So, by the late 1890s, Watt was highly successful and in a position to build a house in Lundin Links. In the summer of 1897, the contracts were awarded for the erection of his villa, which he would name 'Norvil' - a name which the house still bears. In fact for a while the little section of street on which the house stands was called Norvil Road.
During the 1890s, a feuing plan was drawn up for the village of Lundin Links and names were marked on the plan to show who would build on each piece of land. A sizeable plot close to the railway line, down a side street off Crescent Road, was earmarked for 'Watt'. This was William Watt the Seed Merchant and Nurseryman from Cupar. Born in 1848 to an East Lothian farmer named James Watt, William moved to Fife as a young man, establishing his seed business in Cupar in 1869. The business grew to have bases in Cupar, Perth and Dundee and in 1895 moved its head office into the Old Jail building in Cupar (see photo below), where it remained until 1988.
When considering Watt's choice of name for the house, I discovered that it may have originally been spelled 'Norval'. As 'Norval' was a forename used at that time and a Norval James Watt was living in Perth around that time, I suspect that this was a family name. William Watt lived until the age of 93. He died at Middlefield House, outside Cupar in 1942. Upon his passing, the Edinburgh Evening News of 12 March described him as the "doyen of Scottish seedsmen" and noted that he had set up his business while still a teenager. During the second half of the 20th century, Norvil would have another interesting owner - more on that in the next post.
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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