A Close encounter with 15th century building

Artist's impression of how Adam Smith House, Kirkcaldy will look
Artist's impression of how Adam Smith House, Kirkcaldy will look
  • Work to restart at Adam Smith’s home
  • Festival put back to September
  • Timeline to show Smith’s life

Work at 1 Adam Smith Close is set to continue after an unexpected discovery caused a delay in proceedings.

The team converting the former home of Kirkcaldy’s most famous son into a visitor’s centre uncovered a 15th century wall which required specialist treatment.

We need to be seen not only as the birthplace of Adam Smith but as the place where he wrote his most famous works

Marilyn Livingstone

The find meant a delay - and an increase to the budget.

But Marilyn Livingstone, chief executive of the Adam Smith Global Foundation, said that the project is “progressing really well”.

She said: “We thought the whole building was 18th century but we’ve uncovered a 15th century wall which we’ve had to deal with.

“We’re hopefully going to be in a position within the next two weeks to sign up contractors.”

The work has added an extra £40,000 to the cost of the project but Marilyn says that funding has already been secured.

And the delay has also meant the Adam Smith Festival, scheduled for June, has now been put back until September to coincide with the official opening of the new Adam Smith Visitor Centre.

A fundraising dinner for the festival will take place at the Adam Smith College atrium on May 29.

“What I’ve found with this exercise and talking to other people is that this is common practice when working with an old building,” Marilyn said, “We’re now past the worst and ready to progress.”

The close itself is also being re-developed with Caithness granite slabs inscribed with a timeline of Adam Smith’s life. It will stand at the beginning of the ‘Merchant’s Quarter’ of the High Street which the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group is looking to re-establish.

Marilyn said: “It will start at the Old Kirk and come down then right along the East End where we’ve had a lot of encouragement from traders.

“We have also now raised the funding for a feasibility study so we hope that in the next few weeks to have a business case and a full brief for the work that we want to take forward at the Merchant’s Quarter. That’s the next big project for us.

“We need to be seen not only as the birthplace of Adam Smith but as the place where he wrote his most famous works. I think this is very exciting for Kirkcaldy.”

To attend the fundraising dinner contact the Foundation via the website www.adamsmithglobalfoundation.com.