To the west of Parkhill there stretched for several miles a wood known as Black Earn side, or as it was sometimes mis-spelt, Black Iron side. It was a dark wood which covered the hillside and extended down to the waters edge. The name of Earn Side favours the idea that geologists entertain, that the river Earn would its course by the foot of the Fife hills, and joined with the Tay near Longforgan.
Sir William Wallace in his fight against the English often used Black Earn side as a sheltered and there is still a bridge along which the road passes near the top of the ascent, about two miles east from the Abbey which is known as 'Wallace's Brig'. In 1298 in the month of June, Wallace fought the Earl of Pembroke at Black Earn Side.
"This wood we'll hold as long as we stand,
To the last man we'll fight it, sword in hand.
The right is ours, let's do it manfully;
I'll free this land once more before I die."
Although the Scots were heavily out numbered they built a stockade and held the English at bay. Help came from Newburgh and the villages roundabout in the shape of labourers with farming tools until finally the English were completely routed and overthrown. Wallace and his triumphant followers retired to the Abbey, there to recuperate and celebrate their success, entering through the Slype, the Eastern entrance to the cloisters which is still standing today.
The mill that stands today by Parkhill farmyard is probably built on or near the site of a more ancient mill built by the Abbey monks. There were six mills that stood along the burn, that ran from the Abbey to Loch Lindores. This burn was known as Priestsburnat the southern end and Mill burn as it passed Parkhill on its way to the loch. One of these mills is Glenbirnie which was a sawmill, and behind it part of an ancient aqueduct may be seen.