After crossing the Firth of Fourth (again, just fun to say), we entered the village of Culross in Fife. (Try saying that four times the Firth of Fourth in Fife.)
Way back in 1575, Culross became the site of the first coal mine in the world to reach under the sea – an unbelievable feat for the time. (The town also made “girdles” – flat irons used for baking over an open fire. ) Sir George Bruce Carnock was the man who figured out the mechanics of undersea mining. His operation was so well known, King James VI came to visit and walked out into the tunnel. However, when he found himself surrounded by water, he panicked and accused Sir George of attempting murder and accused him of treason. But Sir George pointed out that there was a rowboat at the end of the shaft or that he could turn around and return through the tunnel the way he came. King James relaxed and all was well.
Sir George built a house in town called the Culross Palace, a bright orange house with gardens and squatty leg chickens. Apparently, the more orange the house, the richer the owner. (Aren’t you glad THAT custom got lost in history, although Sir George’s house was magnificent against the blue sky.) The garden sloped up the hill in the back of the house.