Historic Burntisland building preserved for future generations

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Locals have rallied round to help save the church and graveyard.

An historic Fife kirk has been saved for future generations.

The project to preserve the nationally significant Kirkton Old Church ruin and churchyard has been led by Burntisland Heritage Trust and supported by Fife Council.

The 12th century church was awarded £90,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015.

Designed to safeguard the future of the medieval structure and graveyard, the scheme has repaired and made safe the oldest building in Burntisland.

Work to refurbish and enhance the graveyard is now nearing completion and Floral Art Burntisland and local primary pupils have been planting bulbs to attract wildlife into the graveyard.

Fife Council’s built heritage officer Fiona Fisher said: “This community-led project is bringing one of Fife’s most important historic sites back into community use and is set to put it onto Scotland’s cultural and tourist map.

“This has involved clearing off ivy growth, stabilising its crumbling walls, repairing the wall heads and stabilising, repairing and conserving fallen and broken gravestones.”

When the gravestone stabilisation programme is finished the Kirkton graveyard will be open to the public and visitors for the first time in decades.

Fiona added: “Crucially, this project is enabling local people and children, as well as historians, to learn more about Fife’s rich history in interesting and exciting ways.

“Community and educational activities include work with Burntisland Primary School to develop pupils’ heritage skills and knowledge, and further green graveyard conservation initiatives.

“Digital education and community resources that explore and record the site’s history have been created for the benefit of all.”

It is thought the origins of Kirkton Old Church date as far back at the 13th century, although there is evidence of an even older church on the site.

Kirkton ceased to be the parish church around 1592 when the present Burntisland Parish Church was constructed.

The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, Fife Environment Trust, Fife Council, Fife Council Common Good and Area Funds, Burntisland Heritage Trust and The Co-operative Society Scotland.