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 27019 87170
327019, 687170


Thomas Hamilton, 1826-30. 3-storey, 3-bay with recessed single storey wing, rectangular-plan, crenellated Tudor town house with prison and tower. Stone-cleaned sandstone ashlar to SE and NE, with narrow bands of squared rubble to SW and NW. Base course, string course and corbelled cornice below coped parapet. Angle turrets, corbels, hoodmoulds and label stops; stone transoms and mullions, and moulded arrises.

SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; 2-stage tower to centre rising above flanking bays. Steps lead up to slightly advanced centre bay with 2-leaf panelled and studded timber door, tall 6-light transomed window to 1st floor giving way to small corbelled panel with clock face (damaged), over-arching hoodmould and small flanking oculi (blind?); whole flanked by polygonal buttresses rising to turreted pinnacles. Slightly lower flanking bays each with small window to ground and tall 4-light transomed window to 1st floor below corbelled parapet with small corbelled turrets to outer angles.

NE ELEVATION: almost full-width, gabled, single storey wing with small window to centre below blocking course, and further window in stone cross-finialled gablehead; polygonal buttresses giving way to small turrets at outer angles; further window on return to left, and boundary wall abutting return to right. 2 windows to recessed face at 1st floor, and 3 polygonal wallhead stacks grouped to centre above.

SW ELEVATION: ground floor with small window in bay to left of centre, 1st floor with tall bipartite window to right and stair window to left; grouped stack (as above) to centre.

NW ELEVATION: door to outer left at ground below small window at 1st and 2nd floors; glazed oculus to left of centre also at 1st and 2nd floors; small corbelled turrets to outer angles.

All windows blocked (1999) but upper lights of transomed windows retain multi-pane leaded glazing. Slates. Coped ashlar stacks with clay cans, and ashlar-coped skews.

INTERIOR: 3 vaulted cells to ground floor with turnpike stair from guard-room to chamber above. 1st floor council-chamber and court-room retaining 4-centred arch marble fireplaces with stop-chamfered jambs to NE and SW; mutule and foliate cornice; decorative cast-iron air vent; panelled timber shutters and architraves. Dog-leg staircase with decorative cast-iron balusters and timber handrail.

BOUNDARY WALLS, EXERCISE YARD AND RAILINGS: low flat-coped boundary walls with polygonal piers, some decorative cast-iron railings and arch to SE. Exercise yard to rear with high, flat-coped, dressed ashlar boundary to NE with blind gunloops and ogee-headed arches to right and left, former with crenellated parapet and flanking piers; turreted polygonal buttress to outer left. High rubble wall to W.

Statement of Special Interest

The Town House occupies the sight of St Leonard's Church which became a town house and jail after the Reformation, and was demolished in 1822 having been struck by lightening. As a royal burgh, Kinghorn's town house required both council-chamber and court-room as well as holding cells, but its design incorporating exercise facilities pre-empts the 1833 Municipal Reform Act. The cost escalated from ?1,707 to ?2,400 by completion in 1830, all coming from burgh funds except ?50 from Mr Ferguson of Raith. By 1906 Reid reports that the building was used for "public gatherings and entertainments, as a place of worship, as the meeting place of the Town Council, and for various assemblages of the civic and social arrangements of the burgh" (p19). The last council meeting held in the Town House was 1965, and the building has been empty for some years. In 1997 the Fife Historic Buildings Trust obtained an outline promise for Heritage Lottery Funding, but a suitable scheme has yet to be finalised.




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: 07/08/2022 17:10