Carnoustie facts for kids
Carnoustie High Street
|Population||11,394 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Edinburgh||42 mi (68 km) SSW|
|• London||367 mi (591 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Carnoustie (//; Scottish Gaelic: Càrn Ùstaidh) is a town and former police burgh in the council area of Angus, Scotland. It is at the mouth of the Barry Burn on the North Sea coast. In the 2011 census, Carnoustie had a population of 11,394, making it the fourth largest town in Angus.
The town was founded in the late 18th century, and grew rapidly throughout the 19th century due to the growth of the local textile industry. It was popular as a tourist resort from the early Victorian era up to the latter half of the 20th century, due to its seaside location, and is best known for the Carnoustie Golf Links course that often hosts the Open Championship.
Carnoustie can be considered a dormitory town for its nearest city, Dundee, which is 11 miles (18 km) to the west. It is served by Carnoustie railway station, and less so by Golf Street railway station. Its nearest major road is the A92.
The origin of the name Carnoustie is uncertain. Plausible suggestions have included various Gaelic derivations such as cathair, càrr or càrn na fheusta, 'fort, rock or cairn of the feast,' or càrn guithais, 'cairn of the firtree.' However, these suggestions are of relatively recent origin and the name may derive from an obscure Pictish element, Càrn Ùstaidh.
Folk etymology suggests that the name has a later, Anglic origin. The name is supposed to derive from the scots 'Craws Nestie', referring to the large number of crows that inhabit the area. This tradition is alluded to in the coat of arms of Carnoustie, which includes a pair of crows. Other, less likely possibilities include that it derives from 'Cairn of the Host' or 'Cairn of the Heroes' in memory of those who supposedly perished at the Battle of Barry.
Ultimately the origin of the name is unknown but predates the town itself by several hundred years. The earliest record is of 'Carnowis' in a 1510 charter of James IV to Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus. 'Carnussie' farm is recorded in the Balmerino Abbey register of c1575, which states that it (along with part of Grange of Barry and Badiehill) was feued to the Fairny family and 'Karnousty' farm can be seen on Pont's map of Lower Angus, c1583-96. The town is seen as 'Carnowstie' in a deed of sale from 1595, 'Carnushie' appears in a tax roll from Balmerino Abbey in 1617, and the lands of 'Carnouslie' are referred to in the title deeds confirming its purchase by George Maule, 2nd Earl of Panmure in 1672. Adair is perhaps the first to depict Carnoustie with the current spelling in 1703, while Roy's military survey of Scotland, 1747–55 has it as 'Cornisty'. In Webster's Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1819), Carnoustie is mentioned as 'Carnuistie'.
The area surrounding Carnoustie has been occupied continuously since the Neolithic period, as evidenced by a Cursus monument, identified from cropmarks near Woodhill. This cursus is of a similar scale to the well characterised, mid-4th century BC enclosure found nearby at Douglasmuir near Friockheim. Numerous stones incised with cup and ring marks have also been found in the surrounding area. An assemblage of Late Neolithic pottery fragments found at Carlogie, half a mile to the north of Carnoustie, has been interpreted as evidence of a settlement of that age in the area.
Bronze age archaeology is also present in the area. Numerous short cist burials have been found in the area, including one found in 1994 at West Scryne, a mile north-east of Carnoustie, that was radiocarbon dated to between 1730 and 1450 BC. The presence of Bronze Age round barrows at Craigmill is also indicated by cropmarks. From the Iron age, perhaps the most prominent remains are of the Dundee Law Hill Fort, with the Iron Age fort at Craigmill Den being less well known. Near to Carnoustie can be found the souterrains at Carlungie and Ardestie, which date from around the 2nd century AD. Several brochs are also found in the area, including the ruins at Drumsturdy and at Craighill. Roman remains are also found in the area. Particularly notable are the temporary marching camps at Kirkbuddo, Marcus and Finavon, and Roman coins have periodically been found nearby.
Pictish remains are to be found in abundance in the surrounding area. Class I sculptured stones from Aberlemno and Strathmartine can be seen in the McManus Galleries in Dundee while the class I Dunnichen Stone is on loan to the Meffan Institute in Forfar. A class I stone can also be seen in situ at Aberlemno, and this stone appears to be a recycled neolithic stone, having cup and ring marks apparent on its side. Class II stones can be seen at Aberlemno and Glamis and a much-misinterpreted class III stone (known locally as the Camus Cross) can be found 4 miles (6.4 km) North of Carnoustie at Camuston Hill on Panmure Estate. Linked in misinterpretation with the Camus stone is the early Christian Pictish cemetery that was situated to the West of the Lochty burn, in the vicinity of the High Street. The soil in this vicinity is sandy and was prone to wind erosion, and periodically human remains became exposed to the surface prior to the founding of the town. Popular interpretation was that a great battle had taken place at the site, giving rise to the legend of the Battle of Barry.
The medieval period marks the earliest recorded history in the area. Arbroath Abbey was founded by William the Lion and dedicated in 1178 and the earldom of Dundee granted to David, Earl of Huntingdon around 1182 (Dundee later gained Royal Burgh status in 1292 on the coronation of David's heir, John Balliol). Closer to Carnoustie, a number of medieval mottes can be found, including at Old Downie, where the thanage can be traced to Duncan of Downie in 1254, and at Grange of Barry, as well as the ruins of Panmure Castle where, it is said, William the Lion signed the Panmure charter granting the lands of Panmure to Philip de Valognes in 1172. The original castle was destroyed at some point in the Second War of Independence, possibly in 1336.
The Parish of Barry was bestowed to the monks of Balmerino Abbey in Fife by Alexander II in 1230. The monks managed the lands from the Grange of Barry and latterly the land was controlled by the office of the Bailies of Barry, an early holder of this position being Sir Thomas Maule of Panmure in 1511.
A number of feus were granted in the parish around that time, including Ravensby in 1539, Gedhall to David Gardyne in 1541, half of Barry Links and Cowbyres to Walter Cant in 1545 and the other half of the links to Robert Forrester in 1552. A document from around this time details the rent charged for each of the farms in the area, and it is in this that we see the first mention of Carnoustie:
"The two part of Grange of Barrie 10s. land of ye same 9 aikers of badihill. And toun and lands of Carnussie set to ffairny for 25 li. 2s. 24 capons 20 puld."
The land was annexed by the state in the Protestant Reformation following an Act of Parliament in 1587 and the Bailiery of Barry was granted by James VI as a heritable gift to Patrick Maule in 1590. Ownership of the lands was granted by the King to James Elphinstone, Secretary of State in 1599 (ratified 1605), and was sold to George Maule, 2nd Earl of Panmure in 1667 (ratified in 1672) for £746 13s 4d. The land was forfeited following James Maule, 4th Earl of Panmure's involvement the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715.
The first recorded owners of the Barony of Panbride was the Morham family, whose ancestral name was Malherbe. They are first mentioned in relation to Panbride in the registers of Arbroath Abbey in a charter of John Morham made in the mid-13th century. It is thought that they had possession of the land until 1309 when Robert I conferred the land to his brother in law, Alexander Fraser, Lord Chamberlain of Scotland. Fraser died at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332 and it is thought that David II conferred the barony (at least in part) to the Boyce family in 1341.
The lands of Panbride were fragmented and passed through a number of hands from that point, and were gradually acquired by the Carnegie family, later to become the Earls of Northesk, in the 16th century. The lands were forfeited following the Jacobite rebellion but were bought back by James Carnegie in 1764. Carnegie used the lands to purchase lands near his main estate and the barony of Panbride passed to William Maule, linking Panbride with Panmure.
The lands of Carnoustie remained in the ownership of the Fernie family until the end of the 16th century. In 1595 they had passed into the hands of Mitchell Downie and Margaret Fernie who sold them to Robert Bultie, Burgess of Dundee for the sum of 5,000 merks. They then came into the possession of the Alexander family, probably around the beginning of the 17th century, and documents dating to the middle of that century mention a village of Carnoustie. The estate was then sold to Patrick Lyon of Strathmore around 1680, and remained in that family's ownership, passing through marriage to James Milne, a wealthy shipmaster from Montrose around 1752.
The Barry parish register attests to a small but thriving community based largely on linen weaving existing on the land that became Carnoustie at least from the early 18th century (before then, the place of residence is not listed in the records). Around a fifth of the births registered in the parish in the mid-18th century are listed as being in the Carnoustie estate.
The stimulus that triggered the expansion of the town was undoubtedly the sudden increase in demand for linen from around 1760, caused by the population explosion of the mid-18th century. Handloom weaving was a relatively easy trade to learn and, at that time, a fairly prosperous career. In 1792 on his return from India, Major William Phillips, former valet to the Earl of Panmure, purchased Carnoustie estate from James Milne for £5,000. Phillips most likely recognised the potential of the local industry when he offered portions of the land for feu in 1797.
The first person to take up a feu was Thomas Lowson, a local loom wright, who rented 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land near the new road that had been recently been marked out by David Gardyne of Ravensby. Over the next few years, more and more people settled in the immediate area The venture proved profitable and Phillips sold the property in 1808 to George Kinloch for £11,000.
Kinloch promoted the further growth of the village, setting up brickworks and granting loans to prospective feuers to allow them to settle and, by the mid-19th century, the population of the town had risen to more than a thousand. For many years, the village was known simply as 'the Feus'. Perhaps the first cartographic depiction of the town is from a French maritime chart of 1803, where the village is shown as 'Feux', while Thomson's 1832 map of the area shows 'the Feus' as being a number of properties, largely concentrated in the area to the west of the Lochty burn.
The handloom linen weaving industry dominated Carnoustie's economy through its early years. Flax was grown in considerable quantities in the area and supplemented imports from Riga and St Petersburg. The predominant occupation listed in the 1841 census and 1843 statistical account for Barry Parish is that of 'Linen Hand Loom Weaver'. The expansion in the linen industry supported a population increase in the Barry Parish from 796 in 1791 to 2,124 by the time of the 1841 census.
Aside from the linen industry, the economy rested mainly on agriculture and fishing. Major crops of that period were cereal and vegetables; much of which was sold on to markets in local towns. Cattle were raised for export to England. Salmon were caught in nets on Carnoustie Beach, and the small fishing fleets of Westhaven and Easthaven caught cod for export and haddock which was largely destined for Dundee and Forfar. Lobsters were caught for live export to London and crabs were caught for local use.
The arrival of the Dundee and Arbroath Railway in 1838 encouraged major industrial growth in the town and shortly after, the Vitriol Works opened near the railway line, on ground to the west of the town, producing sulphuric acid used largely in the production of agricultural fertiliser. The Panbride Bleachfield, at which linen from the expanding local industry was bleached was opened by John Dickson in the early 1840s adjacent to the railway near the mouth of the Craigmill burn on land which is now occupied by David Murray Transport. This was supplied with water from the burn via the ponds that can now be seen in the grounds of Panbride House, now the location of the Liz McColgan Health Club.
In 1851, shoe maker John Winter opened a shop near The Cross. His business grew such that he built a large factory in 1874 at the foot of East Path (now Park Avenue/Queen Street), employing 200 people and producing 2,000 pairs of shoes and boots a week. His son, George, took over the business and built the impressive mansion, Winterdyne, that overlooks Carnoustie House Grounds at the top of Queen Street. Production ceased in 1958, and the Lousen Park sheltered housing complex was subsequently built at the site.
The linen industry in Carnoustie was modernised in 1857 with the opening of the Panmure Works by James Smieton. This factory, which at its height employed 600 employees, was a state-of-the-art facility containing 400 modern power looms and produced six million yards of linen and jute annually. Smieton also built new housing on a number of streets in the surrounding area for his employees and, in 1865, he opened the Panmure Works Institute on Kinloch Street which provided a library, billiards room and a hall for the education and recreation of his workers. The firm went through several changes of ownership through its history and was owned by W. G. Grant & Co Ltd from 1932 until 1972 when it went into liquidation.
The smaller Taymouth Linen works were opened in 1867 to the west of Panmure Works and the Vitriol Works, and at its height contained 100 power looms. Again, additional housing was built by the owners, the Brodies, including Taymouth Terrace. By 1898 Taymouth Works had become home to the business of George Anderson, owner of the Arbroath Foundry. George Anderson & Co. Ltd. produced for example, quarrying equipment such as channelling machines. The business evolved into Anderson-Grice Co. Ltd. which produced a range of mechanical equipment, including the short-lived Dalhousie motor car.
Development as a dormitory town
In addition to bringing industry to Carnoustie, the opening of the railway also made the town appealing to the middle classes, who used it as a commuter town for Dundee, further boosting population growth in the town. This trend has continued to the present day to the point where nearly half of the employed population now commute to Dundee for work.
Tourism and recreation
Carnoustie benefited from the 19th century fashion for sea bathing. The arrival of the railway enabled the town to develop as a popular tourist destination; it was promoted as the "Brighton of the North" in the early 20th century.
While golf has been played on Barry links since the 16th century a formal 10 hole golf course was laid out in 1850 to the design of Alan Robertson of St Andrews. This was later improved in 1867 by Old Tom Morris, who added a further 8 holes. This course was redesigned in the 1920s by James Braid. In 1891, Arthur George Maule Ramsey, 14th Earl of Dalhousie, sold the links to the town on condition that they would be maintained for all time as a golf course. A three-day bazaar was held at the Kinnaird Hall in Dundee, which raised the funds for the purchase and secured the future of the links for golfing and leisure.
Tourism in Carnoustie began to decline in the latter half of the 20th century, largely due to the increased availability of package tours to warmer parts of the world. This trend has reversed somewhat with the increase in golf tourism.
Carnoustie occupies a seafront position on the North Sea coast of Scotland, on land immediately to the north east of the Buddon Ness, 10.3 miles (17 km) ENE of Dundee, 6.7 miles (11 km) SW of Arbroath and 13.1 miles (21 km) SSE of Forfar. The town lies 42.2 miles (68 km) NNE of Edinburgh and 360.2 miles (580 km) NNW of London. The built-up area occupies a roughly rectangular shape 1.9 miles (3.1 km) long by 0.5 miles (0.9 km) wide. The land is relatively flat, rising gradually to around 30 m elevation to the north of the town. The climate is typical for the east coast of Scotland, although the weather can be locally influenced by sea mist, locally known as haar.
The town straddles the border between the parishes of Barry and Panbride and incorporates a number of former villages and hamlets, including Greenlawhill, Gardynebourg and Hunterstown to the west, and Gallowlaw, Panbride and Westhaven to the east. Contiguous to the town, on the west side, is the village of Barry, and to the east, separated from the town by 250 yards (0.22 km) is the hamlet that was known as Kirkton of Panbride (now known as Panbride). To the north of the town runs the A92, between Dundee and Arbroath. 1 mile (1.9 km) to the east of the town lies the village of East Haven. Running through the town on the border of the two parishes is a small stream, the Lochty burn, and to the western edge of the town, runs the Barry Burn. The south-western corner of the town lies within the floodplain of the Barry Burn. Half a mile (0.8 km) to the east of the town runs the Craig Mill burn, which flows through Batty's Den, into Craig Mill Den, to the sea.
|Weather chart for Carnoustie|
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source: Monifieth Weather Station
The Dundee and Arbroath Railway runs along the south of the town, bisecting the former villages of Gallowlaw and Westhaven to the east of the Lochty burn. The A930 runs through the town from Barry, and is named Barry Road, Dundee Street and High Street, as it runs from west to east. It turns sharply north at Gallowlaw, where it is named Carlogie Road, and carves a path through Batty's Den to Muirdrum, where it meets with the A92.
The part of the coast that lies to the east of the Lochty burn is a rocky shore, where the Devonian Old Red Sandstone bedrock is exposed. To the west, lies the sandy beach of Barry Sands (otherwise known as Carnoustie Beach). The soil is sandy and, prior to the founding of the town, the land resembled the sandy dunes of Barry Links. To the west of the Lochty burn, the shore is increasingly separated by the peninsula of the Buddon Ness, on which lies the three golf courses of Carnoustie Golf Links, and Panmure Golf Club. To the south of the golf courses lies the Ministry of Defence owned Barry Buddon training camp. This land is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
The Buddon Ness is a triangle of land around 11 km2. Its position at the estuary of the River Tay makes it prone to erosion, and the position of both the west and east facing shores have changed considerably since the founding of Carnoustie. Comparison of Ordnance Survey maps from the mid-19th century with present-day maps show the shoreline retreating on the west shore and advancing on the east shore. This is supported by comparison of old photographs of Carnoustie links with the present day situation in which the foreshore is now much further from the Beach Pavilion (now the Rugby Club) than it was 80 years ago. The concern latterly has been of the shoreline eroding from this part of the beach and rock armour was placed at the shoreline in 1994.
The 2001 census gives Carnoustie's total resident population as 10,561. This makes it the fourth largest town in Angus, after Arbroath (22,785), Forfar (14,048) and Montrose (10,845). This ranking is likely to change in the near future, as the population of Carnoustie is rising (2006 est. 10,630) while the population of Montrose is falling (2006 est. 10,830). The demographic breakdown of these figures closely follows that of the rest of Scotland. Males make up 48% of the population and females, 52%. Under-16s account for 18.9% of the population, people of pensionable age, 19.4%, and people of working age make up 61.7%. 88.2% of the population were born in Scotland and 8.0% in England, with people from the rest of the United Kingdom making up 0.8%. 0.3% were from the Republic of Ireland, 0.8% from elsewhere in Europe and 1.9% from outside of Europe. Slightly less than 1% of the population speak Gaelic. 84% of the working-age population were economically active, 2.7% were unemployed.
At the far west end of the town is the village of Barry. On the north side of the road that runs through the village, to the west of the Barry Burn is the kirkyard and ruins of the old parish church. To the immediate east of this, a road heads north towards the old A92. Half a kilometre up this road, on the left hand side is the medieval motte associated with Grange of Barry, from where the monks of Balmerino Abbey managed the parish from the 13th century. On the other side of the road, a driveway runs towards the old Upper Mill, now simply known as 'Barry Mill', a water powered corn mill dating from 1815, when it was built on the site of a much older mill dating to the 16th century. It, along with the nearby bridge which was part of the old road from Barry Grange to Panbride, are both Category B listed buildings.
Much of the western part of Carnoustie is post-war. The main road in this part of the town is known as 'Barry Road' and towards its eastern end there are a group of weavers cottages that pre-date the expansion of the town and used to belong to the hamlet of Hunterstown. Leading south from here, is Panmure Street, which leads to the Panmure Institute and, behind it, the Panmure Works. The Panmure Institute is now known as the Panmure Centre and owned by Angus Council for their Community Learning and Development Centre. The factory building was restored in the late 1990s and now houses the building firm DJ Laing. At the end of Barry Road, the road diverts to the north slightly at the Corner Hotel, before continuing eastwards along Dundee Street. This corner, which used to be known as Hutton's corner, is where a rocky outcrop blocked the path of the plough when the road was originally marked out in the 18th century.
The road heading north on the opposite side of Dundee Street is 'West Path'. Its name comes from the fact it was the path that lead down to the main road from the western boundary of the grounds of Carnoustie House. Carnoustie House was built by Major William Philips in 1792 and bought by George Kinloch in 1808. It passed to Kinloch's daughter, Cecilia Kinloch who, in turn, passed it to her niece, Helen Lingard-Guthrie. The house and lands were bought by the council in the first half of the 20th century and the house was demolished following a fire around 40 years ago. Carnoustie House Grounds is now used as a park and is where the annual town gala is held. Part of the land is now occupied by Woodlands Primary School, Woodlands Caravan Park and the town recycling centre.
Continuing eastwards along Dundee Street from the foot of West Path, on the north side of the road is the small former St Annes Roman Catholic Church. On the south side of the road, are the large grounds of Kinloch Primary School, opened in 1878 as Carnoustie Public School and last used as a school in November 2008 during renovations of Carlogie Primary School. The buildings were demolished in 2010 to make way for affordable housing.
Opposite the main part of the school is the former Erskine Free Church, which has been through a number of hands since it was sold off in the early 20th century and now houses All Stars sports bar, and beyond the school, heading south towards the beach is Links Avenue. On the left hand side of Links Avenue can be found the scout hut which, despite appearances, is the oldest school building in Carnoustie. The street passes through a narrow tunnel under the railway line to Links Parade near to Carnoustie Hotel, which was built in anticipation of the 1999 Open Championship. The hotel houses a 2.8 metre clock, weighing 450 kg, which was the largest timepiece supplied by Rolex at the time it was fitted. There are only 40 golf courses worldwide that have been given these Rolex clocks. Beyond the hotel lie the three golf courses of Carnoustie Golf Links.
Past Links Avenue on the north side of Dundee Street Carnoustie Church, which never received its steeple and, a little further past that, is the 'Auld Nick' which originally housed Carnoustie's police station. The war memorial lies adjacent to the Auld Nick and was dedicated in 1926. It features a sculpture of the Unknown Soldier by Thomas Beattie.
On the opposite side of the road from the Auld Nick is Ferrier Street and a little way down on the right hand side can be seen Thomas Lowson's Dibble Tree. Opposite the Dibble tree is Kinloch Street and, about 110 yards down that street on the North Side, is the Erskine United Free Church, the oldest church building in Carnoustie, built in 1810.
A short way past the war memorial on the southern side of Dundee Street is First Feu Cottage, Thomas Lowson's original home in Carnoustie, and beyond that is the traditional centre of the town, the Cross, marking the intersection between Dundee Street, High Street, Queens Street and Park Avenue. Meeting High Street on its north side, Lochty Street leads up to the Church of the Holyrood in Maule Street. It is a Category B listed building, the only listed building within the town, and was built on land donated by Helen Lingard-Guthrie, who had recently married one of the clergymen who ministered to the nascent Episcopalian congregation during the early summer missions, Rev. Roger Lingard.
At the easternmost end of High Street, the main road becomes Church Street, with Station Road heading south towards the main railway station and the adjacent Station Hotel, built in 1840. Opposite Station Road is the old City of Glasgow Bank building built in 1870 in Italianate style architecture that used to house the Clydesdale Bank. It is being developed into private accommodation. Church Street continues eastwards and at one time lead all the way to Newton of Panbride church in the former village of Gallowlaw. The junction with Carlogie Road was realigned some years ago and the part of Church Street east of Carlogie Road renamed Arbroath Road. Past the church, on the south side of the road, a road bridge leads to the former fishing village of West Haven, which pre-dates Carnoustie by several centuries. To the east of the town, in Panbride, is Panbride Parish Kirk. The building itself is category C(s) listed, although its burial aisle and the nearby parish school are both Category B listed The 'Loupin' on Stane' a series of steps in the church courtyard that allowed churchgoers to mount their horses in a dignified manner have category B listing, as does the bridge over the Craigmill burn at the bottom of the hill. At the southern end of Craigmill Den, Panbride House has Category B listing, as does the associated stables.
The A92 runs between Arbroath and Dundee about ⅔ of a mile (1 km) to the north of Carnoustie. There are several ways to reach the A92, including the main routes that run between the Upper Victoria junction and between the A930, Carlogie road and Muirdrum Junction. It is also possible to reach the west-bound carriageway of the A92 via Balmachy Road and the Grange of Barry Road.
Trains are operated by Abellio ScotRail on the Edinburgh to Aberdeen line. They stop at Carnoustie railway station on an approximately hourly basis. Two trains a day stop at Golf Street railway station (0638 West-bound and 1910 East-bound) and two at Barry Links (06:41 West-bound and 18:52 East-bound). As a result, Golf Street and Barry Links are two of the least used stations in the UK.
Buses are operated by Stagecoach on their Arbroath-Dundee route, including the number 73 and 73A buses, and the number 39A (early weekday mornings, evenings and on Sundays). They operate on a regular basis, with most stopping on the main A930 road between Muirdrum, Carlogie Road, Church Street, High Street, Dundee Street, Barry Road and Barry village. A handful of buses also serve Easthaven and take alternate routes through Carnoustie.
History of religion
The site now occupied by Panbride Church has been a site of worship since 1147. A series of successive buildings have been built at the site, with the present building built in 1681 by George Maule, 2nd Earl of Panmure. It was extensively repaired in 1775 and enlarged considerably by Fox Maule in 1851.
Barry Parish was founded in 1230 when Alexander II bequeathed the land to Balmerino Abbey. The earliest record of a church at Barry is from 1243 when the parish church was consecrated by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews (1238–1252). The building that was Barry Parish Church up until the 1950s was built in 1800 on the site of an earlier building that was described as being "old and sorry". All that remains of Barry Parish Church now is the lower portion of its walls and its kirkyard.
The first two churches within the town of Carnoustie were built in 1810 by two rival branches of the Secession Church, which had split from the Established Church in 1733 over the issue of patronage. The Anti-Burghers demolished the church they had built in 1789 near Grange of Barry Farm to rebuild it nearer the expanding village of Carnoustie. The 'Red Kirk', as it was known, was situated at Rye Park, where Thistle Street now stands. The Burghers, built their church the same year in Kinloch Street. This church later went through a series of Unions with other churches, becoming part of the United Original Secession Church in 1822 and the Free Church in 1852.
Barry Parish Church proved insufficient to house the rapidly expanding population of the parish and the refusal of the Heritors to fund its enlargement led to the building of Carnoustie church in 1837. This building was situated on the south side of Dundee street at the site on which now stands the Army and Air Cadets building. The quoad sacra parish was assigned to the church by the Presbytery of Arbroath in 1838.
The Disruption of 1843 had a profound effect on the town. A small Free Church was set up at the east end of Barry, and was replaced by a larger building in 1888, which continues as Barry Church today. The Free Church took over Carnoustie Church, and eventually built a second church immediately adjacent to it in 1850 when the Established Church claimed ownership of the building. This new building was later to become known as St Stephen's church. The school associated with the new Free Church, The Philip Hall, is still in existence and is now used by Carnoustie Church as their church hall. In 1854, the part of the congregation of Panbride Church that had joined the Free Church built what became Newton Church at Gallowlaw after several years of being housed in a wooden building on Westhaven Farm. The building was damaged by fire in 1887 and rebuilt to a larger design.
In 1873, the congregation of the Red Kirk, which had now become part of The United Presbyterian Church, again demolished their church and, in part, used the material to build The Erskine Church on the North side of Dundee Street. This, along with St Stevens Free Church, the Free Church in Kinloch Street, Barry Free Church and Newton of Panbride Church became part of the United Free Church when the United Presbyterians and Free Church merged in 1900.
The Scottish Episcopal Church traces its history in Carnoustie to 1853 when it began meeting in an old Schoolhouse off Maule Street. It was formed into a congregation in 1877, which rapidly outgrew its premises, leading to the building of The Church of The Holyrood in 1881, the former building becoming the church hall. The church building was graded as a Category B listed building in 1971
In 1901, the established Church of Scotland built a new church, St Brides Chapel, on Carlogie Road for the burghal part of Panbride parish. This building became redundant as a place of worship in 1929 when the congregations of the Free church and Established church united, and it served for a while as the Church hall, until it was sold to the Boys Brigade in 1952. Carnoustie Church built its new, larger church in 1902, opposite its former site. This building continues today to house the congregation of Carnoustie Church. The congregations of Carnoustie Church and St Stephen's merged in 1969, with St Stephen's being demolished to make way for the new Health Centre.
On unification of the United Free Church with the Established Church in 1929, St Stephens and The Erskine Church's congregations merged, using St Stephen's as a home. The Erskine Church was sold, and since then has variously been a cinema, snooker club and pub. Those that did not agree with reunification with the Established Church formed a congregation as part of The United Free Church (Continuing), first finding a home in the YMCA building, later buying the Original Secession Church in Kinloch Street in 1934. The two churches in Barry finally completed their move to the former Free Church site in the 1950s.
The congregations of Panbride Church and Newton of Panbride Church united in 1956 and those of Carnoustie Church and Barry Church in 2003.
The Carnoustie Christian Fellowship was an independent congregation meeting in a converted former Co-op building opposite the War Memorial. They were linked to a charismatic Christian movement known as the International Association of Healing Rooms. This congregation ceased meeting in 2011 and ownership of the building was transferred to a church plant from Dundee's Central Baptist Church that took the name of Carnoustie Community Church.
The Church of Scotland today has three congregations that meet in Carnoustie. Carnoustie Church and Barry Church are linked under one minister, Rev. Michael Goss. During the months of July and August, they meet together in each church on alternate months. Carnoustie Panbride church meet at Newton Church during Winter months and Panbride in the Summer. The minister is Rev. Matthew Bicket.
The Episcopalian congregation continues to meet at Holyrood church on the corner of Maule Street and Holyrood Street. The church is part of the Anglican Diocese of Brechin. Services are led by an interim pastor, Rev. John Cuthbert. Holyrood church and Holy Trinity Church in Monifieth have just become a linked charge.
The Roman Catholic Church meets in the modern (built 2000) building of St Anne's Church in Thomas Street. This replaced the much smaller building the congregation had previously used in Dundee Street. The church is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dunkeld.
The Carnoustie Erskine United Free Church of Scotland meet at the former Original Secession Church on Kinloch street.
The Carnoustie Community Church is baptist congregation meeting in a converted former Co-op building opposite the War Memorial named 'The Bridge'. This congregation began in 2011 as a church plant from Dundee's Central Baptist Church initially meeting in hotels before moving into the building vacated by the Carnoustie Christian Fellowship. The pastor is Dr John Toller.
Carnoustie is twinned with Maule, approximately 50 km west of Paris, due to Carnoustie and the surrounding area's long association with the Maule Family.
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