Barns, also known as West Barns, was a castle belonging to the Cunninghams however its exact location is not known.
I have placed it at Old Barns which was the site of an old building with a vaulted basement and a 17th century doocot, both of which have been demolished, pending further research.
West Barns was one of the “occidentales granges de Karel” and its name distinguished it from North Barns, or Kingsbarns, and East 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.
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.
In December 1642 Charles I granted Colonel James Lumsdaine a new charter of the lands of Innergellie which included the lands of Barnes with the manor along with Strathvithie, Kinkell and Snawdoun, with their towers and manors, which were all incorporated into the free barony of Innergellie with the manor of Innergellie as its principal messuage.
The eldest son of Colonel Lumsdaine and Christian Rutherford, also James Lumsdaine, married Margaret Bruce, daughter of the late Sir George Bruce of Carnock, in November 1643. The following month Colonel Lumsdaine granted them the lands of the barony of Barnes.
By the mid-19th century the property was described as “an old house with vaulted cellars, and rooms above, occupied by farm-servants” but it was later demolished.
Alternative names for West Barns
Barnes; Barns of Crail; Bernis; Newbarns; Old Barns; W. Barnes; W. Barns; West Barnis; West Barns of Crail; West Bernys; West-Barnes; West-Barnis; West-barns; Westbarnis; Westbarns; Westbernys