Culross community partnership with Veere in The Netherlands
Although no formal twinning arrangement exists between Culross, on the Firth of Forth in the west of Fife, and Veere, in the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands, the two communities have maintained informal links for over 400 years.
The relationship began in the mid-16th century when Veere – known in Scotland then as Campvere – became the Scottish staple port in the Low Countries, the main point of entry for exports to that part of Europe. The largest trade from Scotland was in wool, but Culross, in particular, exported locally produced coal and salt. The red pantiles, evident on older houses in Culross and elsewhere in Fife, were possibly used as ballast in vessels returning from the continent.
The historic Scottish presence in Veere is attested to by the Schotse Huizen aan de Kaai. These – Scottish Houses on the Quay – the homes of Scottish merchants in the Middle Ages, are today part of the Veere Museum. Exhibits include a room furnished as the office of the head of the Scottish community – the Conservator of Scottish Privileges. In the 17th century, the Scottish population in Veere numbered about 300, making up 10 per cent of the inhabitants of the town. The Scots worshipped in their own kirk and also enjoyed the privilege of consuming tax-free beer in their tavern.
Today, a small modern housing development on the eastern edge of Culross is named Veere Park.
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English Wikipedia page for Veere
Schotse Huizen image © DrPr, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons