East Barns may be the location of Cunningham’s Castle, a possible tower, however nothing of it now remains.
East Barns was one of the “occidentales granges de Karel” and its name distinguished it from North Barns, or Kingsbarns, and West Barns. All three were royal storehouses associated with the royal castle of Crail and were used to store harvest from the surrounding lands that were held from the Crown.
In 1370 David II granted the lands of Easter Birnie to the chapel of St. Monans.
Later the property was owned by the Cunninghams who are said to have built a new residence on a rocky promontory to the south-west of Crail which may be the same property identified as E. Barnes by Blaeu in the mid-17th century. Sir Neil or Nigel of Cunningham received the lands of West Barns in 1376 when they were resigned in his favour by Patrick of Polwarth.
Cunningham’s Castle gave its name to Castle Haven and some traces of it could still be seen at the end of the 18th century however the last remains were pulled down in 1839. Amongst boulders near the site is what might be a carved stone, measuring approximately 1.0m by 0.7m by 0.7m. It is decorated with an incised rune-like criss cross pattern on one side although these marks may be natural striations.
Alternative names for East Barns
Castle Haven; Castle Hyne; Castlehaven; Cunningham’s Castle; E. Barnes; East Barnes; East Barns of Crail; Easter Birnie; Estbernys; Sir Neels Tower; Sir Neels-tour