The fascinating history of a Fife town is going on show to give locals a glimpse into the past.
Cupar Burgh Council’s records are the focus of archival cataloguing by the University of St Andrews which hopes to uncover new information about the market town’s history.
Now, an open day is being held in the town to reveal what has been discovered in the first year of the “Hidden Burgh: Restoring Cupar’s Place at the heart of Fife” project.
Documents and volumes from the Burgh collection telling the story of Cupar from 1341 to 1975, will be on display to the public during the event at the Cupar Baptist Church Hall, on Wednesday October 16, from 3-6:30pm
The community heritage project is the result of an application by the university library’s special collections to the Archives Revealed grant funding programme.
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Christine Wood, project archivist, hopes it will spark huge interest amoing locals.
“Perhaps your ancestors or your house will be featured,” she said. “Come and have a look, ask questions – this is your heritage and the project leaders want to share it with you.”
Among the fascinating details are how bread was weighed, a case of embezzlement and the delicate positioning of toilets.
The programme is being run with the National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust which, along with the Wolfson Foundation and The Foyle Foundation, provided a year’s funding to have the Cupar Burgh Council records catalogued.
Around half of the records were deposited with the University by the National Records of Scotland, the remainder being passed across by the Fife Council Archives so that both streams of the collection could be merged together.
The secrets uncovered include the New Roll of Honorary Burgesses which was locked and the key lost.
A locksmith was necessary to reveal the contents which included the names of six people granted the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of Cupar between 1919 and 1975, including Field-Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, John Coutts Duffus and his sister Mrs Margaret Mitchell Gold.
Other interesting details include te Eight Trades of Cupar minutes dated 12 and 18 April 1777 mention a dispute between the kirk session and trades relating to the latter’s right to lofts in the church;
The charge of theft of guild funds by the Dean of Guild James Brugh recorded in the Cupar Guildry minutes of 13 October 1718.
The online catalogue can be accessed HERE: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/collections/archives/