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Discovering the Hidden Gems of Fife Folk Museum

It’s the wee gems that we love to visit because they are often the ones with the best stories to tell. This certainly was the case for our recent visit to the Kingdom of Fife in the beautiful village of Ceres. So, settle in with a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer) as we take you on a wee visit to the Fife Folk Museum.

Golden Retriever standing in the foreground with a stone museum in the background.

September is one of our favourite months out of the year. This is because, each weekend, many attractions and sites around Scotland take part in ‘Doors Open Days’. It is a lovely way for locals and visitors to explore places that are often only open during this event, and most places have free admittance. We plan on writing about many of the sites we have visited, and are thrilled to kick off the series with our recent visit to the Fife Folk Museum.

As I mentioned above, the Museum is located in Ceres, Scotland. The town has a rich history and is a stop on the Fife Pilgrim Way. We will definitely be writing more about this historic walk, but, for now, will give you a short synopsis. According to the Welcome to Fife website, “for hundreds of years pilgrims have journeyed across Fife to the sacred city of St Andrews. In the Middle Ages, the town was revered for hosting the bones of one of Jesus's disciples. This claim to fame put it on the map, alongside Santiago de Compostella, as one of the main pilgrim destinations in Medieval Europe”.

A picture of a wooden sign that describes the town of Ceres, Scotland and the Fife Pilgrim Way.

The 64-mile (104km) trek starts in North Queensferry and Culross and is broken up into 7 sections which range from 8.5 miles (13.7km) to 11.5 miles (18.5km). The last part of the Fife Pilgrim Way goes from Ceres to St. Andrews. Ceres would have been the last overnight stop during the ancient journey pilgrims made on their way to St. Andrews. Therefore, it is only fitting that it is part of the latest reincarnation of the historic pilgrimage.

For those passing through Ceres, we highly recommend you make a visit to the Fife Folk Museum. It has been a museum since 1968, but it is situated in historic buildings that date much farther back including its time as an old weaver’s cottage. The Museum has free entry and is run by volunteers. Therefore, if possible, we always ask readers to provide a wee donation if possible.

As we pulled into the car park on the day of our visit, I just knew there was great potential for the Museum. It is nestled above a stream and the trees were just starting to hint at the autumn that is well on its way, and Sawyer happily posed for pictures around the picturesque grounds.

A Golden Retriever posing in front of a  stone museum building.

A Golden Retriever posing while standing underneath a stone arched bridge.

A Golden Retriever in the foreground standing on a wooden bridge with a stone museum building in the background.

Be sure to take your time looking around the exterior of the Museum as you can see a number of historical items on display.

With Sawyer setting out happily on a walk with Sami (we took turns visiting), I headed inside the Fife Folk Museum.

A sign with an arrow point to the right that says "exit only. Tearoom and Museum Entrance".

The volunteers kindly greeted me and brought me to the first floor and the first exhibition room. There, they gave me a quick run-down of the various rooms in the Museum, including another building just across the way. The first exhibition is work done by former local Fife resident, Alan Watson (who sadly passed away in 2019). His wife kindly loaned some of his art to the Fife Folk Museum so that visitors could learn more about the gifted artist.

One of the aspects the Fife Folk Museum is known for is to give visitors a sense of Scotland in yesteryear. The next room’s exhibition was set up to show what it would have looked like for those living in a one room cottage. Everything would have taken place in the one room- sleeping, food preparation, etc.

A picture of a recreation of a one room cottage with a china cabinet in the foreground. In the background is a small table next to a fireplace.

This exhibition was full of items just waiting to tell their stories.

The next exhibition looked at the history of the local fire services with artefacts spanning the decades.

As you move away from the fire services exhibition you can head downstairs. However, be sure to be on your best behaviour so you don’t get thrown into the old tolbooth jail!

A cast iron tolbooth jail cell door open ajar leading into a stone cell.

This area also has artefacts from across the decades of various local trades including masonry and joinery.

We now head upstairs to the Weights and Measurements exhibition. There, you find an incredible array of pieces of equipment once used locally.

I’m pleased to say that our visit doesn’t end there. The tour continues outside and across the way to a building that is reminiscent of an old barn. Step inside and take your time exploring all it has to offer.

A picture of a stone building with a sign that says Fife Folk Museum. In front of the building is an antique plow.

In the foreground of the picture are antique bicycles. In the background is an antique horse drawn cart.

Growing up riding horses and working on a horse farm, I found it particularly interesting to see a variety of equine equipment. There was also quite an impressive blacksmith’s display to check out.

A stone wall with a cut out meant to look like the opening to a stall. Peeking out is the mannequin of a horse leaning over a wrought iron gate.

A display of a blacksmith's antique tools hanging on the wall. Underneath are more equipment for forging as well as an antique horse drawn carriage.

Well, that is going to do it for this post. However, I have just skimmed the surface of what there is to see and do inside and outside the Museum. Therefore, if you are in Fife, and travelling near Ceres, we highly recommend you make a stop to the Fife Folk Museum. After ‘exploring and discovering’ the Museum, be sure to pop into the coffee shop as they serve delicious coffee and cakes (and the coffee shop is dog-friendly). If you are interested in visiting the Fife Folk Museum, you can head over to their website for more information. Please note that they are closed from November through March.

Until next time- Explore & Discover!

A Golden Retriever posing on cobblestone on an old stone bridge.

A picture of a Golden Retriever standing in front of Ross Fountain and Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. Next to that is a message that says, "If you enjoy the places we bring you to around Scotland, you can help keep the stories coming by getting us a cup of coffee at Ko-fi. The picture is clickable and brings you to our Ko-fi page.


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