Ferry Port On Craig

Scotland's Counties

The Edney family lived in the Scottish county of Fife, in the burgh of Ferry Port on Craig.

Fife (Gaelic: Fìobh) is a county of Scotland, situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with landward boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. It was originally one of the Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, and is still commonly known as the “Kingdom of Fife” within Scotland. Fibh was one of the seven sons of Cruithne, a warrior king who ruled over a wide area of ancient Scotland.

Legend has it that upon the death of Cruithne, the Pictish realm - known collectively as 'Pictavia' - was divided into seven sub-kingdoms or provinces, one of which became Fife. The name is recorded as Fib in 1150 and Fif in 1165.


Map of the Parishes of Fife

King James VI of Scotland described Fife as a 'beggar's mantle fringed with gold' - the golden fringe being the coast and its chain of little ports with their thriving fishing fleets and rich trading links with the Low Countries, ironic given the much later development of farming on some of Scotland's richest soil and the minerals, notably coal underneath. Wool, linen, coal and salt were all traded. Salt pans heated by local coal were a feature of the Fife coast in the past. The distinctive red clay "pan tiles" seen on many old buildings in Fife arrived as ballast on trading boats and replaced the previously thatched roofs.

Ferry Port on Craig lies at the northeast tip of Fife. To the north it looks across the River Tay to Broughty Ferry and Broughty Castle. To its east is the vast Tentsmuir Nature Reserve, an area of forested dunes measuring some three kilometres from east to west and six kilometres from north to south and edged by wide sands that continue all the way round to the mouth of the River Eden.


Link to GoogleMaps Tayport and Dundee

A ferry service across the Tay was already well established when the lands here were granted to the newly formed Arbroath Abbey in about 1180. The abbey constructed shelter and lodgings for pilgrims making the trip between St Andrews and Arbroath via the ferry and this formed the core of a settlement that steadily grew over the following centuries.

In the early 1200s, when a chapel was built there, the settlement was called Partan Craig, Gaelic for "Crab Rock." Over the following two hundred years English eroded many Gaelic place names in eastern Scotland and Partan Craig had become known as Portincragge by 1415 and as Port-in-Craige by the end of that century. In 1598 the settlement received is burgh charter in the perfectly rational, but completely corrupted, name of Ferry-Port on Craig.

A road to Newport-on-Tay, three miles to the east, with its less weather-prone and better used ferry service to Dundee meant that Ferry-Port on Craig was intermittently without a ferry during the first half of the 1800s. By the 1840s a steam ferry service had resumed between the community and Broughty Ferry. This was acquired, in 1851, by the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway which used the route for a railway ferry service from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Instead of Ferry-Port on Craig, the railway company called the town 'Tayport' and the simpler name stuck.

Year Population
1755 621
1801 920
1851 2238
1901 3445
1951 3326
2005 7922
Around the time of William and Margaret’s marriage around 1700, the population of Ferry-Port on Craig was very small, with only a few hundred people engaged in primarily in farming. It saw a dramatic increase in population at the end of the 1700s when tenants displaced by agricultural improvement and clearance came to take advantage of jobs in the village's textile and shipbuilding industries. Leisure opportunities also increased. Golf came early to Ferry-Port on Craig, with a course laid out in 1817.

Of course, David Edney moved away from Fife around 1800, marrying and raising children in Edinburgh and West Lothian, before moving the family back to Dundee around 1820.

Real growth of Tayport didn't occur until 1966 with the opening of the Tay Port Bridge, making Dundee only a few minutes drive away.


Tayport website


North-East Fife Tayport View of Dundee Tayport's Auld Kirk
northeastfife Marek_Braes.jpg.jpe Tayport's-Auld-Kirk.jpe
Greenside Place Harbour Houses West Lights
2007_greenside_place.jpg.jpe Tayport-harbour-houses.jpe West-Lights-Tayport.jpe
Places around Tayport
Tayport1 Tayport2 Tayport3
Tayport Common
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