Appeal to promote Glenrothes’ historic sites

Balfarg Henge
Balfarg Henge

A archaeology lecturer has called for more to be done to promote Glenrothes’ historic sites.

The town boasts three sites of importance – the Balfarg Henge, Balbirnie Stone Circle, and Balfarg Riding School – all of which are thousands of years old.

Despite being hugely important and well-known among the archaeology community, Dr Kenneth Brophy, a senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Glasgow, believes not enough is being done to promote the sites.

Dr Brophy has a long history in the area, having visited and documented the three sites since the early 1990s.

Over the last few decades, he has recorded how the sites have changed and what the local community know about them.

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“I think people know some bits because of the information boards, but when I was at the fun day, no one was aware of the riding school,” he said.

“There is a general awareness, but I don’t think people realise just how important they are.

“Archaeologists have not told people locally how important they are. Part of the issue is that they are part of everyday life. They are viewed as being part of the furniture.”

Dr Brophy explained that the Glenrothes sites are viewed as important because of the concentration of sites in the same area.

He added: “There are few places in northern Britain where are a series of big ceremonial and burial monuments in such close proximity. It would have been a significant site for pilgrimage and gatherings in Scotland.”

Dr Brophy is now urging for more to be done to promote the sites, both to local school children and adults.

He suggests more online and digital information, better signage and increased presence in visitor guides could help promote the sites.

“There’s potential to do something exciting in the community,” he said.

“Almost nobody in Britain is able to say that they live next to a henge or a stone circle. It could be a place for people to visit. It could bring tourists to the area.

“Schools are a great opportunity. It could be a place for kids to go on field trips and a chance for them to engage with their local heritage.”

Dr Brophy has been working with the North Glenrothes Community Council on the sites, sharing ideas about how they could be better promoted.

He concluded: “Hopefully in the next year we will be able to improve the information available.”