Doors Open Day: Central Fife venues set to welcome visitors this weekend
and live on Freeview channel 276
The initiative, which takes place across Scotland throughout September, allows members of the public to uncover hidden gems and experience familiar places through fresh eyes, all for free.
It’s a chance to celebrate community heritage and the built environment, while visiting some interesting and historic buildings.
In recent years, Doors Open Days have adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by running virtual visits online, but this year many are returning to in person visits for the first time since 2019.
There are still some places offering an online experience too.
Here are the local venues opening their doors on Sunday, September 11.
Burntisland Heritage Trust (exhibition 11am to 4pm; Burgh Chambers 1pm to 4pm): Visit the trust’s summer exhibition, Maritime Matters, at their Kirkgate home with 22 model ships on show and displays on ‘Crossing the Forth Over the Centuries’ and ‘The Search for the Lost Treasure of King Charles I’. The Burgh Chambers will also be open, housing a collection of 19th and 20th century art relating to the town.
Dysart St Clair Parish Church (noon to 4pm): There is only one example of Charles Rennie MacIntosh’s work on the east coast of Scotland and it can be seen in Dysart St Clair Church of Scotland. The murals will be on show after the morning service.
Dysart Town Hall (noon to 4pm): Built in 1576 it was used as council chambers until 1930. This historic building houses the village’s tolbooth and currently contains an exhibition by the Dysart Trust of local artefacts and photographs of social and cultural interest relating to Dysart and its industries. The Dysart Tapestry will also be on display.
Kirkcaldy Art Club (10am to 3pm): The stone building on the corner of Hot Pot Wynd was once a laundry for the Sinclair and Nairn families but has seen a huge transformation in the years since it was bought in 1970 for the sum of £150. The Art Club now houses a pottery downstairs and a painting studio above. The club will be exhibiting members’ work in the studio space including pottery, paintings and various crafts, and kids can take part in activities in the pottery studio.
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk (Saturday 10am to 3.30pm; Sunday 1pm to 4pm): Economist and philosopher Adam Smith was baptised in the Old Kirk on Kirk Wynd in 1723. Rev. George Gillespie, Covenanter, is buried in the church grounds. There are stained glass windows by Burne-Jones and William Morris, John Clark and Crear McCartney. Guides will give regular tours of the graveyard with ‘Stories from Stones’ about the butler who became Provost because of a whale and the last fatal duel in Scotland. Due to ongoing restoration work, public access to the tower will not be available though it will be viewable via a virtual onscreen tour, or by the interactive digital model representation of the church.
Freuchie Parish Church (1pm to 4pm): Built in 1876 the church was built to accommodate the growing population of the village. Behind the sandstone building are a session room and hall. There are beautiful stained-glass windows at the front and rear of the church.
Law’s Close, Kirkcaldy (11am to 3pm): An A-listed 16th century Merchant’s House. Used for a variety of purposes over the years, the building fell into disrepair. The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust has since brought the building back to its former glory restoring key features such as timber panelling, 16th century painted ceilings, a late 17th century plaster work ceiling and a 17th century wall painting of a ship.Ravenscraig Walled Garden (10am to 3pm): This community garden allotment site is in its 12th year and has been managed to ensure suitability for allotment growers as well as local user groups including school pupils, disabled adults and volunteers. It incorporates the local green-space improvement group Growing Kirkcaldy and part of Greener Kirkcaldy, while Rural Skills Scotland are developing several on-site buildings.
St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Leven (10am to 6pm): A fine aisleless example of late Victorian church design with stencilled chancel, encaustic floor tiles and alabaster reredos. Featuring the earliest example of Charles Eamer Kempe’s stained glass in Fife and stained glass by Margaret Chilton. There are also important memorials to the Baxter, Petheram and Christie families.
Venues in West Fife will be opening their doors on Sunday, September 18.
To find out more visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk