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 27589 91686
327589, 691686


J S Mackay ARIBA, 1925; E wing by Heiton & Mackay, 1928; mansards added 1996. 2-storey and basement, 17-bay (grouped 3-1-9-1-3) with flanking mansard-roofed wings, Beaux Arts classical library on terrace above War Memorial. Droved ashlar with polished dressings. Base course, channelled plinth, moulded cill course, polished ashlar frieze, consoled eaves cornice and deep blocking course: deep base course and continuous stone balustrade to wings. Doric-columned and balustered porches; raised window margins; mutuled brackets and scrolled consoles.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: bay to left with 5 steps up to porch (disabled access ramp to left) with deep-set 2-leaf panelled timber door and plate glass fanlight etched with Kirkcaldy crest, modern window above breaking frieze and wording 'MUSEUM AND' 'ART GALLERY', broad stepped block pediment over cornice; 3 windows to left and 9 windows to right with similar doorway beyond worded 'PUBLIC' 'LIBRARY'; 3 further windows to outer right. Wording over centre 3 bays "This building was gifted to the town by John Nairn, Linoleum Manufacturer, as part of the Kirkcaldy Memorial to those who fell in the Great War 1914-18".

N ELEVATION: library to left with 5 windows and dividing pilasters in common surround, cavetto cornice and deep blocking course stepped at outer chamfered angles, that to right with ramp to panelled timber door at ground. Slightly recessed single storey centre bay with 3 windows, stone balustrade and large rectangular, piended rooflight. Further recessed, 9-bay, museum and art gallery to right: slightly advanced centre bay with basement door below stair window with panelled apron, bracketed cill and flanking consoles to cavetto cornice with stepped blocking course; windows in flanking bays.

E (BENNOCHY ROAD) ELEVATION: 2 windows to left; projecting wing to right with asymmetrical fenestration including canted bay to left with window to each face, that to advanced face lugged and architraved with bracketed, corniced windowhead breaking into balustrade.

W ELEVATION: 2 windows to right, projecting wing to left with architraved window as above, bipartite window and door on return to right, window (former door) to ground and to mansard on return to left.

2- and 3-pane glazing patterns in metal top-opening windows. Lead-roofed mansards. Cast-iron downpipes with decorative rainwater hoppers.

INTERIOR: Museum and Art Gallery: concrete floors with parquet over; plain and decorative cornices; cast-iron radiators. Basement with evidence of Balsusney House in droved ashlar surrounds to former openings; mosaic floors and glazed tiles, with china fittings to toilets. Ground floor with museum to right, gallery and Wemyss Cafe to left. Staircase with cast-iron and turned brass balusters and timber handrail, glazed dado leading to basement and panelled timber dado to 1st floor. Shop at stairhead with 2 galleries to left and 7 to right, all top lit.

LIBRARY: decorative and plain cornices; white and grey marble-lined hall with staff enclosure of walnut, remaining woodwork of teak. Ionic columns support cross beam in top-lit lending library.

PAVILION: shaped steps to small pavilion at E with chamfered ashlar piers and square brackets supporting timber boarded overhang of tiled and finialled, piended, swept roof.

Statement of Special Interest

The museum was built on the site of Balsusney House, and was opened by its benefactor John Nairn of Forth Park on 27th June, 1925. John Nairn's only son was killed in the War. The library wing, completed

3 years later, housed an amalgamation of the Beveridge and Pathhead Libraries.



Gifford FIFE (1992), p283. FFP (undated). Kirkcaldy Civic Society TOWN CENTRE (1994), p7.

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


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