Upper Largo


Upper Largo

Upper Largo or Kirkton of Largo is a small town situated in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland. Resting on the southern slopes of the 290m (965 feet) Largo Law and a mile north of the shore of Largo Bay forming one of a pair with the rather larger Lower Largo. The home of Largo Cricket Club.

Location

To passers heading through towards the East Neuk of Fife on the A917, Upper Largo can be mistaken for a single street (this is "Main Street") of mostly stone built shops and houses. In its centre a junction at which turns off to head north east to St Andrews along the A915.

The Upper Largo Hotel with a veteran car park residing opposite and the once local car garage (currently is possibly being converted into a boat repair garage) lies to the western end of Main Street.

A minor road next to the garage turning north off Main Street leads to an attractive village green whose far end rises to the wall above which is the kirkyard of the Largo & Newburn Parish Church. Entry to the kirkyard and church is at the west end, up a set of steps. From the kirkyard you gain good views over the rooftops of the village, and of the attractive houses and cottages on the north side of the green.

If you take the turning along the St Andrews road, you are confronted by one of Upper Largo's most impressive buildings. John Wood's Hospital which was founded July 7, 1659 as an almshouse, it was renovated in 1975 as part of a wider development of the site that saw more than 10 pieces of accommodation built nearby which now forms a rather monotonous selection of sheltered housing.

Largo Law

Largo Law rises to 290m (965 feet) is conical in shape and is the remains of a volcanic plug. It is easily ascended from Upper Largo, to the south, starting at NO 423037, where there is a cemetery, an information board and parking space. The route passes between the steadings of Chesterstone Farm before directly ascending the hill's steep south face. Other routes to the summit are not encouraged.

John Wood's Hospital

John Wood's Hospital takes its name from local naval hero Sir Andrew Wood, often referred to as the Scottish Nelson. Sir Andrew made his name in battles against the English fleet in the years around 1500, and in recognition of his feats he was given estates in this part of Fife by James III.

Sir Andrew Wood lived in the mediaeval Largo House, of which only a tower now remains, three hundred yards west of the Parish Church. The oldest part of today's church dates back to 1623, but it was clearly built on the site of an earlier one. Sir Andrew linked his house and the church with what is believed to be Scotland's earliest canal, built so he could be rowed to church in his personal barge each Sunday in a manner befitting a naval hero.

Largo House

The fortalice of the medieval Largo House was replaced as the laird's residence by the nearby Palladian Largo House built c1750 by James Durham. [ Was the home of Admiral Philip Charles Durham, who captained HMS|Defiance|1783|6 at Nelson's victory of Trafalgar in 1805 ] This now stands as a shell after being partially demolished by Charles Brand of Dundee Ltd in 1951, on the instructions of the owners, the Maitland-Makgill-Crichton family of Monzie Castle, Crieff, to avoid having to pay rates. The main block of the house is attributed to James Adam but recent research indicates that it may actually have been designed by John Douglas, an equally important architect and contemporary of the Adams'. Further wings were added in 1814 and 1831 by General James Durham, who had his coat of arms placed on the tympanum.

Upper Largo is contiguous with Lower Largo and Lundin Links.

References

External links

* [http://www.fife.gov.uk/ Fife Council]
* [http://www.thelargotrust.org The Largo Trust]
* [http://www.standrews.co.uk/index.html Kingdom of Fife Tourist Board]
* [http://www.moirbooks.homestead.com/Woods_Of_Largo.html Admiral Sir Andrew Wood of Largo]


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