The history of the Old Kirk Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy Old Kirk
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk

There has been Christian worship on the little hill overlooking Kirkcaldy’s High Street for over 760 years.

Kirkcaldy Old Kirk is the site of the first Christian worship in Kirkcaldy after the Celtic missionaries brought the faith here in the fifth century. The first written record of the Kirk is in 1244 when the Roman Catholic Bishop de Bernham consecrated the building to St. Patrick and St. Brisse (St. Bryce) but it is known that there was a Celtic church there before that.

The ancient tower dates from the 15th century. The listed structure is built of ashlar, finely dressed sandstone, and it is one of the main visitor attractions.

Another notable feature of the church, are the beautiful stained glass windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, a famous stained-glass artist.
The oldest windows are the two stained-glass windows placed in the east wall of the church as a memorial to the late Mr James Russell who died suddenly in November 1877. A writer and agent of the City of Glasgow Bank in the High Street, he was a member of the Parish Church.
Several well-known as well as ordinary Kirkcaldy folk are part of the church and town’s history and are buried in the surrounding graveyard.

Adam Smith was christened as an infant here, and Rev. George Gillespie, an author of the Westminster Confession of Faith, lies underneath the Kirk.
The Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust was set up by a group of locals who wanted to preserve the heritage of Kirkcaldy contained in the Old Kirk, after its closure as a place of worship by the Church of Scotland in November 2010.

The “B” listed church was put up for sale in August 2011 and Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust was successful in acquiring it to maintain it for community use as a concert hall, community resource, heritage centre and for continuing worship.

This was possible due to the generous financial support from John Sim, whose father was a former minister of the Old Kirk.