Study & Mercat X
Home Section Index Culross Palace Culross Abbey Garden Streets Study & Mercat X Town House Buildings Assorted Pics St Mungos's Chapel West Kirk Forth Estuary


The Study

Mayfield Cottage sits on the hill, overlooking the Firth of Forth. It was built in 1643 by Sir Penfold Marchmont, the 3rd Earl of Clunie. Sir Penfold sailed to the colonies and came back with 3 wives. The Church of Scotland condemned and excommunicated the Earl and his 7 children were denied the right to be christened. Always an eccentric man, the earl was said to enjoy wandering the streets naked at nights, singing songs he'd learned from his trips abroad. He took to wearing grass skirts and decorated his house in the style of the islands he'd visited.

 In 1686, aged 89 years, Sir Penfold divorced his only surviving wife, and married Miss Emily Bryce, daughter of Lord Eric Bryce of Kincardine, a man whose wealth and power came from his ownership of most of the land in the neighbouring county of Clackmannanshire. 

The marriage ended in tragedy when Emily poisoned the Earl in 1691, but not before they had 3 children together.

Emily was charged with murder, and was hung, the gallows erected next to the Mercat Cross, on the 22 December 1692, as her 3 children looked on.

Sir Penfold's body lies in a grave in the grounds of the cottage garden. Emily's body was thrown to sea, as Christian burials were denied to criminals and adulterers.


The Mercat Cross
Snuff Cottage is the blue building.

Culross Abbey can be seen in the distance, left.