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Crail Church

East Fife

In Person


This site in Crail appears to have much older religious associations but the parish church was dedicated to St Maelrubha of Applecross, by David de Bernham Bishop of St Andrews, in 1243. In later times it was known as St Mary’s and until 1594 it, and all the church’s lands in Crail, belonged to the Cistercian Nunnery of St Clare in Haddington.

The 13th century nave consists of six bays with north and south aisles but this was re-roofed in 1796, completely obscuring the old clerestory.  A further reconstruction of the building took place in 1815.

A finely sculpted Pictish cross-slab, from about the 8th century, having previously lain in the floor of the church for about fifty years is now exhibited on the left of the church entrance

Carved oak panels, of the 16th and 17th centuries, are relics of pew frontals of some of the principal heritors of the church.

The organ came from a private residence in Kirkcaldy and was purchased and installed in the church in 1936. In 1937, the oak pulpit, which was being disposed of by a church in Edinburgh, was purchased for £10 and dismantled and re-erected in Crail for £25. 

The Fife Chair was gifted to the church in 1901. It was carved by Mrs Dow, wife of Professor Dow, who was skilled in carving as a hobby.

The oil painting of a mariner dates from about 1756 and shows the use of a navigational backstaff.  It is the only surviving relic of the trade lofts of the Church which were all removed in 1815.

The stained glass windows are modern. Those under the tower were gifted by a descendant of Sir William Myreton (who died in 1539) and the small window is a reopened 13th century lancet, which had been long filled-in and concealed by lath and plaster.

Guided tours will be conducted throughout the day.


Key Information


Stewards will be present at the venue.

Where to find us

  • Marketgate
  • Crail
  • KY10 3TQ

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