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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 28446 92059
328446, 692059


17th century incorporating earlier (probably 15th century) fabric, restored 1954-9 Wheeler & Sproson, and 1960. 3-storey and attic, 3-bay, H-plan former Customs House (right gable) and town house/fisher tenement block, converted to offices and shop circa 1970. Harled with painted margins. Volute corbel table and crowstepped gable to W, corbelled stair and moulded string course (later) to E; stop-chamfered arrises.

S (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: advanced crowstepped gable to left of centre with window to left and adjacent modern door to outer left at ground, small stair window to right set high under full-width corbel table and 2-leaf boarded timber door on return to right; window to left at 1st and 2nd floors, further window to each floor on return to right, and small attic window above (slightly off-set to right) in gablehead; stair window to outer right between 1st and 2nd floors and further attic window above. Recessed centre bay with 3 windows at ground, and windows to right and left of centre to each floor above; remains of crowstepped gable to outer right. Ground floor of further advanced gabled bay to right with step down to 2-leaf boarded timber door to centre, flanking windows and chamfered corner to outer right; 3 windows each to 1st and 2nd floors with 2nd floor cill course; canon water spout to outer left and further small attic windows to right and left above.

E (MALCOLM'S WYND) ELEVATION: asymmetrical fenestration including step up to low timber door to right of centre with corbelled stair to left and above.

W ELEVATION: slightly advanced gable to right of centre with stair window to right at 1st floor and to left at 2nd; corbelling (evidence of stair) to outer right; recessed blocked doorway to left with 2 small windows each to ground and 1st floor, and further window to 2nd floor beyond to left.

N ELEVATION: lower advanced chimney gable to left with small blocked window at ground, window to each floor above and further small window in gablehead, 2 windows to each floor on return to right. Recessed centre bay with 3 windows to each floor, and further advanced chimney gable to outer right with timber door on return to left, window to right of centre to each floor and small attic window above.

4-, 9- and 12-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. Red pantiles. Coped harled gablehead stacks and rubble ridge stacks with full complement of cans, and ashlar-coped skews. Cast-iron downpipes and decorative rainwater hopper.

INTERIOR: The Customs House: No 449 (book shop) with steps down to low-ceilinged room with exposed beams, large corniced stone fireplace and small rooms to rear (that to NW with blocked window to N). Turnpike stair to E leading to No 451 (1st floor), room to S with painted ceiling (probably early 17th century), boards with barely visible arabesques, bird and animal heads on boards, and religious texts including "I will pay my dows unto the Lord" on beams (see Notes); W wall with roll-moulded and corniced stone fireplace with carved frieze, eroded initials "BW" and dated 1676, further stone (lintel?) above; carved and painted stone panel with arms of Charles II (see Notes). Room to rear with moulded cornice, timber panelling and moulded fireplace. No 453 (2nd floor) with corbelling and low, boarded timber door with iron hinges, small roll-moulded stone fireplace.

Nos 445-447 (W and centre bays) modernised. 2 stone stairs; upper floors with decorative plasterwork ornament to wallheads and soffits including thistles, fleur-de-lis, roses and grapevines; stone fireplace and wide cornice over door.

BOUNDARY WALLS: coped rubble boundary walls.

Statement of Special Interest

Reputedly the oldest building in Kirkcaldy with a house recorded on this site in 1460. Sailor's Walk, possibly originated as two dwellings of wealthy merchants or shipowners and was due for demolition in the late 1940s, but was taken over by the National Trust for Scotland and restored in the 1950s with additional funding from the Historic Buildings Council and public appeal. A fire (started by vandals) in 1994 caused charring and discoloration of the 1st floor painted ceiling.

At the time of The Inventory, the western house was derelict and the more easterly had tabled skews with scrolled skewputts, and two string courses crossed the gable. The panel bearing the Arms of Charles II was originally sited on the east elevation and is dated either 1662 (when Charles confirmed the Royal Charter of the town) or 1682. The principal room of the west house (with plasterwork decoration) has been known as 'The Queen Mary Room', possibly connected with Mary of Guise. Coming into single ownership in 1826, Sailor's Walk was known as Oliphant's House until the early 20th century.



MacGibbon and Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1887), Vol V, p34. INVENTORY 368(4). Scottish BURGH SURVEY, KIRKCALDY (1994), p61. Gifford FIFE (1992), p286. Kirkcaldy Civic Society HIGH STREET - PORT BRAE TO LINKTOWN CHURCH (1994). Lendrum KIRKCALDY'S OLDEST HOUSE (1934).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to 443-449 (ODD NOS) HIGH STREET AND MALCOLM'S WYND, SAILOR'S WALK WITH BOUNDARY WALLS

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 08/07/2020 04:16