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Battle Of St Monans

Battle Site (16th Century)(Possible)

Site Name Battle Of St Monans

Classification Battle Site (16th Century)(Possible)

Canmore ID 373607

Site Number NO50SW 503

NGR NO 51 01

NGR Description Corner of grid square

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Elie
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife


Field Visit (22 August 2022)

The Battle of St Monans was fought between a Scottish force led by James Stewart and an English force under Lord Clinton and appears to have taken place near the Fife coast between Elie and St Monans in the summer of 1548 (Low 2017).

The battle took place on the coastal plain between St Monans and Elie to the west but the exact location is unclear. An English landing was made somewhere in the vicinity of St Monans. Most accounts seem to suggest around 1200 troops were ashore by the time the Scots force arrived. None of the sources give any clear indication of the total size of the Scots force, but it seems to have been rapidly assembled from the surrounding area under the overall command of James Stewart, Prior of St Andrews and the illegitimate son of James V.

The main engagement then took place on or near the shoreline of the Forth, with the Scots ultimately gaining the upper hand and the English force breaking and fleeing towards the ships and taking heavy casualties of around 600 killed and 100 captured. In the chaotic attempt to evacuate back out into the firth, one of the English ships also appears to have been lost.

Information from HES Designations (K Munro) 22/08/2022.


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