Fife hotel rebrands lounge after discovery of historic papers and photographs

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A Fife hotel under new ownership has given a brand new name to its refurbished lounge after unearthing some fascinating information about the building’s history.

The Old Manor Hotel in Lundin Links, now owned by the Wallace family of Pettycur Bay, has unveiled the 1864 - the new name for the lounge after the year that the building, then known as Airthernie House, was constructed.

It was built to the design of Glasgow architect Mr Campbell Douglas as a home for two spinster sisters, the Misses Rigg.

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Steven Carlesch, operations manager, said: “During our recent work at the hotel, we came across an old photograph album style book in a cupboard, and it turned out it was filled with historical documents, copies of birth certificates and wills, newspaper clippings, and many other types of information about the history of this building which had been documented and gathered together by the previous owners.”

The Old Manor Hotel, Lundin Links (Pic: David Wardle)The Old Manor Hotel, Lundin Links (Pic: David Wardle)
The Old Manor Hotel, Lundin Links (Pic: David Wardle)

“It really is very thorough, covering the period from when the building was first constructed, to when it became a children’s home in 1937, to then becoming a hotel after World War II, and beyond,” said Steven. “In the Sixties it was the Beach Hotel Lundin Links, with a sister hotel, the Leven Beach Hotel. Sadly, the Leven Beach Hotel was damaged by fire in 1989 and subsequently demolished, but our building continued its life as a hotel.”

“Our historical book contains a couple of original advertisements from the 1960s promoting both hotels to the public – they really are so interesting to look at. It would appear that Lundin Links and Leven were as popular then as they are now, with guests attracted by the golf and the beautiful coastline. Finding all this information has been fantastic, sparking lots of debate and hearsay amongst our staff, many of whom are local to the area,” continued Steven.

In 1937, Fife’s Children’s Home, the first of its kind in Scotland, was set up at the Old Manor, by a Miss Margaret Paxton, who leased the house from the then owner David Russell, of the Tullis Russell papermill family. Her sister Jessie, ran a nursery in Methil which is still in business today as the Paxton Nursery.

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Added Steven: “Anyone who would like to come in and have a look at the book, especially any amateur historians, or anyone with a family or employment connection to any of the previous owners over the decades, is more than welcome. We’re going to put it on display and encourage all guests to look at it if they wish – it really is an absorbing record of an amazing building and estate.”

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