Councillors back move to recognise Burntisland’s heritage

Burntisland's famous links in the 1950s
Burntisland's famous links in the 1950s

A bid to re-instate the connection - if not status - of Burntisland’s royal heritage has been been the official stamp of approval by councillors.

The bid, recently requested by Burntisland Community Council following a similar move in neighbouring Kinghorn, was passed by the Kirkcaldy Area Committee on Wednesday.

Welcoming the decision, Cllr Susan Leslie said: “Burntisland has always been a royal burgh but changes brought in by local government meant the name no longer afforded the town special status.

“But it’s not about status, it’s about acknowledging that Burntisland is an ancient town with a proud history and a loyal population that want that recognised.

“Yes, it’s all in the name.”

The Wester Kinghorn area was granted royal burgh status by James V in 1541.

When the status was confirmed in 1586, the settlement gained independence from the barony of Kinghorn and was renamed Burntisland.

That situation remained unchanged until burghs as a unit of local government wer abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

However, the use of the name can still be given consentby the Lord Lyon King of Arms, the public official tasked with regulating the use of heraldic names and coats of arms.

“There is a coat of arms and subject to its finalisation by the Lord Lyons, we will encourage its use appropriately,” said Cllr Leslie.Plans are now underway to repaint the signs into town at a projected cost of £2500.

“The reason why that’s important, said Cllr Leslie, “ is to boost the local economy, and business for shops and local craft aritisans.”

“We aim to increase the amount of visitors from people in the Kirkcaldy area to see what they have in these little gems [Kinghorn and Burntiland] and also people from further afield.”

In addition, the community council will now be able to title itself “The Royal Burgh of Burntisland Community Council.”

However, for the time being that title will only be acknowledged in a “practical sense” by Fife Council , since the name change is subject to formal approval by Scottish Ministers.