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Thornton, Middlefield Beam Engine House

Engine House (18th Century)(Possible)

Site Name Thornton, Middlefield Beam Engine House

Classification Engine House (18th Century)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Thornton Beam Engine House

Canmore ID 52882

Site Number NT29NE 6

NGR NT 29193 97269

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Markinch
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Kirkcaldy
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NT29NE 6 29193 97269

(Location cited as NT 292 973). Beam-engine house, Thornton, late 18th or ealy 19th century. A unique example of the buildings of an 'engine pit' of the period, disused by 1854. These consist of a three-strorey ashlar engine house, with one- and two-storey rubble buildings, including a dwelling-house. Now a farmstead.

J R Hume 1976.


Standing Building Recording (24 March 2016)

ARCHAS Cultural Heritage Ltd were appointed by Mr Mark Bruce to complete a Level 2 Standing Building Record of a derelict Beam Engine House in Thornton, Fife. Proposals have been submitted to Fife Council to turn the property into a dwelling house. As part of the Planning Application process, Fife Council requested that a Level 2 Standing Building Survey be completed prior to development. Historical assessment showed that the Beam Engine House dates to the late 18th century when advances in steam and beam engine technology meant that the Balgonie Coal field became economical again and led to the sinking of the Thornton Pit. The building itself is of remarkably high quality, with a finely dressed ashlar frontage facing the main entrance to the site and the pit shaft itself. Although the complex in which the building once sat has been removed, the Beam Engine House itself remains significantly unaltered and is a rare survival of this 18th century type. The record compiled for the exterior of the building has been comprehensive, but access to the interior of the structure was not possible. This area has potential to retain important information as to the nature of the machinery and its fittings. ARCHAS Ltd recommend that a further phase of building recording be carried out both before and during the removal of the interior fittings and plaster work within the Beam Engine House.

Information from OASIS ID: archascu1-246027 (R Cameron) 2016


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