Pittencrieff Park

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Pittencrieff Park
Louise Carnegie Gates, Pittencrieff Park.jpg
Louise Carnegie Gates (the main entrance to Pittencrieff Park)
TypeParkland, woodland, gardens
LocationDunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Coordinates56°04′05″N 3°27′59″W / 56.0681°N 3.4664°W / 56.0681; -3.4664Coordinates: 56°04′05″N 3°27′59″W / 56.0681°N 3.4664°W / 56.0681; -3.4664
Operated byFife Council
StatusOpen all year

Pittencrieff Park (known locally as "The Glen") is a public park in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. It was purchased in 1902 by the town's most famous son, Andrew Carnegie, and given to the people of Dunfermline in a ceremony the following year. Its lands include the historically significant and topologically rugged glen which interrupts the centre of Dunfermline and, accordingly, part of the intention of the purchase was to carry out civic development of the area in a way which also respected its heritage. The project notably attracted the attention of the urban planner and educationalist, Patrick Geddes.

The glen is an area of topographical and historical significance to Dunfermline as the original site of Malcolm's Tower, the probable remains of which can be identified today on a strongly defendable outcrop of rock. To the eastern side of the park is Dunfermline Palace with Dunfermline Abbey and to the west it overlooks the village of Crossford.


The lands of the modern park were previously known as Pittencrieff Estate.[1] In 1902, Andrew Carnegie purchased both Pittencrieff House and Estate from its then owner, Colonel James Maitland Hunt, ultimately with the intention of giving these to the people of Dunfermline. The official donation ceremony occurred the following year, and a trust fund in honour of the benefactory, known as Dunfermline Carnegie Trust, was founded for the general maintenance of the glen.[2]

As part of the donation of the estate, the Dunfermline Carnegie Trust invited proposals for the development of the area as a civic space. Two entries were submitted in 1903-04, one of which was by the world-renowned urban planner, naturalist and educationalist Patrick Geddes (1854–1932). His thinking about the commission, as he saw it, to balance preservation of heritage with regeneration, was an important influence in the formation of his ideas in town planning and civic renaissance.[3] The second entry was by the landscape designer, Thomas Mawson.[4] Although neither scheme was adopted, both influenced subsequent work on the establishment of the park as it exists today.

Pittencrieff House in 2011

More architectural features of the park, such as the huge ornate entrance gates, are by Robert Lorimer and were built in 1908.[5]

Pittencrieff House Museum[edit]

In the subsequent development of the modern park, Pittencrieff House was designed as a centre piece.[1][6] The house was built by Sir Alexander Clerk of Pittencrieff as a simple laird's house with two stories and an attic around 1635.[7] Two of the bedrooms were converted to create two long galleries for museum and art exhibition space in a restoration programme undertaken by Sir Robert Lorimar between 1911 and 1913.[1][6] The house itself now serves as the Pittencrieff House Museum, with exhibits about the formation of the park and its natural history, including dinosaurs, fossils and wildlife.

Park features[edit]

On the northern boundary of the park lies the prominent statue of Andrew Carnegie which was built in 1914 and a dovecot, in the style of a round tower from around 1700.[7] The main gates to the park known as the Louise Carnegie Gates which opened in 1928 are located to the north-east.[7]

The park also holds a former petting zoo, a large greenhouse and three playgrounds.

Be Military Fit run one-hour classes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in the park.


Pittencrieff Park
Gardens in Pittencrieff Park
  1. ^ a b c Hendrie Old Dunfermline p.24.
  2. ^ McEwan Dunfermline:The Post War Years p. 18.
  3. ^ Patrick Geddes, Towards Civic Renascence Geddes's thinking on the proposal helped lay the foundation for ideas expressed in his influential work Cities in Evolution, 1915.
  4. ^ Towards Civic Renascence ibid.
  5. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Lorimer
  6. ^ a b Pride Kingdom of Fife pp.12-13.
  7. ^ a b c Gifford The Buildings of Scotland: Fife pp. 192–193


  • Hendrie, William F. (2002). Old Dunfermline. Stenlake Publishing. ISBN 1-84033-194-1.
  • Pride, Glen L. (1999). Kingdom of Fife (2nd ed.). The Rutland Press.
  • Gifford, John (1988). The Buildings of Scotland: Fife.

External links[edit]