Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, new and old. Every September, you can explore hundreds of fascinating buildings across Scotland for free. Some open up once a year, some just once in a lifetime.
Doors Open Days is a national event run by the Scottish Civic Trust. Information about the national programme, including event listings, can be found at www.doorsopendays.org.uk.
2019 Programme Highlights - Fife East 31st August & 1st September:
Archaeology Room - University of St Andrews
Come to the University's Archaeology Room to see and handle examples of prehistoric worked flint and Cypriot artefacts such as pottery vessels, lamps, figurines and votive offerings. The objects, dating from the Palaeolithic to the Byzantine period, provide fascinating glimpses into the ancient world – from trade, technology and consumption to burial, beliefs and artistic expression. Learn about our latest digital research and discover how we are using unfamiliar, ancient material to improve literacy, health and well being!
Cults Kirk is a well preserved 18th century Presbyterian Church (‘B’ Listed) in a beautiful location. Christian worship has taken place on this site for more than one thousand years. Sir David Wilkie R.A., born in the manse, was a child when the Kirk was renovated to its present form. The only memorial in Scotland to Sir David, by Samuel Joseph, is located in the church. A brief history is available and there is a permanent display of Wilkie’s life and work.
Fife Folk Museum
Housed in weavers’ cottages and the historic Weigh House, in the beautiful village of Ceres, the Fife Folk Museum has over 10,000 objects and artefacts on display. Our small independent museum is manned by volunteers and offers a warm welcome. This year our exhibits are:- the Cottage Room depicting life in the 1850’s ; Victorian Life in Costume; Working Horses in Fife and many more.
Isle of May Light-Houses
Over the weekend, we’ll be opening buildings normally kept under lock and key on the island. This includes access to the main Stevenson lighthouse (access to the top), the 1634 Beacon (Scotland’s oldest lighthouse), the Low Lighthouse (access to the top), the engine rooms and the former lighthouse keepers’ building. It’s the only opportunity all year to see inside these unique buildings on the Isle of May.
Parliament Hall - University of St Andrews
Standing on the site of the University's oldest college, this impressive wood-paneled room was originally used for classes and examinations. It was renamed ‘Parliament Hall’ after the Scottish Parliament sat here in 1645-1646 during an outbreak of plague in Edinburgh. Visitors can view some of the University’s historic portraits and furniture and chat to our friendly staff! Outside, in St Mary’s Quadrangle, there is a large holm oak tree, which is around 275 years old and another ancient tree: a thorn tree, supposedly planted by Mary Queen of Scots in the sixteenth century.
The 1940s House
Built in 1936 as a comfortable modern home in central Cupar, this private dwelling house has survived with only limited modernisation. Sympathetically restored in a 1940s' décor and fitted out with furniture, furnishings and appliances of the era, it is a living time-capsule of the sights, sounds and smells of a home of that period, giving visitors a fully immersive experience. Tours in small groups, conducted by the owners.
2019 Programme Highlights - Fife Central 7th & 8th September:
Adam Smith Heritage Centre
Adam Smith Global Foundation offers you an opportunity to explore their exciting new Heritage Centre which was created to celebrate Kirkcaldy's most famous son, the economist and moral philosopher, Adam Smith, in his 18th Century birthplace. The centre and the adjoining Adam Smith Close represent the completion of the first phase of the Birthplace Initiative. Come along and enjoy the exhibition and hear about our plans for the future.
The Church and Crypt underwent major renovations and restoration in 2017. Visitors will be able to view and tour the church and grounds. The local History Group have produced a booklet detailing the history of the church and the surrounding area, and this will be available for visitors.
The Kirk invites you to enjoy peaceful contemplation in this beautiful setting. See our wonderful stained glass war memorial window, 17thC grave slabs, carved stone font and 1886 organ. All are welcome in this place.
Dysart Tolbooth and Town Hall
The Tolbooth dates back to 1576 to provide the the town's weights and measures office, guard house and a prison. The adjacent Town Hall is 19thC and was the meeting place of the former Town Council and now houses displays on local history.
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk & Graveyard
Experience Kirkcaldy’s heritage inside the oldest building in town in continuous use. View the beautiful stained glass windows by Burne-Jones and William Morris, newly restored, and Crear McCartney; hear the stories of Kirkcaldy’s famous folk – the butler who made his fortune from a beached whale; the last fatal duel in Scotland; the witch kept in the tower before execution; Adam Smith and Rev. George Gillespie. Tour the historic graveyard for more! Climb the ancient bell tower for magnificent views and take in this year’s exhibition celebrating 775 years since the Catholic consecration in 1244.
St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
Scotland's first Coptic Church serves a congregation of people from 15 nationalities including Scottish, Irish, Egyptian, Swedish, Sudanese, Lebanese, Spanish and Korean. The congregation comes to Kirkcaldy every Sunday morning from all over Scotland to attend divine liturgy.
Converting Invertiel Parish Church in 1994 produced an astounding interior which will not fail to impress.
2019 Programme Highlights - Fife West 15th September:
Carnegie Hall opened in 1937 with a programme of musical recitals and children's entertainment, and became the main theatre for variety shows and amateur dramatics in the town. We now present a wide programme of music, comedy, dance and drama. The tour of the theatre will take you on stage, backstage and show how the technical aspects of theatre work.
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries
Welcome to Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries. With a lively programme and so much to enjoy under one roof, our venue offers the perfect all-day visitor attraction. There’s always something new, so you can visit often! In addition to The World’s first Carnegie Library and Children’s library we have a Reading Room, a Museum, Galleries, Café, Gift Shop and beautiful Gardens to explore.
Forth Bridge Heritage Centre
Managed by North Queensferry Heritage Trust the Forth Bridge Heritage Centre is located in the original Victorian waiting room of Queensferry station and has a gallery of memorabilia that promotes the Forth Bridge as Scotland’s 6th World Heritage Site. An exhibition of works by famous artists in North Queensferry will be displayed and this will be augmented for Doors Open Day by works from local artists and crafts artists.
Inverkeithing Parish Church
Visit this historic church to see one of the finest baptismal fonts in Scotland. Hear its remarkable story and get the chance to see our lovely stained glass windows, both old and modern. The Church of St Peter was granted to the Monastery of Dunfermline in 1139. No trace of this church now remains but the later church, of which the tower still stands, was probably built about 1480.
The church is still in use for public worship.
St Margaret's Memorial Church
St. Margaret's was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and opened in 1896. It contains many interesting features including a reredos by Sir Hew Lorimer and stained glass by Willy Wilson and John Blyth as well as artwork by Jurek Putter which tells the story of St Margaret of Scotland. The pipe organ dates to 1872 and was constructed by G.M Holdich. The shrine of St Margaret of Scotland is housed in the Lady Chapel and contains a relic of St Margaret which was returned to Scotland from the Escorial, Spain in 1862. The relic returned to Dunfermline in 2008. It is housed in gothic reliquary.
Tulliallan Old Kirkyard
Explore this wonderful old kirkyard, a treasure-trove of Kincardine history. Three and four hundred years ago local craftsmen carved into local stone slabs the trades of the people interred, thereby providing a glimpse of a busy and prosperious Kincardine. Also appreciate the huge effort by Willie and Bill over decades rescuing this tranquil corner of Fife from oblivion.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Doors Open Days Fife are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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