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Ceres, High Street, Fife Folk Museum

Museum (20th Century), Pillory (17th Century), Weigh House (17th Century)

Site Name Ceres, High Street, Fife Folk Museum

Classification Museum (20th Century), Pillory (17th Century), Weigh House (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Central And North Fife Preservation Society; Weigh House And Jougs

Canmore ID 33058

Site Number NO41SW 52

NGR NO 40029 11468

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2022.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NO41SW 52.00 40029 11468

NO41SW 52.01 4003 1147 Hand Pump

NO41SW 52.02 4003 1147 Flail

NO41SW 52.03 4003 1147 Fleecing Table

(NO 4011 1149) The Jougs (NR)

OS 6" map (1919)

Ceres. Near the Bishop Bridge (NO41SW 4) stands the weigh-house, a plain 17th century tenement with scrolled skew-putts. At the entrance are a pair of jougs and a panel representing scales.


NO 4002 1147. "The Jougs" is a small building of rubble masonry, and is as described above and shown by ground photograph. The panel above the door bears the inscription "God Bless the Just".

Visited by OS (DS) 17 October 1956

Above confirmed.

Visited by OS (RDL) 25 May 1964

No change.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 29 March 1967.

(Location cited as NO 400 114). Fife Folk Museum. Two 18th-century weavers' cottages and the 17th-century weighhouse which has a low-relief sculpture of a pair of scales above the door.

J R Hume 1976.


Field Visit (31 May 1927)

Houses, Ceres.

In the vicinity of the Bishop Bridge is the Weigh House, a plain 17th-century tenement with scrolled skewputs. At the entrance are a pair of jougs and a panel representing scales, with a weight on one side and a bale on the other, and superscribed, GOD BLESS THE JUST. Close at hand is a 17th-century house having a lintel inscribed, M.M. 1669. Another house has a lintel inscribed,1707 A.P. M.B.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 31 May 1927

Publication Account (1987)

Ceres was a burgh of barony under the control of the Hopes of Craighall. The weigh-house servd as a burgh tolbooth and as a venue for the Barony Courts. The building is a plain, two-storey, single-bay unit similar in form to an urban counting house. The roof is fmished with scrolled skewputs. At the entrance are the burgh jougs for the retention of wrong-doers during market day. They comprise an iron collar attached to a short length of chain stapled to the wall and served a similar purpose to the pillory in England. Over the door is a panel depicting scales with a weight on one side and a bale on the other. This is superscribed: 'God bless the just'.

The building was gifted to the Central and North Fife Preservtion Society who opened the Fife Folk Museum in this and the adjoining premises in 1968. The weigh-house now selVes as the entrance to the museum complex. The collection is based on the economic and social life of Fife with special emphasis on rural activities. Items of everyday life are displayed in a cottars living room of the last century and fme gowns, lace and linen have their place in the Costume Room. The garden gallery overlooks the Ceres Bum and the Bishop Bridge (NO 400114) dating from the 17th century. Buildings on the other side of High Street provide a venue for agricultural and countryside interpretation. The museum has a comprehensive collection of tools associated with the crafts and trades common in the small burghs and landward areas of Fife. These include the tools of a stonemason, blacksmith, cartwright, cobbler, reed thatcher, tinsmith, baker and weaver.

There are a number of 17th century and 18th century houses in the vicinity of the museum, one having a lintel inscribed M.M. 1669, another 1707 A.P. M.B.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

Publication Account (1996)

Situated on the W side of the High Street, the Weigh House stands on ground which falls steeply to the E bank of Ceres Bum, allowing the construction at the rear of an additional basement storey. The building is only one bay in length, but the N gable, which abuts the Inn, may have been rebuilt. Set against the S gable, and stepped down from it, there is a single-storey cottage with a re-used door-lintel inscribed' 17 AB MB 10'. The basement of the weigh-house, which intercommunicates with this cottage, was originally used as a prison, and the rear wall has a small window with iron bars.

The building is constructed of rubble with dressed margins, and measures some 3.7m across its main front by 6.9m. Its roof is slated and it has rebuilt gable chimney-stacks. Although simple in form, it has scrolled skewputts to its S gable and a carved panel over the doorway. This is inscribed: GOD BLESS THE JUST, and is carved with a set of scales having a weight on one side and a bale on the other. Fixed to the front wall to the N of the doorway there is a pair of jougs.

The skewputts of the S gable are matched by similar skewputts to the N gable of the Inn, wruch maintains the same wall-height. It is possible that the weigh-house and the Inn originally formed a single building. The weigh-house may be ascribed to the early 18th century, although Ceres was made a burgh of barony for the Hopes of Craighall in 1620.

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

Watching Brief (2003)

a watching brief carried out by SUAT Ltd (SUAT site code CX01), on behalf of Harry Taylor & Co, Building Surveyors, for the Trustees of Fife Folk Museum, in response to restoration work being carried out at the Fife Folk Museum in Ceres, Fife. The building works were undertaken by Milestone Restoration Ltd. The scope of the watching brief comprised recording the rebuilding of the burn wall and excavation of the kitchen floor within the tollbooth building.

SUAT Ltd. 2003

Publication Account (2013)


17th century Tron (weigh house) and two weavers’ houses are presented by the Central and North Fife Preservation Society.

M Watson, 2013


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