Crail probably dates from at least as far back as the Pictish period, as the place-name includes the Pictish/Brythonic element caer, ‘fort’, and there is a Dark Age cross-slab preserved in the parish kirk, itself dedicated to the early holy man St. Maelrubha. Crail East Neuk Burgh and became a Royal Burgh in the 12th century. Robert the Brucegranted permission to hold markets on a Sunday, in the Marketgait, where the Mercat Cross now stands in Crail. The decision caused such outrage in religious circles thatJohn Knox delivered a sermon at Crail Parish Church in the Marketgait damning the fishermen of the East Neuk for working on a Sunday. Despite the protests, the markets were a huge success and were amongst the largest in Europe.