In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Charlestown like this:
Charlestown, a seaport village in Dunfermline parish, Fife, on the Firth of Forth, at the terminus of the Charlestown railway, ¼ mile W by N of Limekilns, 4 miles SSW of Dunfermline, and 14 WNW of Leith by water. Founded in 1778 by the Earl of Elgin, whose seat of Broomhall stands ¾ mile to the E, it was designed, and has well served the design, to be the commercial outlet for lime, limestone, ironstone, and coal from the Elgin estate. It has such close connection with Limekilns, and with the extensive lime-works there, as to be practically one with them; and it was early connected, by a private railway, 5 miles long, with the Earl of Elgin's collieries. ...
It is a regularly aligned and well-built place, with a square enclosing a bleaching-green, and with rows of cottages some distance apart. and each provided with a good-sized garden; at it are a post office under Dunfermline, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, a steam saw-mill, an iron foundry, and a tolerable harbour. The railway from it curves northward to the north-western vicinity of Dunfermline, there joining both the Stirling and Dunfermline railway, and with the West of Fife Mineral railway; it was purchased in 1859 by the North British Company; and in 1861, as held by them, was amalgamated with the West of Fife Mineral railway. Improvements on the harbour were made concurrently with improvements on the railway. The quantity of coal shipped was 258,011 tons in 1869,192,532 in 1879, and 199,869 in 1880, in which last year there entered 1075 ships of 130,398 tons. A public school, with accommodation for 215 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 117, and a grant of £106,14s. 6d. Pop. (1841) 772, (1861) 701, (1871) 749, (1881) 588.Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Charlestown has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Fife. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Charlestown and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Charlestown in Fife | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd April 2014
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