Coming Soon: A Book About Letham

Haystacking in the field with The Row in the background. (taken 1905)

This Autumn, Letham’s acclaimed author and historian Donald Dallas will publish a limited edition book on Letham. Only 50 copies are planned and demand is expected to be high. More information will appear on this website. heres a wee taster…

“Letham is a very ancient village dating back well over one thousand years. Although some 17th /18th century buildings remain, the Letham that we know today was all built in a relatively short period, 1800-1820 by the Earls Of Leven and Melville including
the West End, The Row, the pub, the village hall,the school and the church.

Until the 20″ century, Letham was a self-sufficient village with two farms, three schools, three pubs, five shops, a village hall, a post office, a bakery, a brewery, a saddlery, a blacksmith, joiners, Shoemakers, dressmakers, doctor and so on.

This book gives a detailed history of many of the houses and businesses as well as the lives of several of the inhabitants from the Baronet of Letham to The Monimail Hermit. There was nothing “sleepy” about the village of Letham, from resurrectionists at Monimail Cemetery in the 1820s to an infamous murder at Whinny Park in 1830, to being bombed twice during World War Two. The Crown Inn was in business for 130 years and the Letham Fair was a major cattle market. The brewery produced local “TB” beer and Storrar’s Emporium purveyed a panoply of provisions. The social life was full with the Free Gardeners Hall full to overflowing even though it had no toilets right up until its closure in 1955.

Letham even has its very own tree, the Deodar Cedar. The Hon. William Leslie-Melville from Melville House entered service with the East India Company and discovered this tree in the Himalayas in the 1820s. He brought back seeds to London and the nurseries at Melville with the result that the Deodar Cedar is an established tree in Great Britain.

Melville House played a very secret role in World War Two being the headquarters for the Auxiliary Units, soldiers trained in guerrilla warfare if the country was invaded. S.O.E. agents were also trained there. The men from the parish who gave their lives in both world wars have been researched in detail so “their names liveth for evermore”. This book has 115 photographs most of which have never been published before dating from the 1880s to the 1960s.”

Well that’s Christmas sorted!

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