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Leven is a seaside town in Fifemarker, Scotlandmarker, on the coast of the Firth of Forthmarker at the mouth of the River Leven.

On the coast immediately south-west of Leven are Methilmarker and Buckhavenmarker. Along with the inland settlements of Kennowaymarker and Windygatesmarker, these form the Levenmouthmarker conurbation - which has a combined estimated population of around 31,410, as of 2006.



The origin of the name “Leven” comes from the Pictish word for “flood”. The nearby Loch Leven, being the flood lake, was the name given to both the river and town.

Early History

The discovery of the parish church is the earliest indication of a parish. During the mid-11th century, Bishop Tuadal of St Andrews gifted the church of “scoyne” into the safe hands of the Culdees of Loch Leven. However, decline of culdeen faith near the end of the 11th century, saw the church and “ecclesiastical village of Sconyn” change hands into the control of Priory of St Andrews after been acquired by Bishop Robert of St Andrews. The village is alleged to have maybe been near Scoonie Brae, with life being based at the mouth of the River Leven.The first mention. of the town of “Leven” was made in two separate records in the mid-15th century, with urgent need for repair work at the monastery at “levynnis-mouth” and George Durie – an estate owner – became the keeper of the harbour at “levynnismouth”.

Birth of the Railway

In 1854 the Leven Railway opened, linking the town with Thornton Junction on the Edinburghmarker - Aberdeenmarker main line. This helped it to become a tourist resort popular with visitors from the west of Scotland, and particularly Glasgowmarker. Later in the 19th century the Leven Railway became part of a loop line of the North British Railway linking Thornton Junction and Leucharsmarker Junction via St Andrewsmarker. The railway between Leven and St Andrews closed in 1964/65. The railway between Leven and Thornton Junction closed to freight in 1966 and passengers in 1969.

A project into the reopening of the line is under consideration. See Leven rail link.

Leisure & tourism

What remains of the tourist industry in this area probably revolves around golf. Leven boasts two golf courses, Scoonie and Leven Links - the latter being used as a qualifying course for The Open when the tournament is being played at the Old Course at St Andrewsmarker. There are also several other good golf courses in the surrounding area notably Lundin Linksmarker, Eliemarker and Crailmarker. Old railway footage from fife leven

Economic Activity

The area now becoming known as "Levenmouth" is a virtual backwater and in desperate need of regeneration. Levenmouth suffers from poor connections to the rail and main road network of Central Scotland, particularly since the closure of the last railway link in 1969, which came at the same time as the collapse of coal mining. The knock-on effect virtually sealed the fate of Methil Docks as a major port on the East of Scotland. There has been a number of unsuccessful attempts to restore a passenger rail connection to Leven, but as yet no progress has been made. The main road through Fife, the A92marker, bypasses this area of Fife, the 4th largest conurbation, whereas Dunfermlinemarker, Kirkcaldy and Glenrothesmarker all have good road and rail connections. Leven is linked to Kirkcaldy by the A915 Standing Stone Road and Methil to Kirkcaldy through Dysart and East/West Wemyss.

Very little remains in the way of major employment since the closure of the coal mining industry. The major employer now is the drinks manufacturer Diageo which has its main bottling plant in the town, and one of the largest distilleries in the world at nearby Windygates. There is hopefully some light on the horizon in the proposed Fife Energy Park (this is operating now 2008, they produce wind turbines) which is to utilise the former oil-rig building yard in Methil which was itself built on the former Wellesley Colliery. On the North side of the Forth, there is talk of starting a ferry service to Edinburghmarker, and this may help to revitalise the area and increase house prices which at the moment are among the lowest in Scotland.

Twin Town

  • Leven is twinned with the German town of Holzmindenmarker.



Leven has 2 non-denominational primary schools. These are: Leven has 1 denominational primary schools. This is:


Leven does not have its own secondary school, most pupils go to either: or


External links

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