Brake Stanes at New Mill

Along the bottom of the old Newpark School wall that runs from Hepburn Gardens down the steep hill to New Mill there are periodically spaced stones that stick out from the wall.  The sleuthing of the On at Fife Archives History Detective has identified these stones as rare examples of Brake Stanes.

It is thought that Brake Stanes were used to rest the wheel of a horse-drawn cart upon when transporting heavy loads up and down inclines thereby preventing the cart from rolling down the hill. 

Poem From the Past Found in ‘Forgotten Book’

Lade Braes – Autumn by Clement Bryce Gunn 1894

Alas for the happy harvest fields
And the pleasure now gone for aye,
And the friends of yore now seen no more
On the bonnie bright Summer day;
And the laughing breeze swept through the trees,
And the corn heaps kissed as it went,
Then on careered and the weary cheered
With the fragrance the fields had lent.

And merrily trickled th’ silver burn,
And how gaily the long corn waved
And the gentle beams in glowing streams
With gold liquid the full ears laved
And the winds still sweep and dews still weep
For the death of the Autumn day,
While weary and worn alone I mourn
For the old time now gone away.

And still they bury the golden seed
And then reap it in golden grain,
But the wild oats sown are quickly grown
And yield but wild harvest again;
And many one sighs and broken dies
For the chances of youth long lost
And seedtime gone; but mem'ry alone
Aye reminds of the bitter cost.

Bryce Gunn, C. (1894). Lays of St Andrews. St Andrews. Joseph Cook & Son. pg55-56

Click the link to go to visit Forgotten Books

Fife Council announces £300,000 Lade Braes funding

Two years after the initial announcement on upgrading and resurfacing the Lade Braes footpath, Fife Council, in partnership with Sustrans, announce that £300,000 will be used to “upgrade the existing path, replace broken seats, improve signage, install new litter bins, provide solar lighting and carry out some minor tree work.”

Read the announcement here:

New views after logging

The conifer plantation on the south side of the Kinness Burn just west of New Mill has been felled. This used to belong to New Park School and there was a private bridge and footpath which led up to the school playing fields.

As well as changing the views at this part of the Lade Braes it will let much more light into this area.
According to this article in Fife Today, the New Park Educational Trust plan to replace the Stika spruce with native trees which will be more in keeping with the rest of the Lade Braes.

Forestry work

Aftermath of logging at the New Park plantation

Forestry work

Aftermath of logging at the New Park plantation

Have your say

Fife Council’s Community Projects Team is working on the project to improve the Lade Braes path, in partnership with Sustrans.

A drop-in consultation event will take place on Wednesday 15th August 2018 between 2pm and 7pm in St Andrews Library.

You can also fill out an online questionnaire to send Fife Council your views.

Details and the online form are available from