Dunino

   DUNINO, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 4 miles (S. E.) from St. Andrew's; containing, with the district of Kingsmuir, 471 inhabitants. This place derives its name, occasionally corrupted into Denino, and signifying in the Gaelic language "the hill of young women," from the establishment of a nunnery at an early period on an eminence about 300 feet above the level of the sea, and of which the remains, consisting chiefly of the foundation, were removed in 1815. The parish, including the lands of Kingsmuir, which on very doubtful authority have been claimed by the parish of Crail, is about three miles in length, and nearly of equal breadth, comprising 3275 acres, of which 2880 are arable, 270 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface is generally level, but the scenery is somewhat enlivened by the course of three streamlets, in which are found excellent trout, and which, uniting their waters, form the burn of Kenly, flowing eastward into the German Ocean. The soil is mostly fertile, producing good crops of wheat, oats, barley, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips, with the various grasses; and the pastures are luxuriantly rich. The system of husbandry is advanced; the lands have been drained, and inclosed with fences of stone; the farm-houses are well built, and roofed with slate; and on many of the farms are threshing-mills of the most approved construction. The cattle are generally of the Fifeshire black breed, with a few of the Ayrshire; the sheep are the Linton or Northumberland, and considerable numbers of swine are also fed on the several farms. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2965.
   The plantations on the banks of one of the rivulets contain a great variety of hard-wood trees, and those in other parts consist of larch and Scotch fir, all in a very flourishing state. Though Dunino is situated on the great coal basin of Scotland, it has been found more profitable to obtain that fuel from St. Andrew's or Anstruther than to work it. The rocks in the parish are of white sandstone, of fine texture, and admirable quality for building; red sandstone is found in regular strata, and limestone forms the bed of a burn; disintegrated trap, intersected with veins of felspar, occurs in one place, and ironstone has been found in considerable quantities. Fairs are held at Kingsmuir in May and October; there are several post-offices within less than five miles of the church, and facilities of communication with St. Andrew's, Anstruther, Cupar, and other towns are afforded by good turnpike-roads. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £198. 16., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £28 per annum; patrons, the Principal and Professors of the United College of St. Andrew's. The church is a handsome structure erected in 1826, and contains 224 sittings. The parochial school affords instruction to about forty children; the master's salary is £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £16. There were until within the last few years some ruins of the ancient castle of Draffan, supposed to be of Danish origin, and also of that of Stravithy; and there are still remains of the castle of Pittairthy, in the south of the parish, commanding an extensive view of the sea. The eastern, or more modern, portion of this building has the date 1653, and is supposed to have been built by Sir William Bruce of Kinross; though unroofed, the walls are in good preservation. Near the garden of the manse are some remains of a Druidical circle; and about a mile to the west is a farm called Pittan-Druidh, or the grave of the Druids. Some copper coins of Charles I. and II., and of William and Mary, were recently found in a grave in the churchyard: two coins of Philip II. of Spain were also dug up in the parish, one of gold, and the other of silver, supposed to have been found in the wreck of a vessel belonging to the Spanish armada; and in 1836, an urn containing ashes was ploughed up in a field on the lands of Balcaithly. Among the most distinguished characters connected with the parish, were, John Fordun, author of the Scoto-chronicon; John Winram, sub-prior of St. Andrew's; and the Rev. James Wood, who, previously to his becoming minister of St. Andrew's, was one of the commissioners that brought Charles II. from the continent at the Restoration. Sir Robert Ayton, author of the celebrated poems, was a native of Dunino.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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