His­tor­i­cal Burn­tis­land build­ing is pre­served for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions

Me­dieval church re­paired and ready to go on Scot­land’s tourist map

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Leeza clark leclark@the­courier.co.uk

A 13th Cen­tury 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 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 his­tor­i­cal 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.

This project is en­abling lo­cal peo­ple and chil­dren, as well as his­to­ri­ans, to learn more about Fife’s rich history. BUILT HER­ITAGE OF­FI­CER FIONA FISHER

Pic­ture: Mhairi Ed­wards.

New life for the na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant Kirk­ton Old Church ruin and grave­yard.

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