Pistols at the ready: Kirkcaldy set re-enactment of Scotland's last fatal duel

Locals are being invited to take a step back in time this weekend to watch a re-enactment of the last fatal duel in Scotland which takes place in Kirkcaldy this weekend as part of Doors Open Day.

By Debbie Clarke
Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 2:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:13 pm

Auld Kirk Players, David Potter and Fraser Anderson, are taking on the roles of George Morgan and David Landale to tell the tale of the famous clash which happened in a field in Cardenden in 1826 and ended in tragedy, in a live performance this Sunday.

They will be staging the re-enactment at the Old Kirk graveyard from 1.00pm onwards for the 20-minute event which will be repeated several times throughout the afternoon.

And it is is a fitting location for the performance as both Morgan and Landale are buried there!

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David Potter, who will be taking part in a re-enactment of the last duel in Scotland, standing by George Morgan's gravestone at the Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

To find out who won – the quiet, respectable flax and linen businessman who had never fired a pistol before or the retired lieutenant who went on to work for the Bank of Scotland – locals will need to pop along on Sunday.

David, taking on the role of Morgan, said: “We have never done the duel re-enactment before, but as Morgan and Landale are buried in the Old Kirk Graveyard, we thought it was worth a go and the Old Kirk is the perfect place.

“It is a very important part of Kirkcaldy' s history, not least because it was Scotland's last fatal duel, and they were both prominent Kirkcaldy men - Landale became Provost, and Morgan had served in the Napoleonic Wars. And the families made up afterwards!”

As part of Doors Open Day in Central Fife, Kirkcaldy Old Kirk will be open to visitors on Saturday between 11.00am to 3.00pm and on Sunday from 1.00pm to 4.00pm.

David Potter, who will be taking part in a re-enactment of the last duel in Scotland, standing by George Morgan's gravestone at the Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

People can view the collection of stained glass windows, from recently-restored Burne-Jones/William Morris to Crear McCartney and John Clark's "Windows of Fire".

Rosemary Potter, chairman of the Old Kirk Trust, said: “People can also take in our exhibitions on aspects of the Kirk's history, including the past 10 years of the Old Kirk Trust's ownership.

"They can also climb the Old Kirk's 15th century bell tower for magnificent views over the town - a last chance before it closes for restoration. There, people will also find our Adam Smith Exhibition and on Saturday at 1.00pm people can follow a guided tour "In Adam Smith's Footsteps".

“Our "Stories from Stones" guided tours of the graveyard, telling the tales of individuals buried there since the 16th century, will take place this Friday at 2pm and Sunday at various times from 1.30pm.”

A number of events will be taking place at the Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy this weekend as part of Central Fife Doors Open Day.

Also open in town at the weekend is Fife's first Flax and Linen Festival with an exhibition at Stocks Carpets in Links Street from 10.00am to 4.00pm. This will be the centre over the weekend for stories and information, talks and walks about Kirkcaldy's once-thriving linen industry.

There will be a Flax Heritage Walk on Friday, September 17 in Kirkcaldy. Details can be found at: Our Linen Stories

Also open on Sunday in Kirkcaldy is the Adam Smith Heritage Centre from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Locals see inside the Heritage Centre's Exhibition Room and learn of future plans for Adam Smith's 18th century garden.

To find out what else is on for Doors Open Day this weekend visit: Doors Open Day Central Fife

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