Elie runs out for a mile around the bay, it takes in from east to west Elie, Liberty, Williamsburgh and Earlsferry which were united as the burgh of Elie and Earlsferry in 1920. The town takes is name from island of Ardross which formed a harbour accessible only at low tide and in 1589 received its royal charter from James VI. Elie then developed as an local centre of boat building, fishing and weaving.
Its attractive harbour, built around the 16th Century, is now ideal for yachts and small craft and is one of few harbours in Scotland to be run by a private company for the people of the burgh.It now has a very busy Water sports centre.Elie has many interesting historic buildings and cottages. One of the most outstanding is the parish church built by Sir William Scott in the 1630. Positioned to the east overlooking Ruby Bay stand the ruins of The Lady's Tower, built in the mid 18th century as a summerhouse, it also served as a changing room for Lady Anstruther, a Naturalist. Elie Rubies are small, red semi-precious garnets, which can be still be found on the beach.