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Review: Tales from the East Neuk, edited by William McNaughton

   Tales from the East Neuk

Tales from the East Neuk is a fascinating compendium (264 pages) of fishermen’s tales, losses at sea, wartime exploits, comic anecdotes, family histories and articles and photos of historic buildings, mostly in Pittenweem.

It is worth reading alone for the interesting new information on local buildings from Anthony Lodge and others, debunking some of the myths that often pass for East Neuk history.

Here are some examples:

  • Kellie Lodging: built in 1580 but by a shipowner, not by the Earl of Kellie who bought it as late as 1724
  • St Fillan’s Cave: the only saint factually associated with the cave is Mary Magdalen
  • Porteous Riot: the smugglers who robbed the exciseman in a house on Marygate and whose execution set off the Riot were from Midlothian, not Fife, as is usually assumed from Scott’s Heart of Midlothian
  • Gyles House: Captain Cook’s ship wasn’t used in the escape of Charles the Second but he did dine with the King in Anster and was granted land by him.