The Old Kirk (again)

Despite the fact that we were being blasted to bits on the tower parapet we both managed to take quite a few photos. I like old graveyards and it was interesting to see this one from above. You can see that there is quite a lot of space given to each lair. I think some of the gravestones have disappeared over the years but even so when you compare it with the graveyard at the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth which is absolutely crammed with graves it’s easy to see how they got into trouble there.

You can just see what was the original manse at the top left of the photo. They have a huge garden and typically it’s all just grass. Why is it that non-gardeners always get the biggest gardens? It’s one of those ‘sod’s law’ things!

The graveyard from the tower

This cute wee turrety building is in the grounds of the church. I don’t know what it’s used for now – if anything, but I think originally it must have been inhabited by whoever looked after the church and graveyard or maybe the session clerk. As you can see, it’s quite a long way down from that tower.

Across from the house you can see a hideous cream coloured building which was built some time in the 20th century. It replaced the school and house where Thomas Carlyle lived and taught for a couple of years.

Turrety house

And this is another one of the memorial stained glass windows. Photos don’t really show up how beautiful they are.

Stained glass window (east)

This is the Old Kirk from the bottom of Kirk Wynd and the turrety building, you can see the parapet which I took the photos from.

Kirk Wynd

The Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

It was Doors Open day in Kirkcaldy last week-end and at last we managed to visit the Old Kirk which is quite well known for its stained glass windows. Two of them were designed by Edward Burne-Jones, who is sometimes known as the last Pre-Raphaelite. There are some lovely images of his work here.

We were told that the conditions weren’t doing them a lot of justice. Obviously they look a lot better if it’s a very bright day outside, but they’re still not at all bad I think.


I suppose they’re a bit plain when compared with some stained glass but they are in a Scottish Presbyterian church and some of them have no stained glass at all. I suppose it was looked on as being a bit too fancy and frivolous.

We climbed up the tower which was quite a scary hike up the usual kind of stone spiral staircase with narrow steps. This photo is of the lower part of the tower.

Old Kirk Tower bottom

The church is the oldest building in the town and parts of the building date back to 1244. The Church of Scotland decided that they didn’t want to continue to use it as a church and the building has been taken over by a local group who are hoping to keep it alive in some way, so that it can be an asset to the town. You can read about it here.

Internally it’s a great space and I can imagine that it could be useful for all sorts of things. It’s the sort of place which costs a lot to upkeep so I really hope that they can make a go of it.

It was worthwhile climbing up the tower as you get quite a good view of the town and the sea. We didn’t stay up there too long though as the tail end of hurricane Katia was just beginning to pay us a visit and it was quite fierce up there.

Kirkcaldy from the Old Kirk Tower

Since then it has actually got much worse and I was nearly blown off my feet twice today. It feels more like November than September. So much for that season of mists and mellow fruitfullness!