Leith ship owner. Kinglassie's development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was marked by its rapid expansion to house mine workers. Many mine workers perished or were injured during the life of the mine. The mine was plagued by water flooding problems. The Kinglassie Pit started in 1908 and closed in 1967. The Westfield open cast coal mine lies to the west of the village and is still regarded as the biggest man-made hole in Europe by local people.

Local landmarks

Blythe's Tower, built in 1812, is a four-storey square tower, 54 ft high, built of rubble with ashlar string courses and a crenellated parapet. It is a category B listed building. The tower's interior was formerly floored to afford access to an observation platform. The tower was built by a linen merchant to view ships as they entered the Forth, affording him the opportunity to procure the best goods at port. During World War II, the tower was used as a look out tower by the Home Guard.

The Dogton Stone, lies in a field to the south of Kinglassie at Grid reference - NT 236 968. The stone is a fragment of a free standing cross erected by the Picts, it probably dates form the 9th Century. The lower portion of the stone is all that remains of the cross and badly eroded decoration including a figure of an armed horseman above two beasts can be discerned. No one is certain why the stone was erected at this spot.[2]

The Mitchell Hall, built in 1896, was donated to the community by Alexander Mitchell. Mitchell also donated the first Parish Church organ. The Mitchell Hall is used by local community groups and is an asset to the wider Fife community.

Notable people

  • Sir William Reid (25 April 1791 – 31 October 1858), governor of Bermuda (1839–46), Barbados (1846–48), and Malta (1851–58); knighted 1851.
  • Jimmy Bonthrone, footballer and manager (16 June 1929 – 7 June 2008) played for East Fife 1947–58, Dundee 1958–60; manager, East Fife 1963–69, Aberdeen 1971–75; general manager, East Fife 1980–94; married (two sons).
  • Willie Fernie (22 November 1928 – 1 July 2011) was a Scottish footballer who played for the Scotland national football team in both the 1954 and 1958 FIFA World Cups. He also played for Celtic 1948–1958, Middlesbrough 1958–1960, St Mirren 1961–1963,Partick Thistle 1963, Alloa 1963, Fraserburgh 1963–1964, Coleraine 1964 and Bangor 1964–1965 before becoming manager of Kilmarnock FC 1973–1977.
  • T. McEwen junior, Scottish Motorcycle Speed Champion


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