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12, 14, 18 High Street, Providence House

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0307 / 56°1'50"N

Longitude: -3.3974 / 3°23'50"W

OS Eastings: 313012

OS Northings: 682855

OS Grid: NT130828

Mapcode National: GBR 20.S4P4

Mapcode Global: WH6S3.SPC5

Entry Name: 12, 14, 18 High Street, Providence House

Listing Date: 12 July 1985

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 379545

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB35096

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Town: Inverkeithing

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Traditional County: Fife

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Inverkeithing

Description

Late 17th century. 3-storey and attic, row of 3 rectangular-plan traditional tenements (gable end to street). Providence House, dated 1688 (westmost tenement): harled with backset and moulded ashlar margins; ashlar strip quoins; moulded doorway; carved frieze, and crowstepped gables. 2 tenements to E: rendered with painted margins (some stone dressings and cills); forestair.

W (HIGH STREET) ELEVATION: PROVIDENCE HOUSE: gable end; 3 bays. Late 20th century plate glass shop front at ground floor. 2 1st floor windows set to left of centre; evidence of former window to far right (mouldings to lower half visible). 3 2nd floor windows centred over 1st floor openings. 2 square attic-floor windows. 2 small diamond-shaped openings flanking gablehead.

S ELEVATION: Providence House (to left): roll-moulded doorway with frieze inscribed and dated: "16 - GODS PROVIDENCE / IS MY INHERITANCE - 88"; keystone inscribed "I B". Carved oblong oval surrounded by laurel leaves with central plain shield above door. Moulded 1st floor window above. No 16 High Street adjoins to right of doorway. 2 tenements (to right of No 16 High Street): 4-bays; roofline slightly lower than Providence House. Forestair with lean-to timber porch off-centre right; 2 windows to right; single window set close to stair. 1st floor window to right of porch. 4 2nd floor windows set close to eaves (that to far right blocked).

E ELEVATION: gable end; 2 bays. Door to left; central ground floor window. 1st floor window to left. 2 2nd floor windows. 2 short ledges at attic floor left.

N ELEVATION: Providence House (to right): 2 wide bays. 2 windows to 1st and 2nd floors. Window to ground, 1st, 2nd and attic floor to left return. 2 tenements to left: 4 bays; irregular fenestration.

Predominantly plate glass in timber sash and case windows (some with horns); some 12-pane timber sash and case windows to N elevation. Pitched roofs; concrete pantiles; easing slates and scrolled skewputts to Providence House (eroded); straight stone skews and beaked skewputts (eroded) to tenements to E. Coped gablehead stacks; ridge stack to centre; wallhead stack to NW.

INTERIOR: Modern shop interior, storage and office accommodation to entire length of ground floor. Living accommodation to upper floors, not seen (2003).

Statement of Interest

This house belongs to a small group of important 17th century burgess houses still standing in the core of Inverkeithing's historic burgh. It is probable that many openings were re-oriented. MacGibbon and Ross illustrate the W gable to Providence House with only two bays. It is clear in this same illustration that the windows to far left and the attic floor windows have been inserted later. The initials on the keystone represent Isobel Bairdie daughter of John Bairdie of Salvege (near Inverkeithing). Isobel and her husband Alexander Anderson, a burgess of Inverkeithing, bought the original house from James Kinglassie in 1687. On her husband's death, Isobel inherited the house. The date stone refers to the extension of the original house.

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