is a place where time really does stand still. One has
only to meander along the beautiful shell scattered golden sand beach and on to Chapel Green to see the remains of the
where carved into
the gable is the date 1093. That’s almost a thousand years ago.
Malcolm III died in the year 1093. Queen Margaret, his
wife, built a chapel at Edinburgh Castle and the Abbey at
Dunfermline. For pilgrims from the south to access her Dunfermline Abbey she established a
free Queen's ferry across the Firth of Forth between what is now
known as South and North Queensferry. With the same date being
on the gable of the ruined chapel at Earlsferry I wonder if
Queen Margaret was the originator of the Chapel at Earlsferry?
When I was a boy, in addition to the chapel's one remaining gable,
there were partial
remains of the side walls that were visible. In the space of my
lifetime despite dabs of cement now and then being applied to stave off
erosion the remains keep crumbling and the structure becomes less
and less. It's
really sad that over the centuries the Chapel, instead of being kept
in good repair and in daily use, has eroded and been allowed to deteriorate to the point that all that's now
left is a bit of one crumbling gable and humps of wild grass that outline the Chapel's
foundation which is about 20 by 40 feet.
Photo by Sandy
view is looking south, but sitting on this bench and looking to
the east, the north and south ends of the May Island in the
framed between the Lady's Tower and the Lighthouse.
gazillion pound location of the chapel in ruin commands the best and completely unobstructed view of
Elie, the harbour, the
Lighthouse, the May island and the islands and southern shores
of the Firth of Forth. Imagine back in time to the days when the Chapel
was built and how wayfarers over the centuries used it on a day
to day basis.
Other parts of the world
may be in the doldrums but today Earlsferry is
"on the move" and the timing is right for a
champion to emerge to get a group together to give the
Chapel a new lease on life by getting a new one designed and built. Such a chapel
would provide starry-eyed couples from near
and afar with a most meaningful place for their weddings.
Chapel made from the rugged dark navy-blue whin-stone of the
area with leaded and stained glass windows, carved heavy oak and iron studded
internal furnishings to match, slate roof
etc. would be a great community
project, one that would be in keeping with ancient
Chapel Green and-----
that just might last for another thousand
What a setting for
a chapel wedding.
a setting for a wedding chapel.
Hooked rug by Barbara
The Chapel by the Sea at Chapel
Green, from Earlsferry beach
most serene, symbolic and very special place.
neighbour played the bagpipes. On calm summer evenings as the sun was
low in the west he would strap on his kilt and go to the Chapel where he would play
until the sun set. One of his favourite tunes was the Eriskay
Love Lilt which was a delight to the ear as his lonely sounds of
nostalgia faintly drifted across the bay.