Binnend

  • February 2022

With weather conditions here in Scotland still being horrendous and by horrendous I mean high winds and rain, it has meant walks have had to be at a lower level.

A positive, I always try and look for a positive, is that we have explored places we probably have thought about exploring but always had somewhere else to be.

So today with high winds, and four seasons in one day we were off to explore the lost village of Binnend.

Heading up the hill to Binnend. I love snowdrop time of the year, so delicate but yet so tough and they always remind me of my parents garden 💙

Binnend, also known as Binnend Village or The Binn, is an abandoned Industrial village located a few miles on the outskirts of Burntisland on the slopes of the Binn hill.

This village was established in 1881 to house the nearby shale extraction workers.

Photo of The Low Binn

A census taken in 1891 showed that it had a population of 564 people crammed in to 95 mainly two roomed houses. Some of these houses were so overcrowded that the beds were used on a shift system, 24 hours a day with some even sleeping in a space between the ceiling and the roof!

Photo of The High Binn

The village had two small shops, however most people travelled the short distance to Burntisland to get their necessities. In 1889 a free church mission hall was opened and in 1891 it got its own school to teach around 170 children of school age. Today there are no visible remains of the church.

The village even had its own football pitch nestling at the foot of the shale bing which was home to The Binnend Rangers!

When the oil works closed and employees were paid off in 1893 the population began to decline.

The village was used briefly during the First World War and the houses used for troops and dockyard workers from nearby Rosyth. These houses also provided affordable housing for workers at the nearby aluminium works and shipyards, which opened in Burntisland.

Its population declined again in the 1920s and 1930s. Most houses then found new roles as holiday homes for people from other parts of Scotland, including Edinburgh and Glasgow who seemed to love their basic structures and the freedom and fresh air they brought.

The steady improvement of housing standards left the Binnend village behind and it was formerly closed in 1931 due to the fact it had no piped water, gas, electricity or sanitation.

By 1952, two couples remained and in early 1954 the last inhabitant a 74 year old gentleman, George Hood, departed.

Roofs were then removed and the natural environment took over, leaving just a hint of the thriving village that once existed here over a century ago.

There are only the ruins left of the High Binn, all traces of Low Binn are gone.

We wondered around the remains for quite some time trying to imagine how it must have been.

From here we decided to continue to head upwards onto the top of the hill to the viewpoint which provided some beautiful panoramic views over Burntisland, Kinghorn and out towards the Forth.

Viewpoint looking onto Burntisland

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