Although originally named "Earnest Cottage", the house at the junction of Largo Road and Cupar Road, began to morph into 'Ernest Cottage' quite soon after the death of the earliest recorded proprietor, Captain John Beatson. By 1848, the Petheram family were living at the cottage. They lived there for around 20 years. Henry Petheram was Inspector of Roads (more on him to come in a future post). Born in Somerset in 1809, he married Janet Gibson of St Andrews in 1837 and they initially lived in Drummochy House overlooking the harbour at Lower Largo before moving to Earnest Cottage. They had a large family and many birth notices appear in the newspaper archives, some of which record the place of birth as 'Ernest Cottage' - the beginnings of the house's name evolving from its original spelling.
The Petherams moved to 'Haworth' off Leven Road (next to Homelands) around 1860 and soon the Weir family were living at Ernest Cottage. John Weir was coal master at Lundin colliery, meaning that he was in overall charge of that colliery at the time (1860s). In 1871 the cottage was advertised for let and the following year it was put up for sale (see first two adverts below). By this time the imposing Lundin Mill Farm House had been built in front of the cottage (see image at the foot of this post). It seemed to be generally known as 'Ernest Cottage' but occasionally the original 'Earnest' spelling would still be used (see 1898 example - third below).
Long-time Lundin Mill baker, Robert Tullis, retired to Ernest Cottage from the bakery down by the Keil and spent much of the 1890s there, before passing away at the cottage in May of 1898. The early years of the twentieth century saw rooms in the cottage let to summer visitors (it was around that time that the image at the top of this blog post was taken). Since then the cottage has changed in appearance significantly and its very early origins and interesting history are now well disguised.
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This blog is about the history of the villages of Lundin Links, Lower Largo and Upper Largo in Fife, Scotland. Comments and contributions from readers are very welcome!
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