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. Doors Open Days, along with Scottish Archaeology Month take place throughout Scotland and are part of European Heritage Days – an initiative which promotes a sense of community and a “common heritage” throughout the continent.
2018 Programme Highlights - Fife Central:
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.
Adam Smith Theatre
Located in Kirkcaldy's town centre, the Adam Smith Theatre is a popular venue in a traditional setting, well-loved for its high-quality shows, full-scale cinema and long history as the heart of the local arts scene. Come along and enjoy a look behind the scenes with guided tours throughout the day.
Auchterderran Church and the Crypt in the Churchyard have recently undergone major renovations and restoration with grant assistance from the Heritage Lottery and Historic Scotland. In conjunction with the local History Group and Youth Group we produced a history booklet detailing the history of the church and the Auchterderran Parish. This booklet will be available for visitors. The Auchterderran Singers will be holding a concert on the Friday (7th Sept) and the Church will also be open on the Saturday- decorated by the Flower Committee. Refreshments will be served in the church hall.
Enjoy the lovely remote setting; read the story on the poetry stone; explore the carvings on the 17th century grave slabs then enter to a warm welcome with guest musician playing the historic organ. Note: New steps make access more user friendly.
Burntisland Heritage Trust
The Burntisland Heritage Trust celebrates its 25th year with a special exhibition to show the town's rich history of fascinating facts and stories, including charting the search for the King Charles sunken treasure.
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.
Kinglassie Parish Church
A church has stood on this site since 1126 when Robert, Archbishop of St Andrews, granted the land to the Abbey of Dunfermline. The original building, which was dedicated to St Glastian, has had many alterations since then. Close by is the associated site of St Glastian's (Finglassin's) well.
Kirkcaldy Art Club
Formerly the laundry for Dysart House the building has been occupied by the Kirkcaldy Art Club since 1970. Visit and enjoy an exhibition of member's work; with children's activities and refreshments
Explore artists' interpretations of Fife - including scenes of Ceres, Kirkcudbright and Kellie Castle - on our curator's tour at 2 p.m. Drop into the Local History Room to find out how to get started researching local and family history, pop in to the Activity Room for family activities inspired by the Glasgow Boys exhibition. Finish up with a Doors Open Cuppa and Cake special at Cafe Weymss at 3.50 p.m.
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk & Graveyard
Experience Kirkcaldy's heritage inside the oldest building in town ! Hear stories of Kirkcaldy's famous folk, tour the historic graveyard and climb the ancient bell tower for magnificent views. Note: Parking at KY1 1BG public car park. Vehicle entry to graveyard is only for disabled drivers or to drop off passengers with mobility problems.
Law’s Close, known locally as “The Merchants House” is a Category ‘A’ listed building and one of the best preserved 16th century town houses and restored garden in Scotland. Situated on the High Street in Kirkcaldy with views across the Firth of Forth towards Edinburgh.
Lochore Meadows Country Park
The Willie Clarke Centre at Lochore Meadows Country Park is the hub of all activities within the park. We are keen that visitors are given the opportunity to appreciate the buildings setting in the park and its flexibility for use for a variety of business and leisure functions and events.
Methil Heritage Centre
On Doors Open Day we will be celebrating 100 years of the RAF. In our Heritage Centre we have 6 monthly exhibitions. We have workshops on regularly and we do talks and outreach. We also have class visits from local schools. We have an extensive Archive and deal with many enquiries from both home and abroad.
Rothes Halls is an entertainment and conference venue located right in the centre of Glenrothes, adjoining the Kingdom Shopping Centre. Its vibrant programme includes popular music, big-name comedy, drama, dance and children's shows and large-scale, site-specific theatre productions. The FifeSpace & FotoSpace visual arts galleries are located on the first floor and host new exhibitions every six weeks, ranging from nationally-recognised names to touring exhibitions and local artists' work.
St Finglassen's Well
Combine your visit to Kinglassie Church with a short walk to a mediaeval pilgrims' well. St Finglassen's Well is only accessible to walkers and ramblers and not wheelchairs. Stewards will be on duty at the site.
St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
"The Coptic Church is believed to be the only one of its kind in Scotland. The faith has its origins in Egypt and the teachings of St. Mark and serves a congregation of people from 15 nationalities who come to Kirkcaldy every Sunday morning from all over Scotland.
Come along to find out more about one of the earliest Christian faiths and attend the Divine Liturgy from 10:30 a.m. and learn how a plain exterior may hide gems in more than just architecture!"
Markinch Kirk is one of Fife's oldest buildings, dating from the 12th century and the architectural quality of the Norman stonework is very high. The church was substantially altered in the 17th and 19th centuries re-using stones from the original building and Norman dressed stone can still be seen in the walls. The existing interior is in an elegant Georgian style with Victorian refurbishments.
2018 Programme Highlights - Fife East:
Archaeology Room - University of St Andrews
Archaeological research at St Andrews is distributed through several Schools and departments, but visit the artefact collection and learn about our latest digital research technology. The objects range in date from the Palaeolithic to the Byzantine period and include stone tools, pottery vessels, lamps, figurines and votive offerings.
Bell Pettigrew Museum - University of St Andrews
Come along to the Bell Pettigrew Museum of Natural History to see a rare example of a Victorian teaching museum, stuffed to the gills with specimens from the animal kingdom! There are examples of several extinct species, including the Dodo, Moa, Tasmanian wolf and St Kilda house-mouse and items of special scientific interest.
Kirkton of Cults has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years. The current church dates to the 18thC and is B Listed. It houses a memorial to Sir David Wilkie, who was born in the Manse, and an exhibition of his work.
Dreel Halls & St Nicholas Tower
Take a tour of the 16th century Category A listed St Nicholas Tower (part of the Dreel Halls complex) and, weather permitting, step out on to the parapet for stunning views over Anstruther and out to the Isle of May.
Fife Folk Museum
Enter over the footbridge from the car park in the centre of Ceres. This small museum makes a big statement about life in Fife over the past two centuries. There are games to challenge the children and most of the museum is wheelchair accessible.
Isle of May Light-Houses
"We are grateful to the Northern Lighthouse Board who are once again opening the magnificent Main Light and Beacon this year. Scottish Natural Heritage staff will be on hand to show you the full range of the island's unique facilities. Discover the religious heritage of the island and its marine wildlife.
NOTE THIS VENUE IS OPEN ON BOTH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY"
King James Library - University of St Andrews
The King James Library was founded in 1612 with the patronage of James VI & I. The Library is in the north range of St Mary's College quadrangle, above Parliament Hall.
You will be warmly welcomed to this church, a calming place of worship since 1631. Look out for church treasures on display, take part in the quiz and enjoy short recitals and favourite hymns played by the organist throughout the afternoon.
Largo and Newbarn Parish Church
There has been a church on this site since 832AD. The existing building dates, in part, back to 1623 and has recently had extensive restoration of stonework and windows. There are numerous internal memorials showing local links over many centauries. Come and enjoy your heritage!
Murray Library Hostel
A Trust left in 1908 by David Murray, of Anstruther, provided for a library and a snooker hall to help keep the young men of the town out of public houses. With the help of Fife Historic Buildings Trust, the current Trustees obtained grants to restore the building and give it a new purpose, with part of the building now being used as a backpackers' hostel.
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!
Pittenweem Priory Gatehouse
Discover the charm of this 15th century Gatehouse rebuilt by Bishop James Kennedy. The Priory of Pittenweem thrived from the 13th century until the Reformation. Let your steward explain its links with the Isle of May and St Andrews Cathedral. Efforts continue to restore this hidden gem for community use.
Senate Room - University of St Andrews
This room is named after the Senatus Academicus, the supreme body of the University responsible for regulating teaching and discipline and approving degrees. The interior was re-designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in 1897-8. It contains fine portraits by Raeburn, Lely and Wilkie and a rare split second clock used by 17th century mathematician, James Gregory.
St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Enter this deceptively large interior and admire the wood carvings by Robert Lorimer, who lived at nearby Kellie Castle, as well as the splendid stained glass both old and contemporary. Younger visitors may enjoy counting how many angels they can find inside the church. Don't forget to visit the Priory Gatehouse.
St Margaret's Episcopal Church
Picturesque red-brick church, with vaulted interior, designed in late Victorian Gothic style by the eminent Dundee architect T M Cappon in 1896, and featuring a variety of texture and colour, use of timber, and intricate window tracery. Several interesting memorials. The 2004 hall extension in matching materials fits perfectly with original building.
St Monans Windmill
A surviving remnant of Fife’s once thriving 18thC industrial past, the windmill tower stands high on the coastal edge, and its observation deck gives stunning views across the Forth. Walk the Coastal Path from St Monans or Pittenweem to the windmill and see the excavated pan houses of one of Fife’s lost salt making sites.
Tayport Aulk Kirk
This religious site has been an important part of Tayport since 1607. The present structure dates from 1794, set within a graveyard containing fascinating slabs which reflect the history of Tayport and its inhabitants. The building is now owned by a Trust which is developing an Arts, Cultural and Heritage Centre retaining the historic features.
Tayport Burgh Chambers
Go a trip down memory lane in the Library and see regalia and significant documents set out in the Burgh Chambers from where so much was administered over 60 years.
The 1940s House
Built in 1936 to provide a comfortable, modern home in central Cupar this private dwelling house has survived the decades with limited modernisation, which is now being sympathetically reversed. Come along for a glimpse of the furnishings, technology and pastimes of home life in the 1940s.
Thomson Reading Room - University of St Andrews
Having acquired the Martyrs Kirk to house their Special Collections the University has converted the building to a dedicated research and study centre. The sympathetic refurbishment has retained and complemented the original architecture and features.
2018 Programme Highlights - Fife West:
Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum
Step back in time and experience life in Victorian Dunfermline! Find out from our resident Victorians what hand loom weavers family life was like in the 1830s and try some Victorian activities. Visitors also have a chance to dress in period costume.
Cairneyhill Church & Watch House
Cairneyhill Church (1752) has served its congregation through various splits and unions until becoming part of the Church of Scotland in 1929. It is considered of historic importance having been in continuous use in a relatively unaltered form. It was restored externally in 2013.
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.
Charlestown Workshops, Scottish Lime Centre Trust
Charlestown Workshops date from 1705 and are the former estate workshops for Broomhall, the seat of the Earl of Elgin. Charlestown Workshops were restored and converted in 2000 as the offices and training centre for the Scottish Lime Centre Trust, an internationally recognised Centre of excellence for the conservation, repair & maintenance of traditional buildings. Come and see what we have achieved in 23 years of operation.
There will be Practical Demonstrations of Lime Pointing, Decorative Carving etc.
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries
Edinburgh Architecture Association Building of the Year 2017. Explore the new museum, enjoy the views from the mezzanine cafe over the landscaped garden to the Heritage Quarter and Dunfermline Abbey.
The former St Andrews Erskine Church is a B Listed building that is registered as being "At Risk". It was purchased, by means of a MacDonald family legacy, by the the Yes-U-Are Partnership in 2012.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
Fine Victorian church from 1891 by architect Rowand Anderson who also encased the attractive 1895 Hamilton church organ. Enjoy the lovely Kempe & Wilson windows and let the children hunt out the quiz clues.
This mediaeval building is the surviving hospitium of the Franciscan Friary and is one of the few upstanding remnants of a Greyfriars site in Scotland.
Community Archaeological Dig 3-14th September
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.
Inverkeithing Town House
A tolbooth has existed at Inverkeithing to administer the town's justice from at least 1550 but because of its poor condition and frequent escapes from the gaol a new Townhouse was built in 1770 incorporating some of the earlier tower.
Includes a guided walk around historic Inverkeithing.
Saline and District Heritage Society Museum
The Heritage Society Museum is located in the Church Session House and will help you discover local curiosities above and below ground in and around the village. Volunteers will take you on a tour of the old graveyard which is medieval in origin.
St James' Chapel
The remnants of St James' Chapel are the only surviving medieval remains in North Queensferry. Queen Margaret (c 1046 -93) encouraged pilgrims to visit the shrine of St Andrew in the settlement of the same name by giving free passage across the Forth. Their first port of call would have been this chapel for prayer along their route.
St Margaret's Memorial Church
St. Margaret's was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and opened in 1896. The shrine of St Margaret of Scotland is housed in the Lady Chapel and contains a relic of St Margaret which was 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 providing a glimpse of a busy and prosperous Kincardine.
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