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Scottish Gaelic Dùn Phàrlain
Scots Dunfermline
nickname: Auld Gray Toun
Dunfermline Abbey and Historic Center in 2016 aerial photo
Dunfermline Abbey and Historic Center in 2016 aerial photo
Coordinates 56 ° 4 ′  N , 3 ° 26 ′  W Coordinates: 56 ° 4 ′  N , 3 ° 26 ′  W
Dunfermline (Scotland)
Residents 49,706 2011 census
surface 18.31 km² (7.07  mi² )
Population density: 2715 inhabitants per km²
languages English
Scots (Doric)
ZIP code section KY11, KY12
prefix 01383
Part of the country Scotland
Council area Fife
British Parliament Dunfermline and West Fife
Scottish Parliament Dunfermline
Website: www.dunfermline.info

Dunfermline ( listen to the pronunciation ? / I ) is a town in the Scottish council area of Fife with 49,706 inhabitants. The city is one of Scotland's historic capitals. The administrative district of the same name was founded in 1975 and has been part of Fife since 1996. Audio file / audio sample

The name of the city is derived from the Gaelic Dùn Phàrlain , which translates as either "Fort des Partholon " or "Fort of the curved Glen". There is a hero named Partholan, also known as "the Celtic Atlas, " but the origin is not certain. The family name “MacFarlane” is derived from this expression.


Dunfermline is about three miles off the coast of the Firth of Forth , north of Edinburgh . The city is crossed in a north-south direction by the Pittencrieff Glen, a deep, winding gorge in which the River Lyne Burn flows.


Dunfermline is one of the oldest settlements in Scotland, as evidenced by finds from the Iron and Bronze Ages . The monastic order of the Culdeer settled here.

With the marriage of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret in 1070, the city's fame increased significantly. The king lived in a tower on a hill surrounded on three sides by the glen. Remains of this castle can be found in Pittencrieff Park. Under the influence of the queen, the foundation for the Benedictine monastery was laid in 1075, which was later elevated to an abbey by David I (see below). Robert the Bruce , buried there, gave the city its statute in 1322. Until confirmation by James VI. However, in 1588 all privileges were granted by the abbots.

In the 18th century, Daniel Defoe saw Dunfermline as "the full perfection of decay" but the city flourished again. The manufacture of linen became a mass industry . James Blake introduced damask weaving in 1718 . He had learned the art in courses at Drumsheugh, near Edinburgh, to which he had gained access through feigned nonsense. Since then, the linen trade has skyrocketed. The success was also based on the special design of the fabric.

Other industries that have contributed to the prosperity of the city include dyeing and bleaching , brass and iron foundry , tanning , mechanical engineering , brewing and distillation , milling , rope making, and the production of soups and candles .

Culture and sights


Well-known musicians from Dunfermline are The Skids , a punk rock band that celebrated its greatest successes in the late 1970s . They named their most successful album after the city. Her biggest hit, Into the Valley , is hugely popular with local football fans. Another well-known rock band from the city is Nazareth , which also had the most hits in the 1970s, they had several titles in the international charts. The bands Big Country and Summerisle are also from Dunfermline. Ian Anderson , front man of the rock band Jethro Tull , was also born here in 1947.



Dunfermline Abbey and Church - Illustration from Cassell's History of England circa 1902

The most famous building of the city is in the Romanesque and Gothic built style abbey . The present abbey was founded by David I in 1128, going back to the establishment of a priory by Malcolm III. and his wife Margareta around 1070. Dunfermline Abbey is one of the most important buildings in Scotland.

Nearby are the ruins of Dunfermline Palace , where King Charles I , the last British monarch to come from Scotland, was born.

In the winter of 1303 the court of Edward I of England was held here. When he left the following year, most of the buildings were burned down. After a raid by the Reformers in March 1560, the abbey was badly damaged, but important parts such as the huge refectory were preserved. The western nave, which served as the parish church until the 19th century, was also spared.

In 1818, after the collapse of the eastern church tower, the rebuilding of the church in the neo-Gothic style began. In 1821 the new building in neo-Gothic style was completed. The old western nave has served as a vestibule ever since. The crossing tower shows in large letters who is buried here: "KING ROBERT THE BRUCE".

The old building was a fine example of the simple and massive Norman style. The round pillars in the main nave with their typical Norman zigzag pattern are among the best of their kind in Scotland. There is a magnificent entrance on the western front. Another gate was discovered on the south wall in 1903 when stonemasons were working on a war memorial for the fallen of the Second Boer War . The memorial had to be moved to preserve the gate. Several stained glass windows could be created through private donations.

The abbey is the burial place of 22 Scottish kings and their wives, including

Other structures

The United Free Church on Queen Anne Street was founded by Ralph Erskine , remembered by a statue in front of the entrance and a sarcophagus over his grave. Another church is named after Thomas Gillespie (1708–1774), a leader of the secessionist movement.

The corporation buildings, built in the Scottish Feudal and French Gothic styles, contain busts of Scottish rulers, a statue of Robert Burns and the painting "Spirit of Religion" by Sir Noel Paton.


Andrew Carnegie was one of the city's greatest patrons . In his hometown of Dunfermline, Carnegie donated Pittencrieff Park in the city center, in close proximity to the castle and cathedral. The well-tended, spacious park also includes a small botanical garden and is open to the public for relaxation all year round.


The football club Dunfermline Athletic FC plays in the Scottish Championship , the second highest division in the country, for the 2018/19 season . The team plays in East End Park on Halbeath Road. The Pars' greatest successes were the cup wins in 1961 and 1968.


Dunfermline is close to the Rosyth naval base . Mechanical engineering , electronics and textiles dominate the industry . In recent years, Dunfermline and the surrounding area have seen a significant increase in population as many people have moved from Edinburgh to the area due to rising property prices. As a result, the catchment area grew. The largest building society in Scotland, the Dunfermline Building Society , is based in Dunfermline. There is also an Amazon warehouse there .


Dunfermline is on the Fife Circle Line with two train stations - Town and Queen Margaret . For car traffic there is the M90 motorway , which runs past the city to the east and offers two connection options , one in the south (2) and one in the east (3) . The Edinburgh Airport is 21 km away from Dunfermline.

Town twinning

The city of Dunfermline has had a partnership with Wilhelmshaven ( Lower Saxony ) since 1979 . Other twin cities are Vichy ( France ), Trondheim ( Norway ) and Logroño ( Spain ).

sons and daughters of the town

Web links

Commons : Dunfermline  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Tour Scotland, Nicknames of Scottish Places ( Memento from January 10, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  2. 2011 census
  3. Dunfermline in the Official UK Charts (English)
  4. ^ Dunfermline Abbey and Palace , Historic Scotland , accessed November 15, 2013
  5. Dunfermline Abbey History , abbey website, accessed August 12, 2013
  6. a b Susanne Tschirner: DuMont Travel Guide Scotland , 2nd edition. DuMont Reiseverlag , Ostfildern 2012. ISBN 978-3-7701-7692-2 . P. 143
  7. Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, Fife