Discover the history & heritage of our West Fife Villages

Saline & District Heritage Society welcomes you to explore our local surroundings through a historic lens. We are a community-based group that hosts regular speaker events, presentations, projects, museum open days & more!

Far beyond ‘neath yon glorious skies,

Where the darkness falls and daylight dies

There stands a village whose gates are old,

But the hearts therein are hearts of gold.’

‘the paradise of fife’ sgt maxwell robertson of saline (1893-1915)

Saline & District Heritage Society was founded in 2011 being jointly sponsored by Saline and Blairingone Parish Church as well as Saline & District Community Council. The Society aims to research, gather and make available historical documents, artefacts and other items of historical interest which relate or have a connection with Saline, Steelend and wider District.

We have an annual Summer museum event alongside a Winter speaker programme which provides an increasing awareness of the community’s heritage. Other activities include a search for the ‘mediaeval’ church, (close to the Old Kirkyard on Bridge Street,) archaeological digs and the development of heritage trail walks around the area. Encouraging the community to take an interest in their local heritage and social history includes engaging with all ages, including the very youngest.

Saline & District Heritage Society committee

Latest News

📌** Summer 2021 Update **

Although the Society is still holding Committee meetings online, some of us have managed to meet face-to-face in a small group to discuss ongoing projects. It is hoped our Speaker Events will be able to resume in-person come Autumn! Until then we’ve been busy; expanding our online presence, being published in a recent issue of Current Archaeology writing articles for the forthcoming village newsletter and putting together the finishing touches to our Doors Open Days page for this year’s event.

📌Themed Website Pages Summer 2021

Look out for a series of Heritage topics linked to our Online Museum 2021: A Decade’s Retrospective, some of which will have a specific dedicated page on the website. (These can be found via the menu at the top of the page.) Starting with ‘The Church in Saline’ more will follow in the weeks ahead…

📌Online Speaker Events from May 2021

The Society’s début online talk was given by Mr Roy Johnstone on the 26th May entitled, ‘The Heroines of the Special Operation’s Executive in World War II.’ It was remarked by all who attended that it was lovely to have the group meet again, albeit via Zoom! The Committee is looking to hold further online events over the Summer ahead of returning to in-person meetings.

📌Government Covid-19 Update: Timetable for Planned Phasing from April

The Society continues to keep a close eye on the Government’s schedule for easing lockdown restrictions, with the understanding that all dates are subject to change and/or review. We note that museums and galleries are allowed to re-open on 26th April, which we hope bodes well for our Summer exhibition to go ahead as usual. However, at this stage it remains unlikely that our Speaker Event programme will resume before Autumn due to ongoing restrictions for public indoor events involving multiple households. The virus is unpredictable and therefore we cannot guarantee a specific timetable at present but we very much look forward to seeing you all when safe to do so!

Comprehensive information relating to Coronavirus in Scotland can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

‘Bonny Saline, ye ‘ re a’ my ain,

Said One as he mused on Saline Hill

And girned at the souls he could not gain,

And grinned at the dupes who did his will’


Upcoming Speaker Events

The Society meets on the third Wednesday of the month from September to May at 7pm (GMT) in Saline Parish Church Hall. A friendly welcome awaits you with refreshments available ahead of the scheduled talk or presentation. We look forward to seeing you amongst the audience!

📌Please Note: Our usual Winter talks are currently on hiatus due to the ongoing global pandemic, however we hope to resume our planned 2020/2021 programme when possible and safe to do so.

Previous speaker events have included

🏹’Saline from Mediaeval to Early Modern: 1400-1650′ – Susan Murray

📷’Early Historic Scottish Photography’ – Leslie Ferguson

👩‍🦳’Louise Carnegie: The Woman behind the Man’ – Sharon McCall

⚓’Shipwrecks of the Forth’ – Ian Archibald

🧭’The Wemyss Caves’ – Dr Sue Hampstead

🥾’The Fife Pilgrims Way’ – Miranda Lorraine

👑’Mary Queen of Scots at Loch Leven Castle’ – Prof. David Monro

Saline, 1854 OS 1st Ed. Fifeshire (Reproduced with the permission of NLS, 2019)

Archaeological Excavations

Our Society has been fortunate enough to undertake archaeological studies with local and national archaeologists on projects including searching for a Mediaeval church within Saline Old Kirkyard & investigating the Morthouse, (a specialised building which held the bodies of the dead prior to burial) within the grounds of the current Parish Church.

It is the Society’s intention to further explore the site at Saline Old Kirkyard when both time and funds permit. An initial paper on our findings, working alongside experts from the Edinburgh Archaeology Field Society (EAFS) http://www.eafs.org.uk was published in 2015.

The Society welcomes stories, photos, artefacts or other information relating to the local district for inclusion in annual exhibitions or within our growing archive. Do visit the Contact page for details of how to get in touch with us.

Saline & District Heritage Society Committee

Museum Exhibitions

During the Summer the Society Museum opens its doors to eager local & international visitors, both young and old. Our Museum is situated within the Session House belonging to Saline Parish Church and is ideally located in the centre of the village. Each year sees a new exhibition expertly displayed by our dedicated Society curator.

Additionally, Saline Museum takes part in the Doors Open Days heritage festival run by the Scottish Civic Trust (SCT) https://www.scottishcivictrust.org.uk/doors-open-days/ Every September Doors Open Days allows free access to hundreds of fascinating venues across the country and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing our part in highlighting the history of our local surrounds.

Previous exhibition themes have included

🏥Sláinte! Healthcare across Saline and District (2019)

📚Education and Schooling in Saline & Steelend (2018)

⛏️Archaeological Sites across Saline and District (2017)

🏆Sports & Pastimes within our West Fife Villages (2016)

🏠Shops, Businesses & Housing in the Saline Area (2015)

🌹Centenery of the Great War 1914-2014 (2014)

🧱West Fife Industries through the ages (2013)

** Click on the ‘2021 Museum Exhibition’ link at the top of this page for a look at our Decade’s Retrospective, beginning with a History of Saline Church **

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