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Culross Mercat Cross

Culross, (locally pronounced Coo-rus), is situated on a hillside sloping gently to the River Forth, its placid old-world aspect is in keeping with its great antiquity. Here St Serf carried on his missionary labors, and founded a church and cemetery, and here he died and was buried. For centuries the townsfolk used to celebrate his day (July Ist) by walking in procession bearing green boughs. Kentigern, the apostle to Cumbria and first bishop of Glasgow, was born at Culross, his mother having been driven ashore during a tempest, and was adopted by St Serf as his son.

These religious associations, coupled with the fertility of the soil, led to the founding of a Cistercian abbey in 1217. Of this structure the only remains are the western tower and the choir, which, greatly altered as well as repaired early in the 19th century, now forms the parish church. It is supposed that a chapel of which some traces exist in the east end of the town was dedicated to Kentigern. James VI. made Culross a royal burgh in 1588. In 1808 there was discovered in the abbey church, embalmed in a silver casket, still preserved there, bearing, his name and arms, the heart of Edward, Lord Bruce of Kinloss, who was killed in. August 1613 near Bergen-op-Zoom in a duel with Sir Edward Sackville, afterwards earl of Dorset.

Robert Pont (1524-1606), the Reformer, was born at Shirresmiln, or Shiresmill, a hamlet in Culross parish. Its old industries, the coal mines, linen manufacture, salt works, and even the making of iron girdles for the baking of scones have gone, but its pleasant climate and picturesque strets make it worth visiting. Dunimarle Castle, a handsome structure on the sea-shore, adjoins the site of the castle where, according to tradition, Macbeth slew the wife and children of Macduff.

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