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There’s much more to Inverkeithing than its close proximity the Forth Bridge, a stunning example of Victorian engineering and one of the seven wonders of the industrial world. Roman settlements, a Franciscan monastery and a bloody battle against the Auld Enemy have given Inverkeithing a history to be proud of.

It’s widely believed that Inverkeithing dates back to AD 83, when the Romans were attempting to conquer Scotland. However, Inverkeithing came to prominence when a Franciscan Friary was founded in the heart of the town.

Today, all that’s left of this 14th century monastery is the Hospitium of the Grey Friars, where pilgrims would be given bed and board on their way to St Andrews Abbey – a journey celebrated by Fife Pilgrim Way. The Hospitium, with its crow-stepped gables and lancet windows, was restored several years ago and its gardens, with dramatic views across the Forth, are an excellent picnic spot.

Unfortunately, nothing remains of the wall that was built around medieval Inverkeithing to protect the town’s residents – protection that was much needed when Oliver Cromwell led an English invasion in 1651 and the Scots were badly defeated at the Battle of Inverkeithing. Several buildings from these turbulent times survive to this day and stand proudly in Inverkeithing’s busy town centre.

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