THE village of St. Monance is situated close upon the Fifeshire coast, about 1½ mile west of Pittenweem. It is a burgh-of-barony held under the laird of Newark. It has a small harbour, now resorted to only by one or two barks of small burden and some fishing-boats. The population, in 1841, was 1,029, in 165 houses. The church is situated at the west end of the village close upon the beach. It is a Gothic edifice, originally founded in the 14th century, and, till recently renovated, presenting a singularly antique appearance in its interior furnishings as well as externally. It is now a very handsome place of worship, seated for 528, and preserving as much of its ancient outline as was found consistent with modern ideas of comfort. It is related that David II. having been grievously wounded by a barbed arrow, and miraculously cured at the tomb of St. Monance at Inverary, dedicated this chapel to him, and granted thereto the lands of Easter Birnie. Keith says: “This chapel, which was a large and stately building of hewn stone, in form of a cross, with a steeple in the centre, was given to the Black friars, by James III., in 1460-80. The wall of the south and north branches of this monastery” – he adds – “are still standing, but want the roof; and the east end and steeple serve for a church to the parishioners.”
This parish was known by the name of Abercrombie so far back as 1174. In 1646 the lands of Newark, constituting the barony of St. Monance, were disjoined from Kilconquhar, and annexed quoad sacra to Abercrombie. The parish thus enlarged received the designation of Abercrombie with St. Monance. In the course of years, and with the decline of the village of Abercrombie and rise of that of Monance, the old title disappeared altogether, and the parish came to be known as that of St. Monance, as it is still pretty generally designated, although the old title of Abercrombie has been revived for the last thirty years at the wish of the principal heritor.