The village of Upper Largo, or Kirktown of Largo, lies in Fife on the southern slopes of the 290m Largo Law, a mile north of the shore of Largo Bay. It forms one of a pair with the rather larger Lower Largo or Seatown of Largo: the two villages are separated by no more than a few hundred yards of farmland. You can read the full text of the chapter about Largo in D Hay Fleming's 1886 book: Guide to the East Neuk of Fife.
To the traveller heading towards the East Neuk of Fife on the A917, Upper Largo can seem to be a single street of mostly stone built shops and houses. In its centre is the junction at which the A915 turns off to head north-east to St Andrews.
The slightly austere main street is brightened considerably at its west end where, around a sharp corner, you find the Upper Largo Hotel, whose parking lies on the opposite side of the main road.
A minor road turning north off the Main Street leads to an attractive village green whose far end rises to the wall above which is the kirkyard of the Largo & Newburn Parish Church. Entry to the kirkyard and church is at the west end, up a set of steps. From the kirkyard you gain good views over the rooftops of the village, and of the attractive houses and cottages on the north side of the green.
If you take the turning along the St Andrews road, you are confronted by Upper Largo's most impressive building. Wood's Hospital was built in 1830 as an almshouse. It was renovated in 1975 as part of a wider development of the site that saw more accommodation built nearby, and it now forms part of a highly attractive area of sheltered housing.
Wood's Hospital takes its name from local naval hero Sir Andrew Wood, often referred to as the Scottish Nelson. Sir Andrew was personal captain to James III and in return was given estates in this part of Fife. He made his name and earned his knighthood during engagements with English ships in the late 1480.
In 1491 Sir Andrew Wood built a family home in the form of a fortified tower house (or fortalice) a little to the west of the Parish Church. The oldest part of today's church dates back to 1623, but it was clearly built on the site of an earlier one. Sir Andrew linked his home and the church with what is believed to be Scotland's earliest canal, built so he could be rowed to church in his personal barge each Sunday in a manner befitting a naval hero. St Andrew's fortalice was replaced by the nearby Largo House in 1753 and only a single tower remains. Largo House itself now stands as a shell after being de-roofed in 1951 to avoid paying rates.