Virtually nothing stops heritage engagement in Inverkeithing

A new archaeological survey of the historic Inverkeithing Town House has just been published. The report, by Clyde Archaeology, reports on a survey carried out in February this year, with the help of many local people, 17 participants days, and over 100 hours. When asked what they’d enjoyed, more than one participant said “All of it” and asked if they’d learned new information, knowledge or skills, the answers reflected the high enthusiasm: “Yes, loads!” “Yes, definitely” “Yes, all of those”.

Discoveries were recorded of earlier phases, evidenced in a blocked up doorway, in a hidden space. The rear elevation revealed different building phases, including a blocked up pend.

The report can be accessed through the Fife Historic Buildings Trust website on the Inverkeithing page.

The standing building survey is part of the Burgh Survey activities. These community engagement opportunities for skills development as well as developing knowledge and understanding of the richness of Inverkeithing’s built heritage, are generously funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland through the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration scheme.

Councillor Alice McGarry said “It is great that despite lockdown, Fife Historic Buildings Trust and the consultants have taken the work of the Burgh Survey forward, and that so many people have been able to get involved, and see their work published now too.”

Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration scheme is delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust (FHBT) on behalf of Fife Council. Heritage engagement has continued virtually in Inverkeithing since March, with regular meetings and activities taking the place of some that had to be postponed.

Inverkeithing’s Local History Society has now been meeting virtually for 10 weeks, FHBT have facilitated a small group studying the care and conservation of community archives, and later palaeography. Online resources allow shared learning and skills development, and the group have used their deciphering skills to transcribe archive records over 250 years old, relating to the Town House. The small group transcribed a daunting account from the 1600s, which included several “pynts of wine” at one pound Scots.

Training and Development Officer Emma Griffiths, at FHBT said “It has been absolutely inspirational to work with the Inverkeithing Local History Society at our Wednesday meetings. The sense of shared effort, and discovery, and knowing that the research will help inform the works to conserve and upgrade the Town House, has been incredibly rewarding. I feel that I learn a new, fascinating thing, about Inverkeithing every week.”

Dates for the diary

  • June – Town House virtual meeting. Everyone is invited to attend a community consultation about the Town House at 7pm on 18th June, to see drawings, hear about plans, hear from the architect, get involved in a group to help run the building in future.
  • June – Traditional Garden Walls - maintenance skills for householders. This free, virtual event, delivered by Roz Artis of the Scottish Lime Centre Trust, will have advice for building owners. People can send in pictures of their maintenance dilemmas, and in the Q&A, Roz will try to answer some queries about an important, but often neglected part of our historic environment.
  • June 2:00-4:00pm - The latest Public realm or streetscape improvements to the historic core of Inverkeithing will be presented at a virtual meeting on MS Teams.  The layout is dictated by roads, safety, statutory and funding constraints (now including social distancing), but the final positions and details of street furniture are up for discussion. All Inverkeithing residents and businesses are welcome to attend and stakeholders including the Inverkeithing Community Council have been invited. Plans will be available on the Fife Historic Buildings Trust website at: www.fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk/Inverkeithing

Plans will also be displayed in the windows of the Civic Centre from Friday 26th June and contact details will be provided for enquiries and comments.

If you have any questions, would like to find out more, or to join the project mailing list, please email inverkeithing@fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk or visit www.fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk/inverkeithing

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