1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aberdour
ABERDOUR, a village of Fifeshire, Scotland. Pleasantly situated on the shore of the Firth of Forth, 17½ m. N.W. of Edinburgh by the North British railway and 7 m. N.W. of Leith by steamer, it is much resorted to for its excellent sea-bathing. There are ruins of a castle and an old decayed church, which contains some fine Norman work. About 3 m. S.W. is Donibristle House, the seat of the earl of Murray (Moray), and the scene of the murder (Feb. 7, 1592) of James, 2nd (Stuart) earl of Murray. The island of Inchcolm, or Island of Columba, ¾ m. from the shore, is in the parish of Aberdour. As its name implies, its associations date back to the time of Columba. The primitive stone-roofed oratory is supposed to have been a hermit’s cell. The Augustinian monastery was founded in 1123 by Alexander I. The buildings are well preserved, consisting of a low square tower, church, cloisters, refectory and small chapter-house. The island of Columba was occasionally plundered by English and other rovers, but in the 16th century it became the property of Sir James Stuart, whose grandson became 2nd earl of Murray by virtue of his marriage to the elder daughter of the 1st earl. From it comes the earl’s title of Lord St Colme (1611).