Ceres

Coordinates: 56°17′31″N 2°58′17″W / 56.292050°N 2.971445°W / 56.292050; -2.971445

Ceres is a village in Fife, Scotland, located in a small glen approximately 2 miles over the Ceres Moor from Cupar and 7 miles from St Andrews. The former parish of that name included the settlements of Baldinnie, Chance Inn, Craigrothie, Pitscottie and Tarvit Mill.

The village

It is one of the most historic and picturesque villages in Scotland and one of the few Scottish villages to have a village green. Its most memorable feature is possibly the 19th century statue of "The Provost" at the Cross, which is in the form of a toby jug and is probably satirical.

The village is dominated by the Parish Church. It has what is possibly the shortest High Street in Scotland - just a few houses on each side. In a prominent position by the village green is a monument commemorating the men of Ceres who fought in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. It was erected on the six hundredth anniversary of the battle, in 1914.

The Fife Folk Museum is located in the village and commemorates rural life of a bygone era. Agriculture remains important to the local economy, but many local residents now commute to work in nearby towns and cities such as Perth, Cupar, Dundee, St. Andrews and Glenrothes. A pottery in the village has revived the manufacture of traditional Fife Wemyss Ware.

Origin of the name

"Place to the west". Siar (Gaelic) = west, probably in relation to St Andrews. Locational endings in -es are common in East Fife. Suggestions that the name originated from an early dedication of the local kirk, such as to "Saint Siris", Saint Cyrus or Saint Cyricus are now discounted.

The name has led to contact with Ceres, Italy (visited by the local pipe band in the 1970s) and Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa (with which gifts were exchanged in the 1990s).

The parish of Ceres has some biblical place names: Babylon (near Muirhead, south of Craigrothie), Sodom and Gomorrah (on the road to Pitscottie). There are now no dwellings at these locations. On the other hand, there is a place called Paradise, which is inhabited, just over the boundary in Cults parish.

Ceres Games

The Games are said to have been held every year since Bannockburn in 1314, and are the oldest free Highland Games in Scotland.

Craighall

Craighall lies about 3⁄4 miles (1.2 km) south-east of the village; it was the historic seat of the Clan Hope.

Parish Church

The current Parish Church was built in 1806 to a design by Alexander Leslie, replacing a medieval building. A tower and octagonal spire were added in the 1850s. Apart from the addition of electric lighting and two early 20th century stained glass windows (either side of the central pulpit), the interior is substantially unaltered from when first built and retains the gallery and original wooden box pews. There is a service every Sunday morning at 11.00 am.

Within the vestibule of the church a late medieval effigy of a knight which was originally in the ancient church is preserved on a modern stand. It is extremely well preserved and shows interesting details of 15th century armour.

There is a mausoleum in the cemetery which was established by the widow of Robert 9th Lord Lindsay and is called "Lady Boyd's House" as she subsequently married the 6th Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock.

Ceres Church is within the Church of Scotland Presbytery of St Andrews. In 1983, the parish of Ceres was linked (and later united) with the neighbouring parish of Springfield. This united parish was further united with Kemback in 2005, although the three church buildings are retained. One serving past minister of Ceres has been Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland: the Rev Thomas Buchanan in 1588.