Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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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Printed: 25/07/2024 07:18