The sandstone caves which are a feature of this stretch of the Fife coast are known in Gaelic as "weems", and this is where the name Wemyss comes from. West Wemyss used to be an important port for the transport of coal, but the 18th-century tollbooth is all that remains today. Wemyss Castle, which stands between East and West Wemyss is reputedly where Mary Queen of Scots met her second husband Lord Darnley. A beautiful garden has been established around the castle, which is open to visitors by prior arrangement. The forerunner of Wemyss Castle, the ruined MacDuff Castle is in East Wemyss. The aforementioned caves include a cave known as the Glass Cave, which used to house one of the country's earliest glassworks. A third settlement in the area is known as the Coaltown of Wemyss, which, as its name suggests, was established in order to provide housing for the local coalminers.
Map of the area.