West Wemyss

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2019, Bill Kasman; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
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Every publicly-accessible road, street, lane, track and path in the historic Fife village of West Wemyss

The small Fife coastal village of West Wemyss lies a few hundred meters down a side road off the A955 east of Kirkcaldy. This is the only way vehicles can reach the village and because of this it doesn't receive any through-traffic making it a quiet and leisurely place to visit (or live) - even though the Fife Coastal Path passes through the village and that can get busy at times. The village owes its origins to the Wemyss family who have lived here ever since a castle (more probably a fortified tower) was built close to the site of the present Wemyss Castle sometime in the 12th century. The castle is notable as being the place where, in 1565, Mary, Queen of Scots, met the man who was to be her future husband - Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.

Although it is now a quiet village West Wemyss has a long industrial history involving the production of salt by salt panning, and the mining of coal, both of which were exported from its harbour, and the importation of wood, iron and flax from the Baltic countries. In the 19th century this trade went into decline for the village and the use of the harbour declined to the point where, in 1964, the inner harbour was filled in - it is now a public car park and grassy area. There are 24 listed buildings in the village and, in 1985, the entire village was designated as a conservation area. Since then, considerable rejuvenation work has taken place by both the Local Authority and the Wemyss Estates resulting in the picturesque village we see today.




Where is West Wemyss?

With a population of about 300 West Wemyss lies on the Fife coast four miles or so east of the large town of Kirkcaldy






NT3195 : Road to West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From the A955 Dysart to Coaltown of Wemyss road this turning to the right is the beginning of Main Street, West Wemyss, which runs all the way through the village to the car park adjacent to the parish church. This junction is known as 'Wemyss Toll' and the old toll house still stands here NT3195 : Old Toll House, West Wemyss
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NT3195 : Old Toll House, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
At the junction of the A955 and Main Street stands the Old Toll House. Renovated and extended it is now a private residence.
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NT3295 : Main Street, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From where it leaves the A955 just before that road enters Coaltown of Wemyss this is Main Street which continues into the village and all the way through it to the car park adjacent to the parish church.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3195 : Main Street, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Main Street approaches its junction with the B955 at West Wemyss Toll.
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NT3294 : Bridge buttresses by Bill Kasman
These bridge buttresses on Main Street, West Wemyss, mark the site of a bridge which once carried a road serving the Wemyss Estate.
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NT3294 : Main Street, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Main Street enters the village. The building is the former Belvedere Hotel now disused and boarded up.
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NT3294 : The Belvedere Hotel, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
This once-popular hotel is now closed and boarded up. The building was a former Miner's Welfare Institute (built in 1927) and was used as such until 1952. Its conversion into an hotel was completed in 1986. The building is on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland LinkExternal link
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : View over West Wemyss harbour by Bill Kasman
From the Belvedere Hotel.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Hotel name sign, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
This stone slab is the name sign for the now-closed Belvedere Hotel.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Belvedere Hotel, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Seen from Main Street this once-popular hotel is now disused and boarded up.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Belvedere Hotel, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Main Street heads out of the village past this annexe (a listed building which was previously a coffee house and reading room) to the Belvedere Hotel. The turning to the left is Coxstool which leads to the harbour.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Coxstool, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Leading to the harbour. The white building on the right is part of the Belvedere Hotel.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From the harbour car park. The white building to the left of the image is part of the now-closed Belvedere Hotel.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From the car park at the harbour.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Duke Street, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
The Fife Coastal Path (denoted by the lamp posts) runs alongside Duke Street from the harbour and continues to the other end of the village.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
The Fife Coastal Path runs past Duke Street.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Belvedere Hotel, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Most of the buildings in this image are part of the now-closed Belvedere Hotel. The white building with balcony was formerly a coffee house and reading room and is a listed building.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
The white building is the Tolbooth with its tower. The archway is a pend which leads to Main Street and contains two small doors which previously served as jail cells NT3294 : Jail Cells
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Jail Cells by Bill Kasman
These two doors (less than 5 feet high) are in the pend under the Tolbooth in Main Street, West Wemyss. They served as jail cells for offenders.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From Fife Coastal Path.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From the Fife Coastal Path.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
These steps lead from Duke Street to the Fife Coastal Path.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Burns Wynd, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Seen from the Fife Coastal Path Burns Wynd leads to Main Street.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Sign near Fife Coastal Path, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
This sign points the way to a community cafe and tourist information point.
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NT3294 : Community Pub, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Previously the Wemyss Arms this public house is now owned and run by the community.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Fife Coastal Path, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
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NT3294 : Happies Close, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Off Main Street.
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NT3294 : Main Street, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
Looking towards the parish church.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Childrens' playpark by Bill Kasman
Off Main Street, West Wemyss.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From outside the West Wemyss Heritage Centre we look across Main Street to Burns Wynd.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
From outside the West Wemyss Heritage Centre Narrow Wynd leads to Broad Wynd.
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Mobile museum by Bill Kasman
Seen here in West Wemyss Main Street this is Fife's mobile museum bus LinkExternal link
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by Bill Kasman


NT3294 : Tolbooth, West Wemyss by Bill Kasman
The main part of the building is early 18th century but the present clock and bell was installed in 1901.
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by Bill Kasman


KML

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