Top Historic Sights in Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Dunfermline

Abbot House

To the north of the abbey, on the corner of Maygate and Abbot Street, is the Category A listed Abbot House. This is the oldest secular building still standing in Dunfermline. The house was originally built in the mid-fifteenth century as a residence for Abbot Richard Bothwell and this role continued until Commendator George Durie left to move into new apartments at the Palace in 1540. Highlights include a frescoed wall p ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Dunfermline Abbey

Dunfermline Abbey is one of the best examples of Scoto-Norman monastic architecture. The Abbey, built between 1128 and 1150 under David I, was a reconstruction of the Benedictine chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity, founded by his mother, Queen Margaret. Despite much of the monastic buildings being destroyed by the troops of Edward I in 1303, there are substantial remains, with the lower stories of the dormitory and latr ...
Founded: 1128-1150 | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Dunfermline Palace

Dunfermline Palace is a ruined former Scottish royal palace and important tourist attraction in Dunfermline. Dunfermline was a favourite residence of many Scottish monarchs. Documented history of royal residence there begins in the 11th century with Malcolm III who made it his capital. His seat was the nearby Malcolm"s Tower, a few hundred yards to the west of the later palace. In the medieval period David II  ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Malcolm's Tower

Malcolm"s Tower consists of the foundations of a rubble built, rectangular tower enclosed by an oval shaped modern wall. The tower stood on a highly defensible peninsular outcrop of rock above a deep ravine and is the site from which the city derives its name. It was effectively the seat of royal power in Scotland after Malcolm III of Scotland shifted the centre of government from Forteviot to Dunfermline in t ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Fordell Castle

Fordell Castle is a restored 16th-century tower house. The earliest charter in the Henderson of Fordell papers dates from 1217. It is not known when the original castle structure was constructed, but the main entrance tower is believed to date from the 1400s. James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell, started to extend the castle in 1566. In 1568 the castle was damaged by fire, then rebuilt. Evidence of the fire can be seen to the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Varberg Fortress

Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.