Where did the name Silverdyke come from?
The town name of Cellerdyke in Fife transformed from Silverdyke over many years. The first mention of Cellerdyke is from the Parish records of Kilrenny Church in 1579 This, as far as can be determined, is the first recorded reference of Cellerdyke: the earliest surviving evidence of the fishing community which, in accordance with the wishes of priest and laird, had grown up around the old inlet of Skinfasthaven in Nether Kilrenny. It was long thought that Cellardyke derived its name from a range of cellars along the shore, built for preparing fish for exportation. In 1585, the council and community of East Anstruther referred to the formation of Kilrenny and “porte of Skynfischtoun.” This can also be seen when Cellardyke was once known as Nether Kilrenny (Scots for Lower Kilrenny) or Sillerdyke, and the harbour as Skinfast Haven, a name which can still be found on maps today. Despite modern theories about cellars and dykes, the first part of the name is clearly ‘silver’ – in Scots ‘siller’—which in turn is modified by the Fife dialect into ‘sellar’, the Fife pronunciation of – I – tending to be an open – e – sound. The ‘Silver’ is thought to be a reference to the sun glinting off fish scales encrusted on fishing nets left to dry in the sun on the dykes around the harbour. At some later stage, either through genuine ignorance of the older Scots tongue or out of desire to anglicise what had begun to sound too rudely ‘Scotch’, the ‘seller’ was officially converted into the neater, if historically less accurate, ‘cellar’. Hence the transition from ‘Skinfasthaven’ to ‘Silverdyke’ to ‘Cellardyke’. A charming picture of how busy the Cellardyke bathing pool used to be. This pool is just down from Silverdyke Holiday park. You can learn to canoe here with East Neuk outdoors.