Crail's History & Heritage

Crail itself is an old fishing village with some beautiful old buildings and little cobbled streets. If you are interested in Scotland's history and heritage, the East Neuk is a great place to explore. Attractions in Crail include St Mary's Church, Crail Museum and Heritage Centre, Crail Pottery and the Jerdan Gallery. Along the coast a handful of other historic villages and towns can be found; namely Pittenweem, St Andrews and Anstruther.

Crail dates from at least as far back as the Pictish period, as the place-name includes the Pictish element caer, meaning 'fort'. There is a Dark Age cross-slab preserved in the parish church, itself dedicated to the early holy man St. Maelrubha. Built around a harbour, Crail has a wealth of vernacular buildings from the 17th-19th centuries - many of which have been restored by the National Trust for Scotland. Crail once had a royal castle above the harbour which is still visible as an open garden, but little to none of the structure remains. Crail is host to one of Scotland's oldest golf courses, Balcomie, which has been in use since the 1850's, but was formally laid out by Tom Morris Sr in 1894.