Wednesday, 9 November 2011

DALGETY BAY AND INCHCOLM ISLAND

The Fife Coastal Path goes through Dalgety Bay, passing the half-flooded Ross Plantation and the ruined 13th century St Bridget’s Church, consecrated in 1244 by the Bishop of St Andrews. An earlier version of the church was mentioned in a papal document in 1178 which described it as “The Church at Dalgetty with its appurtenances”. The churchyard offers wonderful views of the bay and over the Firth of Forth, and a path from the church leads down to a sandy cove. The listed Donibristle House, of which only the 18th century wings remain, lies on the shore of the much smaller Donibristle Bay. Meanwhile, to the east of Dalgety Bay is a jolt of modernity in the form of an oil and gas terminal.

A short distance offshore opposite the oil and gas terminal is Inchcolm Island. This small island manages to pack in both historical interest and wildlife. The ruined Augustinian abbey, Inchcolm Abbey, with its well-preserved 13th century octagonal chapter house was once referred to as the Iona of the east. There are also ruins of 9th century hermit’s cells. In the waters surrounding the island is a large colony of grey seals, and there is also a fulmar colony. During the summer a ferry takes visitors across to the island from South Queensferry.

Map of the area.

'The Island of Inchcolm' photo (c) 2011, David Blaikie - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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