Kirkcaldy History

The old building in the photo above is situated at the east end of Kirkcaldy High Street. It must be one of the oldest buildings in the town and a few years ago it was buffed up and refurbished, as was the building adjoining it on the left hand side.

Unfortunately as you can just see the guttering on the left hand building is badly in need of repair as it’s obviously leaking into the traditional lime plaster and must be causing damage to the fabric of the building. It looks a lot worse on the far left but I’ve spared you that sight.

The plaque above is also in Kirkcaldy High Street, unfortunately Adam Smith’s family home was demolished many years ago. This is a depressing feature of Kirkcaldy life. Anything which would have been of interest to tourists has been pulled down, and they did have houses which people would have wanted to visit.

Within a stone’s throw of each other there was the Adam Smith house, Thomas Carlyle’s home and the school he taught in and Gladney House, which was the home of the famous Robert Adam and his brother John. Their father was also a famous architect, William Adam.

On a cheerier note the town is refurbishing an old cottage which is situated behind the High Street and I believe that the powers that be intend to turn it into an Adam Smith museum. I just wonder what they will fill it with as I think they only have a copy of his book Wealth of Nations on show at the moment.

8 thoughts on “Kirkcaldy History

  1. The rebuffed building is very pretty – I love the color of the stone. Too bad the one next to it is damaged.
    Living in a town that was only established in 1912, it is amazing to me that people live among so much history, as in Kirkcaldy, and take it for granted. Was Adam Smith’s home beyond repair?

    • Anbolyn,
      No I think Adam Smith’s home was just in the way of Victorian ‘progress’. It was situated behind what is now the High Street and that is mainly Victorian, lots of grand old houses were demolished, I suppose they didn’t have any plumbing so were deemed to be sub standard.

  2. Philadelphia’s like that, too. I’m forever passing historic placards that say ‘On this site once stood …’ or something similar. Many of the ‘historic’ buildings are reproductions or are in terrible repair. The Edgar Allan Poe house is disgraceful.

    The city’s been very disrespectful of its history, despite the fact that historic tourism is big here. I can sort of forgive that in the past, but not when they demolish irreplaceable or historic buildings today, when they should know better. There’s nothing beautiful or memorable about the buildings they construct today.

    • Joan,
      Philly sounds like it should be twinned with Kirkcaldy. I had no idea that Poe had lived there, that would be such a tourist draw too, I would go if I could snap my fingers and get there!
      Fear not, a lot of the nasty buildings which are being built now will be demolished in 20 or 30 years anyway, if things keep going as there are now, it’s the 1980s concrete boxes which are being demolished here.

  3. hi I was in kirkcaldy high street today and noticed a plaque outside the T.S.B. bank on the pavement .relating to a sarah nisbet the plaque had a date on it and also inscribed on it was a plate with a knife and fork. could you please let me know any- thing about it as i found it quite interesting i also enquired in the bank but they did not no anything I dont think they even knew it was there. I would be most grateful if you can help.:

    • Hi Moira,

      Quite a lot of the buildings in Kirkcaldy have something like you describe on the pavement outside them. I believe that the Kirkcaldy Civic Society did some research to find out what the buildings had originally been, and who they were owned by. It seems that a restaurant owned by Sarah Nisbet must have been in the TSB building, or on that site. Maybe you could contact the Civic Society or the library for more information.

      • Thank you very much for your help and answering my question .i will contact both places that you suggested. This has helped me a lot.

        • Moira,
          I’m glad I was able to help you. There is/was quite a lot of interesting history around Kirkcaldy, unfortunately some of the more interesting buildings were knocked down in the 50s and 60s. Thomas Carlyle used to live in a house on Kirk Wynd but it is gone as is the house that the architect Robert Adam grew up in – Gladney House which was just off Links Street on the wee road between Lidl and Dunelm Mill I think, there is a commemorative stone there now.

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