Largo, Fife

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Largo Law 001.jpg
Largo Law, a mile north of Upper Largo,
highest point of parish
Largo is located in Fife
Largo shown within Fife
Population 2,524 
OS grid reference NO4171402564
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Leven
Postcode district KY8
Dialling code 01333
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56°12′50″N 2°56′28″W / 56.214°N 2.941°W / 56.214; -2.941Coordinates: 56°12′50″N 2°56′28″W / 56.214°N 2.941°W / 56.214; -2.941

Largo is a parish in Fife, Scotland containing the villages of Upper Largo or Kirkton of Largo, Lower Largo and Lundin Links. It is bounded on the west by the parish of Scoonie, on the north by Ceres and on the east by the parishes of Newburn and Kilconquhar. It has a coastline of 2¾ miles along Largo bay. Inland it extends 3-4 ½ miles north from the south coast of Fife.[1] Area 7,378 acres.[2]


Near the eastern edge of the parish is situated Largo Law, height 953 ft.,[3] a conical hill of volcanic origin, whose summit provides an extensive view of the surrounding area and across the Firth of Forth to the Lothians. West of Largo Law is a deep ravine, through which flows a small burn, intersecting the parish from north to south for 2 miles.[1]

The name "Largo" comes from the Gaelic word for hillside: Learg; a reference to the area being on a hillside of Largo Law.[4]

The church of the parish is situated in Upper Largo and dates from 1817, although it includes stonework from the earlier church dated 1623.[5] The manse, which stands close by the west side of the Church, dates from 1760-1770, being considerably enlarged in 1822.[6]

The estate of Largo was once the most extensive in the parish, with a mansion, Largo House, about a mile west of the church in Kirkton of Largo. The Barony of Largo was conferred by James III in 1482 on Sir Andrew Wood, his naval commander, in recognition of his victories over the English. Sir Andrew caused a canal to be built from his mansion almost down to the church, thus enabling him to arrive by barge at the church each Sunday.[1] Traces of the canal may be seen behind the manse.[6]

Parish of Largo, 1927 (parish boundary shown in red)

Largo House built in 1750 [5] is now a ruin. During the second World War it served as headquarters of the Polish Parachute Brigade and in 1951 the roof was removed to avoid local property taxation[7] (a similar experience to Dalquharran Castle). Immediately west of Largo House, near Lundin Links, was Lundin House, site of the Lundin estate originating from the grant of a Barony to Philip de Lundin by Malcolm IV.[1]

In the northern part of the parish lies New Gilston, a village 3 miles north of Upper Largo, surrounded by agricultural land. It has the distinction of being the highest inhabited village in Fife. The hamlet of Woodside is a short distance to the west.[8]

The population of the parish in 1755 was 1,396,[1] 1,867 in 1801 and grew to 2,500 in 1951.[9] The civil parish now has a population of 2,524 (in 2011).[10]

Civil parishes in Scotland, as units of local government, were abolished in 1929.[11] but have been used later for census purposes.

Largo Area Community Council covers approximately the same area as Largo civil parish, plus Newburn to the east.[12] Similarly, Largo parish is united with Newburn for church purposes.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e History of the County of Fife Vol.3, by John Leighton, 1840, p. 129
  2. ^ Gazetteer of Scotland, publ, by W & AK Johnston, Edinburgh, 1937. Article on Largo. Places are presented alphabetically
  3. ^ Ordnance Survey map Dundee and St Andrews One Inch to One Mile, publ. 1927
  4. ^ The Fife Post web site, retrieved February 2016
  5. ^ a b New Statistical Account of Scotland - Vol. Fife and Kinross, by Ministers of their respective parishes, Publisher: William Blackwood, 1845, p. 434
  6. ^ a b c See the web site of the parish church retrieved January 2016
  7. ^ retrieved January 2016
  8. ^ See website of Largo Community Council retrieved January 2016
  9. ^ Vision of Britain web site accessed 3 February 3, 2016
  10. ^ Census of Scotland 2011, Table KS101SC – Usually Resident Population (See “Standard Outputs”, Table KS101SC, Area type Civil Parish 1930), National Records of Scotland, accessed March 2016
  11. ^ Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929
  12. ^ "Largo area map". Retrieved February 6, 2016.