Dunfermline - Landmarks and Notable Buildings

Landmarks and Notable Buildings

The Category A listed Dunfermline Abbey on the Kirkgate is one of the best examples of Scoto-Norman monastic architecture. The Abbey built between 1128 and 1150, under David I was a reconstruction of the Benedictine chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity, founded by his mother, Queen Margaret. Despite much of the monastic buildings being destroyed by the troops of Edward I in 1303, there are substantial remains with the lower stories of the dormitory and latrine blocks on the east side of the cloister being the earliest surviving parts, dating back to the early 13th century. The Abbey parish church, designed by the architect William Burn, was built between 1818 and 1821 on the site of the medieval choir and transepts which had been the eastern part of the abbey.

The main Dunfermline War Memorial on Monastery Street was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Fife, Sir Ralph Anstruther in 1925. A Second World War Memorial and garden of remembrance were added in 1958 on a site assumed to have been home to the Apiaries of the Monastery. The memorial lists 632 of those killed in the First World War and another 275 in the Second World War.

To the north of the abbey, on the corner of Maygate and Abbot Street is the Category A listed Abbot House. This is the oldest secular building still standing in Dunfermline. The house was originally built in the mid-fifteenth century as a residence for Abbot Richard Bothwell and this role continued until Commendator George Durie left to move into new apartments at the Palace in 1540. Along Abbot Street is the Category B listed Dunfermline Carnegie library which was built between 1881–1883. This library was the first in the world to be funded via donations by philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. A total of 2,811 free public libraries were eventually built altogether. At the top of Moodie Street is the Category B listed handloom weavers' cottage, the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie which dates from the early 18th century. An adjacent memorial hall was added to the birthplace in 1928.

The Category A listed Guildhall on the High Street was erected in 1807 by the guilds of the local merchants who were ambitious for Dunfermline to become the county town of Fife. Lack of funds forced the building to be sold, but in 1811 funds were available to add the 132 foot (40 m) high steeple. At the west end of the High Street is the Category A listed City Chambers built between 1876–1879 with its 117 foot (36 m) high central clock tower and turrets.

In the car park between Bruce Street and Chambers Street is St Margaret's Cave, a place where she would retreat to pray in peace and quiet. The cave was re-opened in 1993 to celebrate the 900th anniversary of her death. Forming the main entrance to Pittencrieff Park at the junction of Bridge Street and Chalmers Street is the Category A listed Louise Carnegie Memorial Gates, otherwise known as the Glen Gates. The gates which opened in 1929 were paid for by the Dunfermline Carnegie Trust and named after Louise Carnegie, the wife of Andrew Carnegie. They lead up a path to a bronze statue of Andrew Carnegie which was unveiled in 1914.

In the subsequent development of the modern park, the Category A listed Pittencrieff House, built around 1610 for Sir William Clerk of Penicuik, was designed as a centre piece. Two of the bedrooms were converted to create two long galleries for museum and art exhibition space in a restoration programme undertaken by Sir Robert Lorimar between 1911 and 1913. Work on the building was completed in 2010 to repair and reharl the property, restoring the original ochre-coloured limewash exterior. The project was funded through the £1.7 million Dunfermline Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) under a partnership between Fife Council and Historic Scotland.

A number of stately homes also exist on the outskirks of the town. The Category A listed Pitfirrane Castle, to the west of Dunfermline, was once the seat of the Halkett family. The castle which dates from the 16th century, was purchased by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust in 1951 for the use as a clubhouse for Dunfermline Golf Club. To the south of Dunfermline is the Category A listed Hill House and Pitreavie Castle. Both dating from the mid-17th century, Hill House was built as a residence for William Monteith of Randford and Pitreavie Castle as a manor house by Sir Hendry Wardlaw. To the south-west of Dunfermline is the Category A listed Logie House, built as an Edwardian residence and seat for the Hunt family.

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