Project to find Fife history

The group are digging to find a shrine to Saint Monan.
The group are digging to find a shrine to Saint Monan.
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A project has been launched to attempt to rediscover a forgotten piece of East Neuk history.

A group of local residents are currently digging up land on the bank of the Inverie Burn next to the Auld Kirk in St Monans, with the hope of finding a shrine to Saint Monan.

Bill Morris, one of those involved in the dig, has been researching the area for around 18 months and believes the shrine could be on the bank after he found a block on a map of the town from 1858 which has since disappeared.

He said some of the older residents of the town remember a hidden cave on the banking, but it has been lost over the years.

“Years ago I was researching William Sandilands, and he inherited all these lands from his father,” Bill explained.

“I found out there was a hermit’s cave near the sea, which was supposed to be a shrine to Saint Monan.

“There were other references to monks, when there was a Dominican Priory here, building a shrine to Saint Monan.”

The project has gripped the interest of several locals, who been helping Bill dig up the land since Thursday.

“It is history waiting to be found,” Bill said. “If it is a shrine then it will be a great tourist attraction for the village.

“I’ve also heard it was a tunnel entrance for when the minister came from Abercrombie, or a smuggler’s hiding place, or a part of the old mill.

“But somewhere in this bank is the chamber.”