Records of the burgh of St Monans, Fife

Scope and Content

Council minutes, 1719-1975; Register of plans and sections, 1933-1962; Assessment rolls, 1962-1975; Harbour dues day book, 1951-1972; Burial ground committee minutes, 1935-1973.

Administrative / Biographical History

St Monans or St Monance, a coastal village in Fife, was created a burgh of barony by King James VI for William Sandilands of St Monans in 1596. A burgh of barony was presided over by a feudal superior who had authority from the Crown to administer justice and to hold barony courts dealing with crimes and matters of good neighbourhood until 1747 and thereafter solely matters of good neighbourhood. From the 18th century onwards, a boatyard was based in the village, and salt-pans were worked for some years. Fishing was a very important local industry.

Unusually, St Monans did not seek to adopt the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act 1862 (25 and 26 Vict., c.101), which would have caused the election of police commissioners to administer some of the town's affairs. The population was 1,864 in 1891, and 1,257 in 1971. St Monans Town Council was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 (c.65). Its powers were assumed by Fife Regional Council and North East Fife District Council. These in turn were replaced by Fife Council in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c.39).

Access Information

By appointment with the Archivist. Access to unpublished records less than 30 years old and other records containing confidential information may be restricted. Special conditions apply to photographs.

Acquisition Information

Held under charge and superintendence of the Keeper of Records for Scotland.


Description compiled by Rachel Hart, Archives Hub Project, based on description created by Alan Borthwick, Scottish Archive Network project, 28 February 2003, modified on 5 August 2003.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in St Andrews University Library Department of Special Collections and in National Archives of Scotland search rooms.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Geographical Names