Welcome to Burntisland Heritage Trust

The aim of the Trust is to protect and promote
all aspects of Burntisland's heritage.

Burgh seal

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This website had 224,000 visitors in the year to 31 July 2019.

Please see below for:
Heritage Exhibition    Guided Walks    Restoration of Paintings    Other Activities    Appeal for Old Photos

Heritage Exhibition and Guided Historical Walks

The 2019 exhibition and programme of guided historical walks have ended. Details of the 2020 exhibition and walks will appear here as soon as they have been finalised. For more information on the exhibitions and walks, please contact the Convenor of Burntisland Heritage Trust, Ian Archibald (telephone 01592 873557 or ) (or contact via webmaster).

  Featured Project - the Restoration of Three Important Local Paintings

The Burntisland Common Good Fund assets include three oil paintings which are currently displayed in the Burntisland Burgh Chambers. In 2009 these paintings were examined by conservation and restoration professionals at the request of Kirkcaldy Museum (now Fife Cultural Trust) and Burntisland Heritage Trust. The recommendation was that all of the paintings were in need of restoration.

Unfortunately at that time Burntisland Heritage Trust lacked the resources to proceed with the restoration and conservation project. The Trust has now, thanks to a generous donation from the late Joe Miller and much appreciated grants from the Co-op Locality Community Fund and the Burntisland Common Good Fund, secured funding to take the project forward.

The purpose of the project is to restore these three Common Good paintings to their original condition as well as enhancing and retaining the value of important Burntisland Common Good assets. In addition the paintings will be protected and conserved for the benefit of the community, visitors to the town and future generations. The conservation and restoration work is being carried out by Egan, Matthews and Rose in their Dundee studio.

Two of the paintings are by Andrew Young (1854–1925) who was a professional photographer who lived and worked in Burntisland. He was also a distinguished artist and eleven of his paintings, all belonging to the Burntisland Common Good Fund, now hang in the Burgh Chambers. The two which are to be restored are his most well-known oil paintings, ‘The Bridge of Life’ and ‘The Magistrates’ Seat’. 'The Bridge of Life' depicts 85 characters who all lived in Burntisland at the time the painting was completed in 1923. It is the first of the three paintings to be restored and is pictured (above right) at the beginning of its journey to Dundee in September 2019. (Photo courtesy of Chris Hill and the Burgh Buzz blog.)

The third oil painting which is to be restored, pictured below, is by S. Humble (probably Newcastle artist Stephen Humble, 1793-1853) and is dated 1834. It is one of the oldest paintings of Burntisland in existence and shows a view of the town from the Lammerlaws prior to the arrival of the railway and the extensive development of the harbour.


Other Heritage Trust Activities

Presentations - the Trust's Convenor regularly undertakes talks on the following subjects:
    * Burntisland's Gifts and Treasures.
    * The Search for the Lost Treasure of King Charles I.
    * Shipwrecks of the Forth and Beyond.
    * Island Jewels of the Forth.
    * Mary Somerville.
 The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked
    * A Revolution in Mapping: History of the Ordnance Survey.
    * The Man Who Told the Truth: The story of the Orcadian explorer Dr John Rae who discovered the missing link
         to the North West Passage and is arguably the greatest of all Arctic Explorers.
    * The Vasa Story: The mighty warship Vasa capsized and sank in Stockholm in 1628 after sailing for only two hours.
         After 333 years on the sea bed the warship was salvaged and the voyage continues today as the Vasa is the
         only intact preserved 17th century ship in the world and is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
The presentations are undertaken specifically to raise funds for the work of Burntisland Heritage Trust and a donation to the trust is always appreciated. Please contact Ian Archibald on 01592 873557.

The Trust was the lead organisation in the Kirkton Church restoration project (link opens in a new tab or window).

The Trust has produced a number of books and publications, most of which are still available - please see our 'Publications for Sale' page and our 'Heritage Trails Leaflet' page.

Heritage Trust projects include the erection of two comprehensive commemoration panels in the town; and an oral history programme, recording the memories of the town's older residents for posterity.

In a joint venture in 2007, Burntisland Heritage Trust and the Arsenal Scotland Supporters Club erected a plaque to commemorate David Danskin, the founder and first captain of Arsenal Football Club - please see the David Danskin Commemoration Plaque page. In a similar venture in 2008, the Trust joined with the Institution of Civil Engineers to erect a plaque to commemorate William Bald, the pioneering 19th century cartographer, surveyor and civil engineer - please see the William Bald Commemoration Plaque page.

In 2013, Burntisland Heritage Trust was given permission to digitally copy the Erskine Church's older Kirk Session records and all of its newsletters to add to the Trust's local collections. Please click here for full details.

The Trust's activities include the search for King Charles I's baggage ferry, the 'Blessing', which sank off Burntisland in 1633 - please click here for the search timeline from 1997 to date.

Please click here to see a summary of all the Trust's activities and associated time line from 1993 to 2019.

Appeal for Old Photos

Burntisland Heritage Trust are always on the lookout for old Burntisland photos - in particular interesting photos from family archives, which might be of workplaces, buildings, streets, shops, sports, people, etc. Please (or use contact page) if you can help.

    Webpage by Iain Sommerville; Help on bookmarking this page.