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- Category: A
- Date Added: 12/01/1971
- Local Authority: Fife
- Planning Authority: Fife
- Burgh: Dunfermline
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 9125 87451
- Coordinates: 309125, 687451
Archibald Elliot, 1805-11 with alterations. 3-storey and basement; 7-bay; L-shaped former guildhall. Symmetrical classical design with rusticated basement, V-jointed ground floor, pedimented entrance bay to principal (N) elevation and 4-tier steeple. Droved sandstone ashlar with polished ashlar dressings. Band courses above and below ground floor, at cill level to 1st floor and just below cill level to 2nd floor; moulded eaves band. Architraved windows with cornices to 1st floor.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: projecting entrance bay to centre; flanking pilasters terminate at Doric entablature surmounted by mutuled pediment above 1st floor; base of steeple above. Recessed central entrance with 2-leaf panelled timber door and rectangular fanlight; narrow flanking windows. Round-arched window with narrow round-arched flanking windows above. Regular fenestration to 3 bays to either side. Ground floor windows enlarged late 20th century to fill round-arched outer surrounds; central one to each side altered to entrance with round-arched fanlight and 2-leaf panelled timber door.
STEEPLE: rises above projecting pedimented entrance bay to centre of N elevation. Base with moulded cornice at eaves level. Square-plan lower stage with pilastered corners surmounted by urn-like finials; round-arched window to each side; moulded cornice. Square-plan 2nd stage with chamfered sides, base course, band course and moulded cornice; clock face with carved wreath-like hood-mould to each side. Circular-plan 3rd stage with base course and projecting entablature supported on 8 Ionic columns; basket-arched louvred window to alternate spaces (in line with sides of lower stages). Octagonal spire at apex with 3 band courses.
W (GUILDHALL STREET) ELEVATION: 7 bays. Round-arched Arcaded walkway to 5 bays to right of ground floor; access via steps set back to basement to that to left; entrance with narrow window to right set back to outer right; plain timber door; round-arched window to 3 bays to left. Blind round-arched panels to 2 bays to left of ground floor. Segmental-headed vennel entrance to 2nd bay from right to basement; double cast-iron gate with decorative finials. Round-arched louvred vent to right. Round-arched entrance with plain timber door to left; round-arched window to left. Pair of blind round-arched bays to outer left of basement. Regular fenestration to upper floors; one window to outer left of 1st floor and 2 windows to outer left of 2nd floor blocked.
6 and 12-pane timber sash and case windows to upper storeys; fixed multi-pane timber frames (and sashes) to ground floor. Grey slate piended roof. Stacks not visible.
INTERIOR: destroyed by fire in late 20th century and largely modernised. Half-turn staircase with decorative cast-iron balustrade to entrance hall.
Statement of Special Interest
An important early 19th century public building incorporating superimposition of classical orders/detailing. The tiered steeple is a local landmark. Although built as a guildhall and linen exchange, it has undergone various changes of use. Already by 1816/17 it had become the Spire Inn. It was converted to use as County Buildings (including the Sheriff's Court) in 1849-50 and acquired its present (1998) function as a job centre in 1993. Archibald Elliot was a prominent Edinburgh architect (with offices in London) in the early 19th century. He designed two of Edinburg''s most important Greek Revival buildings, Regent Bridge and County Hall.
appears on J Wood's PLAN OF THE TOWN OF DUNFERMLINE (1823); John Gifford, FIFE, in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) p189l; H Colvin, A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS 1660-1840, Third Edition (1995) p339; RCAHMS, TOLBOOTHS AND TOWN HOUSES (1996), p205, 218; Bert McEwan, DUNFERMLINE - OUR HERITAGE (1998) pp97-98.
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