The Fife Folk Museum
This volunteer-run Fife Folk Museum has an excellent collection of Fife history covering several centuries, from agriculture in the 18th century when there was far-reaching change in Scottish agriculture, with widespread ideas about improvement which were felt rapidly in Fife. In the course of the century the farming economy of Fife changed fundamentally; the old run-rig lands were divided and enclosed and the commons were divided and ploughed up or planted with trees to provide very much the pattern of fields and landscape still evident today.
The collection of agricultural exhibits in the Fife Folk Museum reflects the smaller tools and equipment of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Extremely functional, the tools were specifically designed for particular jobs. Large horn milk-ladle, a very old staved plunger churn, a wooden milk-pail or "luggie", a curd-breaker to break up the curd in cheese-making.
The Fife Folk Museum also has an interesting collection of clothing worn in Fife from the mid-18th-century. The finest of the black gowns is a heavily-beaded black satin trimmed with purple for the bride's mother to wear at her daughter's marriage in 1899. Some of the costumes, particularly baby robes, collars, cuffs and petticoats are decorated with fine whitework embroidery.
The Fife Folk Museum has collections of tools and equipment belonging to bakers, blacksmiths, butchers, clay pipe makers, coopers, joiners, plasterers, plumbers, shoemakers, slaters, stonemasons, thatchers, tilers, weavers, wheelwrights and others.
Tobacco was brought to England during the second half of the 16th century, from North and South America. From about 1650 until the early 20th century clay pipes were common finds on archaeological sites and in gardens.
During much of the 18th century, however, snuff taking became fashionable, and far fewer pipes were found. In the 19th century pipes began to be made from a much wider range of materials, including wood (briar), and meerschaum, a naturally occurring form of magnesium silicate, which could be carved. Cigar smoking was also introduced in the early 19th century, brought back from Spain by soldiers who had fought in the Peninsular War. Fifty years later the cigarette was introduced from South America.
The Fife Folk Museum is housed in a group of listed buildings in the centre of the attractive village of Ceres, situated about 2 miles ESE of Cupar and about 6 miles WSW of St Andrews.
FIFE FOLK MUSEUM Open 7 days 1st Apr - 31st Oct, 10.30-4.30 daily, Adults £4.00 Children free. Conc £3.00 Pre-booked groups £2.50 per person. Tel 01334 828180