West Barns (site of)
Barns, also known as West Barns, was a castle belonging to the Cunninghams however its exact location is not known.
The property was owned by the family of Polwarth of Polwarth in the 14th century however in 1376 the lands of Barns were resigned by Patrick of Polwarth and granted to Sir Neil or Nigel of Cunningham.
Sir Neil may appear as the neighbouring laird in a fable regarding the Anstruthers of Anstruther although some sources state that it was the laird of Thirdpart. Sir William Anstruther is said to have lived at Dreel Castle in Anstruther with his daughter, Margaret, his son being at the court of Robert. Margaret is said to have fallen in love with the 22 year old Patrick Home, whose ancestor had supposedly killed Sir William’s grandfather on the Firth of Forth. The story goes that Sir William was in dispute with a neighbouring laird who seems to have had intentions regarding Margaret of which Sir William did not approve leading him to insult the laird. This prompted the laird to devise a plot to kill his neighbour.
The laird invited Sir William and Margaret to his house but a wandering beggar got wind of the plan and informed Sir William who then invited the laird to Dreel instead. When he arrived Sir William hit him over the head with an axe and killed him. Sir William vowed to repay the beggar’s kindness in warning him of the danger and did so by offering his daughter’s hand in marriage, at which point the beggar is supposed to have cast off his disguise to reveal himself to be Patrick Home.
Alternative names for West Barns
Barnes; West Barns of Crail