Markinch St Drostan’s Church
Parish of Markinch and Thornton
The Churchyard is open at all times
SUNDAY WORSHIP 11.15 am
If you would like fuller access to the 12th century tower
or to make a future arrangement for a guided tour of the church,
Bruce Manson 07795 901366
Douglas Galbraith 01592 752403
Ken Wilkie 07740 416831
who can be with you in a few minutes
From Leslie to Markinch
Leaving Leslie, the path crosses the River Leven and continues through an attractive wooded area, keeping by the river. After the path drops down to an underpass under the main road (A911), look right just before a play area where you may reflectively walk the Labyrinth, here created by St Columba’s Parish Church at the heart of Glenrothes, and based on the 12th century example in Chartres Cathedral. (https://www.st-columbas.com). Other features of interest in this section include the 4,000 year old Balfarg Henge amidst the new housing just before crossing the A92, the Stone Circle in Balbirnie Park and the ancient Stob Cross as you leave the Park.
In Balbirnie Park, turn left at the golf shop, continue past the club house, then turn right to follow the smaller river. Exiting the Park, turn right towards the church, noting the Markinch Gateway board on your right as you go up. (The turn can easily be missed.)
St Drostan’s Church, with its early 12th century tower, is open daily in season with guides on hand [for times see above]. Although the current building was remodelled several times through the centuries, clues to its former appearance remain, while its 12th century tower remains intact. St Drostan was a follower of St Columba, who was active in Aberdeenshire, where the Macduffs of Markinch would have had land holdings. It is believed that at one time, the old church may well have housed a relic associated with the saint.
The churchyard is also one of the stops on the ‘Footsteps of Kings’ trail, where children may download an app enabling them to fire virtual arrows towards the Bow Butts below. Don’t miss some of the hundreds of masons’ marks in the tower, or the cross from the Pilgrim Way logo, which can be seen in the church balcony following recent excavations of the 12th century arch.
Nearby is the former seat of justice, at Northhall, which gives Markinch its title as the ‘ancient capital of Fife’. In town, there are cafés, stores, hotels, a chemist, and an information board about the district. The route then continues to Ceres via Brunton Road, at the foot of Glass Street at the right-angled bend into the High Street.