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Strathmiglo, High Street, Town House

Jail (Period Unassigned), Town Hall (19-20th Century), Town House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Strathmiglo, High Street, Town House

Classification Jail (Period Unassigned), Town Hall (19-20th Century), Town House (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Jail; Tolbooth; Town Hall

Canmore ID 30279

Site Number NO21SW 13

NGR NO 21491 10241

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/30279

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Strathmiglo
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO21SW 13 21491 10241

A jail and townhouse stood in Strathmiglo in 1605, on the north side of the street, immediately behind the cross (NO21SW 10), a little west of the Kirk Wynd. The burgesses purchased the present townhouse about 1730.

J M Leighton 1840.

The townhouse purchased c.1730 is now disused and stands at NO 2149 1023. The earlier jail and townhouse could not be located and no further information could be found.

Visited by OS (R D) 31 March 1967.

Architecture Notes

NO21SW 13 21491 10241

DATES: circa 1734.

NMRS Print Room

Strathmiglo, High Street, Town Hall

Oblique view of the tower

Activities

Publication Account (1996)

This steeple is situated on the N side of the High Street, in the centre of the village and about 80m W of the supposed site of a tolbooth of 16th-century origin. It was built in 1734 as an addition to the S gable of a building which had been acquired some years earlier for use as a town-house. This hall was rebuilt in the 19th century and has since been converted into a private dwelling. Incorporated in the SE quoins of its crowstepped S gable there is a head from a skewputt of 17th century type.

The steeple, which is 5.05m square on plan, is constructed of sandstone rubble with dressed margins and string-courses which define its five stages. Its walls are slightly battered in profile and the spire rises to an overall height of 21.7m. In the main (S) front there is a round-headed doorway giving access to a ground-floor cell which is lit by a slit-window in the W wall. A forestair which rises E of the doorway returns to a first-floor entrance in the E wall. Access to the hall was provided at this level by an internal doorway, now blocked, in the N wall of the steeple.

There are windows in the S wall at first- and second-floor levels, the former now partly blocked. Above it there is an armorial panel, apparently integral with the building, which bears the date 1734 and the name and arms of the Honourable Margaret Balfour of Burleigh, the superior of the burgh. At third-floor level on each front there are original moulded surrounds enclosing square clock-faces which were renewed in 1921. The fourth stage has paired belfry-openings of lancet form and is surmounted by a corbelled balustrade with panelled angle-pillars, which encloses an ashlar-built broachspire of slightly bell-shaped profile.

The interior retains few early features. The wooden stairs to the upper floors have been largely renewed and the floor-levels somewhat altered, most noticeably at second-floor level where the original joist-holes are still visible. The belfry houses a bell 0.76m in diameter, bearing the motto TEMPUS FUGIT (Time flies'), which was cast for the burgh in 1766 by Lester and Pack of London.

Built into the sill of the first-floor S window there is a quadrangular pyramid-capped sundial which surmounts a foliate capital supported by a short length of semi-circular shaft. This is said to be a remnant of the burgh's mercat cross.

Information from ‘Tolbooths and Town-Houses: Civic Architecture in Scotland to 1833’ (1996).

References

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