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Oakley, Fife

Oakley is my maiden name and I just discovered Oakley, Fife located near Dunfermline. Can't find much about it--guessing that's because there isn't anything much there any more. But would love to buy souvenirs for family members.
Anyone been there? Know anything about it?

Posted by
5546 posts

I've not been there, but I've been to Dunfermline to see the Cathedral and Castle, and I've have been to Culross which has lots of interesting buildings to see.

I did read Ian Rankin's memoir about growing up in Fife and how so very many of the people there worked in the coal mines. So, that prompted me to some googling. And sure enough, Oakley was built in connection with the Forth or Oakley Iron-works (1846), now all gone along with the colliery industry. And it looks like the town was named after a local burn (river). Here's an interesting article on the iron works. Note how they first blame the victims for careless work, but then an inspector's report comes in with a different view. And of course, since it's related to coal, there would be a geologic report as well!

And, like so many Scottish villages and towns it has some nice walks.

There are lots of genealogical sites for Scotland. They've put a lot of it on the web with free access. I've not done the research myself--I've cousins who have handled it :)--but you might want to explore them as well. The church and parish records are often very good.


Posted by
45 posts

Wow! I don't know how you came up with those links. I kept googling it and didn't. Really appreciate the help. I'm hoping I can find some souvenir t-shirts or mugs. Kind of cheesy but everyone in the family already has sunglasses.
Just an aside, since you seem to know everything. Places to stop between Alnwick Castle and Dalkeith? A short stop for a visit and good casual places to eat. Thanks

Posted by
5546 posts

I've not been to Berwick-on-Tweed, but it looks interesting when I've gone past it on the train.

If you're willing to branch off, you might want to swing over to Jedburgh and check out the Abbey. It's very good. The Borders are known for their ruined abbeys. There are also abbey in Kelso, Dryburgh, and Melrose.

Or, you could go to Roxburgh and see Floors Castle. I liked this castle. The gardens were beautiful. At one point there was a Roxburgh Castle that was a Royale Castle, but it is gone and all that is left is the motte.

Lastly, just outside of Melrose is Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott's home. I really enjoyed seeing it!

Or if you just want to have a bit and maybe check out sweaters, then go to Selkirk. I've not been, but I've been told it's the absolute heart of the woolen trade still. Many of the woolen mills--Pringles most notably--makes their sweaters in China. In Selkirk, I believe that there are still local knitters.


Posted by
4841 posts

So if your last name was Pringles, you could all own Chinese sweaters and cans of potato chips :-) Hope you find some worthwhile sights and souvenirs in Oakley & Fife.

Posted by
16849 posts

On Google Street View, Oakley looks like a nice place to live, but not much to visit. Dunfermline is the nearest train station.