The following was extracted from a series of articles by former Provost R.M.Livingstone in the Fife Free Press, printed in the late 1960's and early 1970's. If any copyright has been infringed please contact me. I am assuming that there will be no problem with this due to the age of the articles.

Harbour Place

Harbour Place as it was

Of the many old buildings in Burntisland, that at 1-3 Harbour Place is considered to be among the oldest. It is reckoned to be a 16th Century building and is now in a ruinous state. The title deeds of this property, which also covers a building at the rear and formerly known as No. 11 High Street, go back to 1764. This document commences with "Know all men by these presents the Janet Dickson, relict of Rolland Cowie, barber and wigmaker in Dunfermline, sister consanguinean and only nearest and lawful heir to the deceased John Dickson, younger son of the also deceased John Dickson, sometime barber and wigmaker in Burntisland." The description of the site "upon the South side of the King's High Street" indicates that it could be of the same vintage as a building opposite which when demolished in the 1950's had a stone dated 1594. It was around this period that records mention the King's High Street.

Janet Dickson refers to a contract and mutual deed between her father and Margaret McKenzie dated 20th February, 1754. This deed of 1764 transferred the property to William Butler, Senior Mariner in Burntisland, and his spouse Margaret Lauchlan. In 1792, the Butler family fell heirs to the property, including William Butler, Shoemaker, who passed it on to Peter Shand and Nellie Masterton, including the foreroom, kitchen and back jam and oven.

By 1828 the property had passed to Nellie's daughter Mrs Glen, and by 1834 to James Walker, fisherman in Burntisland, and his wife Margaret Butler. By 1877 William Gunn, Ship Chandler in Burntisland, and his wife Jennie penelope Pash or Gunn were the owners. By 1881 the property was in the possession of Elias Sudding Coull, ship chandler in Burntisland, which he provided as security for a loan of 500 from Mrs Jane Easton or Piercy of Leslie. Mrs Piercy eventually was chasing for her money, and the property was exposed to public roup at Dowell's Salerooms, 18, George Street, Edinburgh, at the upset price of 550. No offers were received and on 29th March 1893, it was again offered at 360. Thomas A. Wallace, solicitor, Burntisland, offered 395, and George Robertson, Blacksmith, Burntisland offered 400. The latter was accepted. As the property was sold in 1764 for the sum of 36, one can see inflation at work.

Robertson's heirs sold the property to Patrick Mitchell Stephenson, ironmonger, for 250. Pat's shop was well known to Burntisland folks for many years. Eventually, Mrs Stephenson, as Pat's heir, sold the property to Mr and Mrs T. Thomas Wilson for 500 in 1958. Now the subjects are in a derelict condition and they have been passed on to the Provost, Magistrates and Town Councillors of Burntisland and their successors.

While the Town Council accept this building at no cost, the ratepayers will be faced with considerable cost as a result of a decision of the Fife County Council Planning Committee. They accepted the application for demolition subject to approval of detailed plans indicating all matters relating to the design and external appearance of a suitable replacement building for residential use, together with details of the means of access before any demolition is commenced. The entire northern gable and flank walls fronting High Street, including forestair, chimney, crowsteps and fenestration, being preserved, renovated and incorporated in any replacement building, which will be of a constant traditional design and of similar proportions to that existing.

The reasons given for this decision are that this site and building outline is especially important in the street scene, and in the opinion of the local planning authority it is essential to avert the possibility of any long-term gap site. There is no over-riding case to warrant the removal of these main attractive architectural features which can be satisfactorily incorporated ina sympathetic replacement building.

Which was duly done - thus:-

The buildings at Harbour Place