Leven, Fife

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Leven
Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Lìobhann[1]
Scots: Leven
Leven is on the southern coast of Fife in the centre of the Scottish mainland. Near Firth of Forth
Leven is on the southern coast of Fife in the centre of the Scottish mainland. Near Firth of Forth
Leven

 Leven shown within Fife
Population8,850 [2] (2008 est.)
OS grid referenceNO384007
Council areaFife
Lieutenancy areaFife
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEVEN
Postcode districtKY8
Dialling code01333
PoliceFife
FireFife
AmbulanceScottish
EU ParliamentScotland
UK ParliamentGlenrothes
Scottish ParliamentMid Fife and Glenrothes
List of places
UK
Scotland
 
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Coordinates: 56°11′42″N 2°59′39″W / 56.195°N 2.994167°W / 56.195; -2.994167

Leven
Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Lìobhann[1]
Scots: Leven
Leven is on the southern coast of Fife in the centre of the Scottish mainland. Near Firth of Forth
Leven is on the southern coast of Fife in the centre of the Scottish mainland. Near Firth of Forth
Leven

 Leven shown within Fife
Population8,850 [2] (2008 est.)
OS grid referenceNO384007
Council areaFife
Lieutenancy areaFife
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLEVEN
Postcode districtKY8
Dialling code01333
PoliceFife
FireFife
AmbulanceScottish
EU ParliamentScotland
UK ParliamentGlenrothes
Scottish ParliamentMid Fife and Glenrothes
List of places
UK
Scotland

Leven (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Lìobhann) is a seaside town in Fife, set in the east Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on the coast of the Firth of Forth at the mouth of the River Leven, 8.1 miles (13.0 km) north-east of Kirkcaldy and 6.4 miles (10.3 km) east of Glenrothes.

According to an estimate taken in 2008, Leven has a population of 8,850. The town forms part of the Levenmouth conurbation which has a total population of 31,450.

Contents

History

The origin of the name “Leven” comes from the Pictish word for “flood”. The nearby Loch Leven, being the flood lake, was the name given to both the river and town.[3] A settlement is believed to have formed at the mouth of the River Leven very close to the area around Scoonie Brae with the discovery of the parish church of "scoyne".[3][4] During the mid-11th century, Bishop Tuadal of St Andrews gifted the church of “scoyne” to the Culdees of Loch Leven. By the end of the 11th century, the village along with the church were acquired by Bishop Robert of St Andrews following the decline of culdeen faith.[3][4]

The first mention of the current town was made in the middle of the 15th century, according to two separate records referring to the town's name as "levynnis-mouth". This contained information about the urgent need for repair work at the town's monastery and Georgie Durie, a local estate owner, becoming the keeper at the harbour.[3][4]

In 1854 the Leven Railway opened, linking the town with Thornton Junction on the Edinburgh - Aberdeen main line. This helped it to become a tourist resort popular with visitors from the west of Scotland, and particularly Glasgow. Later in the 19th century the Leven Railway became part of a loop line of the North British Railway linking Thornton Junction and Leuchars Junction via St Andrews. The railway between Leven and St. Andrews closed in 1965. The railway between Leven and Thornton Junction closed to freight in 1966 and passengers in 1969. A project into the reopening of the line is under consideration, dubbed the Leven rail link. Until then, the nearest station is Markinch railway station.

Leisure & tourism

What remains of the tourist industry in this area probably revolves around golf. Leven boasts two golf courses, Scoonie and Leven Links - the latter being used as a qualifying course for The Open when the tournament is being played at the Old Course at St Andrews. There are also several other good golf courses in the surrounding area notably Lundin Links, Elie and Crail.

Leven hosts its own 374 seat art deco cinema, The Regent Cinema.

Economic Activity

Levenmouth suffers from poor connections to the rail and main road network of Central Scotland, particularly since the closure of the last railway link in 1969, which came at the same time as the collapse of coal mining. The knock-on effect virtually sealed the fate of Methil Docks as a major port on the East of Scotland. There has been a number of unsuccessful attempts to restore a passenger rail connection to Leven, but as yet no progress has been made. The main road through Fife, the A92, bypasses this area of Fife, the 4th largest conurbation, whereas Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes all have good road and rail connections. Leven is linked to Kirkcaldy by the A915 Standing Stone Road and Methil to Kirkcaldy through Dysart and East/West Wemyss.

Very little remains in the way of major employment since the closure of the coal mining industry. The major employer now is the drinks manufacturer Diageo which has its main bottling plant in the town, and one of the largest distilleries in the world at Cameron Bridge, near Windygates. There is hopefully some light on the horizon in the proposed Fife Energy Park (this is operating now 2008, they produce wind turbines) which is to utilise the former oil-rig building yard in Methil which was itself built on the former Wellesley Colliery. On the North side of the Forth, there is talk of starting a ferry service to Edinburgh, and this may help to revitalise the area and increase house prices which at the moment are among the lowest in Scotland.

Education

Currently, the town is home to three primary schools.[5] Two of which are non-denominational - Mountfleurie and Parkhill and the other being denominational - St Agatha's.

Parkhill Primary School which serves the centre of the town opened in 1910, initially as an infant school before accepting primary school pupils in 1957.[5] Mountfleurie Primary School, on the other hand, opened in 1957 with an infant department in 1974. The school also has a speech and language class which officially started in 1990.[6] St Agatha's RC Primary School which dates from 1975, following a re-location from Methil, Fife has a catchment area stretching from East Wemyss to Lower Largo.

Twin Town

References

  1. ^ Iain Mac an Tàilleir 2003, placenamesK-O.pdf Retrieved 2011-05-26.
  2. ^ "Mid-2008 Population Estimates – Localities in order of size". General Register Office for Scotland. 2008. http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/stats/population-estimates/08mye-localities-table2.xls. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
  3. ^ a b c d Pearson, John M. (1993). Around Kirkcaldy, 1st edition. Levenmouth Printers. ISBN 0-9519134-3-3.
  4. ^ a b c Eunson, Eric (1991). Bygone Leven. Stenlake Publishing. ISBN 1-872074-07-3.
  5. ^ a b "Parkhill Primary School info". Fife Council. http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/atoz/index.cfm?fuseaction=facility.display&facid=3ED4E312-5D11-4359-A4156D536F4D0AAC. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  6. ^ "Mountfleurie Primary School info". Fife Council. http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/atoz/index.cfm?fuseaction=facility.display&facid=ADD817CF-2B55-4491-96E1B821550C98A9. Retrieved 2009-12-07.

External links