Crail Priory Doocot - Roome Bay, East Neuk of Fife
The newly-restored Crail Priory Doocot next to the Fife Coastal Path in Roome Bay
to the east of Crail.
The work was carried out by volunteers of the Crail Preservation Society
and was supported financially by far too many organisations to list here
and of course many private voluntary contributions.
A doocot (dovecote) is basically a fancy pigeon loft to supply the owner with eggs
and easily accessed food supplies. This one was owned by the local priory.
From this angle the church tower can be seen at the top of the image and less
than 300 metres away.
The building is open to the public (8am to 8pm April to October and 9am to 4pm
November to March) and as well as free access has very helpful and well-illustrated
information boards both inside and out.
The sound effects and lighting are particularly effective but to be honest their
pigeons are a bit chewy. What we're saying here is that the doocot is well worth
a visit, as is the rest of Crail, of course.
The doocot was built around 1550 and was in use until the middle of the 19th century.
The restoration was completed in 2018.
Disabled access is possible by going down the path from the east end of the Nethergate or
via Kirkwynd from the Marketgate. There are also handrails alongside the access steps and
The geography of the general access down to the coastal path is a little challenging for
wheelchair users but perfectly possible.
This view is from a little to the east and shows people entering the building
as well as the outside information board, to the right.
Inside the doocot is a rotating ladder to reach every part of the inside walls
so that the pigeons and eggs could be accessed.
Crail's Coat of Arms is on a slab next to the doocot.
The text means “At Thy Word I will let down the net” and is said to have been
chosen in 1938 although the coat of arms (described as a scene of fishing at night?) seemingly
dates back to around 1357 or earlier.