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Rossend Castle

Built in 1119 and extended in 1382 and 1563, the restored Rossend Castle overlooks the Firth of Forth at the western end of Burntisland. It was visited by many of the kings and queens of Scotland including Mary Queen of Scots and was said to have been the hiding place of the relics of Queen Margaret. Rossend was captured by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and briefly held by the Jacobite Army under the John Erskine, the Earl of Mar, in 1715.

Extended as a family residence in the early 19th C. with the addition of a further wing, Rossend Castle eventually passed into the hands of Burntisland Town Council and was leased as a boarding house until 1952. Its condition deteriorated rapidly to the extend that the Council proposed to demolition. Despite various schemes for restoration, the Council persisted with their view that it should be demolished, primarily because they feared they were going to have to subsidise any work. The castle was saved following the intervention of the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1972, following a public inquiry. Following this Ian Begg (a partner in the architectural practice of Robert Hurd and Partners), who had been one of the principal opponents of demolition, brought forward a scheme to convert it into offices for his company at no cost to the Council. He was able to buy the castle in 1975 for £350, although it was, by that stage, a roofless gutted ruin. The impressive and sympathetic restoration has made good use of the space, while preserving features such as the Great Hall and its two fine fireplaces.


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