Monday 21 April 2014
M&H News
Bright future for Scotland's medieval history?

A new flagship museum and art gallery is set to be built in Scotland’s ancient capital of Dunfermline thanks to lottery funding.

Dunfermline Abbey, in Scotland’s ancient capital The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced a first round pass of £2.8 million to establish the cultural attraction in one of the best surviving medieval townscapes in Scotland.

The new Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery will bring together the town’s architectural and social history for the first time to tell the story of this heritage hot spot.

Dunfermline's Abbey and Palace date back to the 11th century when Malcolm III established the town as a new seat for royal power; one of the reasons why it's also famous for being the burial place of many Scottish Kings and Queens. Most famously, the Abbey Church contains the tomb of Scottish hero Robert the Bruce.

Plaster cast of skull of Robert the Bruce in the Abbey ChurchThe Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery will be developed across two historic buildings within the Outstanding Conservation Area. The two buildings will be redeveloped and a new extension added to create a flagship facility combining a museum, art gallery, archive, library and local history services.

It’s hoped the new museum will become a focal point for visitors and local residents and allow currently inaccessible collections to be displayed and interpreted for the first time. Planners are also looking at creating space for an ever-changing programme of temporary events and exhibitions.

Colin McLean, Head, HLF Scotland, said: “Museums, galleries and libraries are extremely valuable community assets. They make a great contribution to people’s education, self-identity and enjoyment. They keep our history safe for future generations and they impact on the local economy, often as the cornerstone of an area’s tourism industry.

“We are delighted to be able to give Dunfermline our support at this stage. By taking this new holistic approach and increasing and improving displays, new audiences will enjoy all that that this important medieval capital has to offer.”

Councillor Brian Goodall, Chair, Fife Council’s Housing & Communities Committee, described HLF’s decision to support the development of the museum as a “tremendous vote of confidence in the city”.

HLF has also boosted plans to save and conserve Devon’s Castle Drog, the last castle to have been built in England, by awarding a first-round pass of £2.5 million towards the £12 million project.

If you would like to comment on this story, please email and we will publish your thoughts and opinions.

Your Comments:

"Can anyone tell me where the new buildings are to be, please?  I heard last year that the new museum is to be in Abbot street with restaurant, etc.  I was concerned then about the effect it would have on our beautiful Abbot House."

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