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Coordinates: 56°13′24″N 2°42′10″W / 56.22344, -2.70274
Anstruther Seafront
Anstruther seafront

Scotland relief location map
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Anstruther shown within Scotland
Population 3,600 
OS grid reference NO564035
Council area Fife
Lieutenancy area Fife
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Dialling code 01333
Police Fife
Fire Fife
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament North East Fife
Scottish Parliament Fife North East
Mid Scotland and Fife
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Anstruther (locally pronounced /ˈeɪnstər/ (deprecated template)) (Enster in Scots, Eanstar in Scottish Gaelic and also meaning Little Stream) is a small town in Fife, Scotland. The two halves of Anstruther are divided by a small stream called Dreel Burn. Anstruther lies 9 miles south-southeast of St Andrews. It is the largest community on the stretch of north-shore coastline of the Firth of Forth known as the East Neuk, with a population of about 3,500 people. The village of Cellardyke forms an easterly extension of Anstruther.


It was originally a fishing village, and is home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, but its main industry is now tourism, although other small scale manufacturing and service industries continue. Pleasure craft now moor in the harbour, and there is a golf course. Anstruther Pleasure Cruises operate sightseeing/wildlife cruises from the harbour to the Isle of May onboard the 'May Princess' from April till October, the Isle of May is considered the UK's No.1 Puffin location, also an abundance of other interesting wildlife and seal colonies. The Waid Academy, the local state comprehensive school, is often a focus of the community and through its secondary role as a community centre offers a wide range of activities & sports, and hosts entertainment for young and old. Sports Hall, Gym, Swimming pool etc are also situated here and open to public use.


Anstruther from Wester Anstruther.

It has a double award-winning fish and chip shop, Anstruther Fish Bar, which won Fish and Chip shop of the year in 2001-2002 & was awarded the same prize once again, by Sea Fish Organisation, in 2009, as well as other fine fish and non-fish takeaways, and relaxed and formal dining restaurants.

The many famous names from Anstruther include religious thinker and leader Dr Thomas Chalmers, co-founder of the Free Church of Scotland (whose house is preserved), sports writer Graham Speirs, and was the childhood home of BBC Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman.

Anstruther is a popular tourist destination and has a number of guest houses, hotels and self-catering options available.

Anstruther has a fine parish church at its centre, perched on a small hill. This incorporates a tower/spire feature rare to Britain, but having several other examples in this area.

Anstruther War Memorial is located in the cemetery, somewhat further inland. It is of unusual form for a war memorial, being totally flat to the ground, in the centre of a landscaped roundel. It broadly adopts the form of a celtic cross.

Somewhat outwith the town centre, on the coastal road to the west, stands the Dreel Tavern (taking its name from the adjacent stream). This fine building dates from the 17th century.

Notable inhabitantsEdit

James Melville, nephew of the more celebrated reformer, Andrew Melville, who was minister of Kilrenny, has given in his Diary a graphic account of the arrival at Anstruther of a weatherbound ship of the Armada, and the tradition of the intermixture of Spanish and Fife blood still prevails in the district. Anstruther fair supplied William Tennant, who was born and buried in the town, with the subject of his poem of "Anster Fair." Sir James Lumsden, a soldier of fortune under Gustavus Adolphus, who distinguished himself in the Thirty Years' War, was born in the parish of Kilrenny about 1598.

David Martin (1737-1798), the painter and engraver; Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the great divine; John Goodsir (1814-1867), the anatomist; and Robert Fowler (1853-1926), artist, were natives of Anstruther. Archibald Constable, Sir Walter Scott's publisher, was born in the parish of Carnbee, about 3 miles to the north of Pittenweem. Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart (1887 - 1970), director-general of the Political Warfare Executive during World War II was also born in Anstruther. Anstruther has also become known as the base for the Fence Collective, a network of nu-folk musicians.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town was also the home to The Beggar's Benison, a gentlemen's club devoted to "the convivial celebration of male sexuality".[1]


Anstruther is in the North East Fife UK Parliament constituency (MP is currently Sir Menzies Campbell), Fife North East Scottish Parliament constituency (MSP is currently Iain Smith) as well as the Mid-Scotland and Fife Scottish Parliamentary region and the Scotland European Parliament constituency. In local politics the ward of East Neuk and Landward in the Fife Council is represented by a number of councillors elected under the Single Transferable Vote system.

The Secret BunkerEdit

File:Secret Bunker Image 2.JPG
Following the end of the Cold War, one of Anstruther's best kept secrets has become a major tourist attraction. A secret nuclear bunker, built in 1951 and operational until 1993, located near the village and beneath what during its operational lifetime was an ordinary looking domestic dwelling, has been renovated and is now open to the public as a museum.[2] The bunker was a subsidiary Regional Seat of Government in time of Nuclear emergency and would have been occupied by UK Armed Forces, UKWMO, Royal Observer Corps, and other Civil Service personnel.

References Edit

External links Edit

See alsoEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Anstruther. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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