We’re excited to bring you this new regular feature from Sam Foster of Sam Foster Architects in Dunfermline. Over the coming months Sam will be looking at some of the fascinating buildings and landmarks of Dunfermline and Fife.

As soon as you brave an upward look and risk exposing your throat to that biting north-easterly you’ll start to see it: we are  completely and utterly surrounded by a wealth of wonderful, quiet buildings that make the architecture in Dunfermline incredibly rich and varied.

Variety is the very spice of life, William Cowper, the English poet, suggested. And it’s not just the listed or big or old buildings that matter (although listing is a good indication of interest): have a look for the crow-stepped gables on the roofs of some of the buildings half way down the high street, or check the chimneys to try to work out which building was built first; follow your nose and wander up the unmarked lanes, vennels, pends and paths that criss-cross the town. Cast your eye over to some of the later additions, like the Art Deco Christian Aid book shop on Canmore Street, James Shearer’s Fire Station building, the maroon brick wonder of the Sheriff’s Court and Pseudo-Brutalist police station, which, in their own way, are great.

Imagine losing these just a few years from now to make way for some bland, CCTV-scanned sheds with short lifespans where we can buy stuff. No thanks!

In this blog we’ll dig a bit deeper to uncover some of the unsung architectural gems that Dunfermline has to offer with the aim of eventually making a wee guide, so that we can appreciate just how rich and diverse the town is.

Sam Foster