We live by the sea
“Mare vivimus”, the Latin motto of St Monans, translates as “we live by the sea”, which is both a description of the village’s location, and a hat tip to its fishing and shipbuilding heritage.
The village clusters around its unique harbour, flanked by its windmill and salt pans to the east, and the Auld Kirk and Newark Castle to the west. There has been a harbour here for a long time,. but the current configuration mostly dates back to the nineteenth century, designed and built by David and Thomas Stevenson, of lighthouse fame, with later additions by David’s son, Charles. Thomas, incidentally, was the father of the famous author, Robert Louis Stevenson. There are three piers that enclose two harbour areas, and a couple of shuttered mass-concrete breakwaters - one of them, known locally as the Blocks, being so unique that it attracts photographers from around the world, who refer to it as the “zigzag pier”.
The village is still actively engaged in the fishing industry. As well as the lobster boats whose creels adorn the piers, there are several fish and seafood wholesalers and smokehouses at the top of the town, whose produce is loaded into vans that supply much as central Scotland, as well as supplying an enticing range of seafood for local tables.
The seafood is also available expertly cooked in the village's cafes, restaurants and chip van. There's no denying, St Monans is a great place to visit and live by the sea.