You are standing on the central street of the town, today called High Street but previously called Causgait ‘causey’ meant cobble stone, So ‘Gate with cobbled stones.’ The Mercat (or market) Cross with the unicorn sitting on top indicates the status of Dunfermline being a ‘burgh’ (<burru>) An award from the monarch permitting trade to be done here, great for growing the economy and taxes then due to the monarch. Fife was a county with many burghs, King David I created the idea and Dunfermline was awarded Royal Burgh status in 1153. Nearby, also with such status was Culross (1592) Inverkeithing (1214), and St Andrews (1620). These towns, with other cities in Scotland, will often show their Mercat cross as a legacy of the previous connection with the trading and prestige it brought.
There’s a selection of maps here showing where you are standing from 1832, 1854 and 1896. Can you spot the previous location for the Cross in 1896 map? How have the buildings around this Cross changed in size and purpose?