Willie’s View: Unassuming Monimail


Monimail in the Kingdom of Fife is proof that it doesn’t matter where you go; everywhere has a story to tell.

And sometimes it’s the places you’d least expect to find anything that turn out to be the most interesting.

Monimail is only a couple miles off the main St Andrews road, lying between the villages of Goliessie and Letham. At first glance you might think the whole village consists of nothing more than three houses and a kirk.

Monimail however used to sit at the intersection of two main routes – one connecting Perth and St Andrews; the other, Stirling and St Andrews. In the past these were three of the most important towns in Scotland.

Here you’ll discover a rich tapestry of intriguing tales. These include stories of Bishops,Archbishops, Kings, Queens and even a murderer.

You can also find out how one Archbishop, John Hamilton, was cured of his asthma after a leading physician / astrologer was brought to tend to him all the way from Italy. This was in the mid 1500s too! Mind you, it sounds like some of the treatments he prescribed may have been worse than the illness!

Four miles away is the Royal Palace of Falkland. Monimail though had its own Palace and a beautifully restored part of that Palace – ‘Beaton’s Tower’, still stands today. Follow the short circular walk around its Orchard and Terrace and you’ll find more than a few surprises.

It would be so easy to drive through Monimail and never realise this quiet wee place had so much to say.


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