Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monimail North Fife 2008

Driving from Collessie to Monimail North Fife to Monimail Tower and a view of the walled garden which sustains the community with organically grown vegetables and fruit.

The Monimail Tower Project is an environmental organisation that promotes organic gardening and provides a haven for people suffering from stress. It has a small group of residents, and occupies a wonderful site six miles west of Cupar consisting of four acres of walled gardens, 12 acres of woodland and a renovated 15th- or 16th-century tower. The tower has a historical exhibition plus magnificent views from the roof. Anyone is welcome at any sociable hour.

A hamlet in North Fife, Monimail lies on the northern edge of the Howe of Fife on a minor road between the villages of Collessie and Letham. "Howe" is the name given to the fertile farming area of central Fife in the valley of the River Eden between Strathmiglo and Cupar. The term "Howe" is derived from an old Scots word meaning a hollow, valley or flat tract of land.

Monimail once had a meal mill, smithy and brewhouse, but its origin is probably closely associated with a precursor of Monimail Tower (1578), a residence of the Bishops of St Andrews. The last cleric to reside here was Archbishop Hamilton who allegedly was cured of asthma by the Italian astrologer Cardan who advised him to drink water from a well nearby now known as Cardan's Well. The tower is incorporated into the garden wall of Melville House which was built between 1697 and 1703 by the 1st Earl of Melville to a design by James Smith. Monimail Parish Church (1794-97) has a four-stage Gothic tower built in 1811 by R. Hutchison.

The top of the spiral stone stairs to the roof. As you can see the stairs continue up, to heaven maybe?

An example of a apple tree on the south facing wall.

In keeping with the ethos of the community, push bikes are a preferred mode for local transport.

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