£60,000 plan to save Burntisland churchyard

Cllr George Kay and Ian Archibald of Burntisland Heritage Trust at the cemetery
Cllr George Kay and Ian Archibald of Burntisland Heritage Trust at the cemetery

News on a £60,000 grant application to help save a historic Burntisland churchyard is eagerly awaited in the town.

Kirkton cemetery and its ruined church dates back to the 13th century and is a site of national historical interest.

Last autumn councillors, council officers and historians met to discuss the danger that the site could be lost if action was not taken to preserve it.

Councillor George Kay, who has been involved in the plans, explained: “Historic Scotland was contacted to discuss the work which could be undertaken because sites scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1997 are protected, with robust controls requiring consent from Scottish Ministers.

“We’ve drawn up a programme of works and applied for funding and are keen to see this ancient site which is of national interest preserved for future generations.”

Since then further meetings with Historic Scotland, Fife Council’s bereavement services - which owns the site - Burntisland Heritage Trust and Councillor Kay have set out a programme, including conservation repairs to the church and creating community involvement schemes to benefit Burntisland.

It will involve scaffolding the site, removing vegetation and repairing mortar joints in lime, capping the walls to stop water from soaking into them, replacing stones which have fallen out of position, and re-erecting several larger grave stones which have fallen over.

The Heritage Society also plans to create a community engagement plan and erect information boards.

Heritage Lottery funding of £62,000 was applied for in July and a decision is expected in October. Work would startuld next spring.