Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 32598 94658
332598, 694658


Early 18th century possibly incorporating earlier fabric. 2-storey 3-bay tolbooth with narrow clock tower and pend in regular terrace. Harled rubble with stone margins to 1st floor.

NW (MAIN STREET) ELEVATION: tower (see below) projecting to centre bay with broad segmentally-arched pend (see Notes) to right and forestair to left of centre at ground; windows to outer bays at 1st floor.

TOWER: 5-stage, square-plan tower. NW elevation with chamfered angle to right and forestair abutting to left; 2 carved panels high up at 1st stage, lower panel with arms and initials of David, Earl of Wemyss (1705-1720), upper panel with coronet and inscription said to have read: THIS FABRIC WAS BUILT BY EARL DAVID/WEMYSS AND TOWN/FOR THE CRIBBING OF VICE AND SERVICE TO/CROWN; boarded timber door on return to left. 2nd stage with arrowslit to NW; 3rd stage with arrowslit to each elevation; 4th stage with clock face to each elevation and 5th stage as 3rd but with wider openings giving way to lead/copper splay-foot spire with swan weathervane.

Blinded windows. Clay pantiles. Harled stacks with cans and ashlar-coped skews.

INTERIOR: 2nd floor now single room (formerly partitioned) with 18th century style decorated plaster ceiling; 2 fireplaces to E; roof rebuilt.

Statement of Special Interest

Property of Wemyss Properties Ltd. West Wemyss was erected a burgh of barony in 1525, and the tolbooth first mentioned in 1586, although its exact site is unknown. The present tolbooth was built by David 3rd Earl of Wemyss, it had cells at ground floor with entrances (now sealed) in the pend. The tower was converted from a pigeon loft to clock tower in 1901; in 1974 it was renovated and the slated roof replaced with fibre glass and stainless steel covered with copper.

De-scheduled 15 November 1999.



RCAHMS Inventory FIFE 538. Groome's GAZETTEER. RCAHMS TOLBOOTHS AND TOWN-HOUSES (1996). Gifford FIFE (1992), p426. Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society TOWARD WEST WEMYSS (1993). Cameron and Johnstone WEST WEMYSS - A VILLAGE TRAIL (1995).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 25/04/2019 16:51