Cash to renovate Dysart’s windmill

Cllr Kay Carrington outside the windmill which is to be restored. Pic by Fife Photo Agency.
Cllr Kay Carrington outside the windmill which is to be restored. Pic by Fife Photo Agency.

An old Dysart landmark which has given its name to Kirkcaldy East’s new school campus is set to be given a makeover.

The Dysart windmill, which is said to date back to the 17th or 18th century, is believed to have been built originally to grind corn by the Sinclair family.

It later became a lookout tower due to its high elevation and during WWII a searchlight was attached to it to scan the skies over the Forth for enemy aircraft.

Since then it has become overgrown with foliage and weeds and local people fear that it could be lost if action is not taken to preserve it.

However local councillors, working alongside the locality manager have found funding to carry out remedial works which will involve removing the ivy and weeds and to carry out repointing and repairs to the crenallated top stonework to ensure it is looking its best when the new Windmill Community Campus, housing Viewforth High School and Rosslyn School, opens in the autumn.

Councillor Kay Carrington, who has pressed for action to be taken for a number of years, said: “We had extra money in the ward budget because another project was deferred and I had already raised the subject of the windmill with the locality manager, so after discussion with local members it was decided that the money could be put to good use renovating the windmill.

“It is a well known local landmark and we don’t want to lose it, particularly now with its significance to the new school.

“I am glad we are able to do this work which will ensure it will be there for the next generation.”

Ken Halley, locality manager, added: “We have been getting quotes to do remedial work and after that it has to go through the funding process,” he said.

“We don’t know what is beneath the ivy so we won’t know if any further work will be required until we start.

“It was a project we looked at around a year ago but the funding simply wasn’t there.”

Located at the east end of the town on Quarry Brae, the B-listed structure is said to have been built in the late 17th or early 18th century. Historians say it was built by the Sinclair family which owned large areas of land.

It was originally 5.9 metres high and included a vault which was demolished during the 1950s. It was converted to a lookout tower in the early 19th century, and during WWII it housed a searchlight to track German aircraft over the Forth.