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Latitude: 56.0683 / 56°4'5"N
Longitude: -3.4598 / 3°27'35"W
OS Eastings: 309216
OS Northings: 687127
OS Grid: NT092871
Mapcode National: GBR 1Y.PNPC
Mapcode Global: WH5QR.TQNT
Entry Name: Priory Lane, Dunfermline Bowling Club Pavilion Including Boundary Wall
Listing Date: 10 March 2000
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 394327
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB46943
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Dunfermline Central
Traditional County: Fife
T Hyslop Ure, 1895 with later extensions. Single storey, 5-bay, rectangular-plan bowling pavilion with swepts roofs. Half-timbered, gable to left, veranda to centre and conical-roofed canted bay to right. Harled exterior painted white with sandstone ashlar dressings. Timber veranda posts and timber detailing. Base course; vertical angle margins; overhanging eaves; architraved windows.
E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: steps up to 4-bay veranda. Entrance to central bay; 2-leaf panelled timber door with multi-pane rectangular fanlight incorporating clock. Glazed timber screen with slender vertical members and multi-pane upper panels to upper walls of flanking bays. 3-light mullioned window with lintel raised to central light to outer left bay. Finialled barge-boarded gable with 'timber-framed' decoration set forward above; adjoining timber cornice and projecting swept roof to 3 bays to right. Projecting roofed sections supported on timber posts at bay divisions; each decoratively turned on square-plan base and with square upper sections adjoining timber fretwork frieze. Conical-roofed canted bay to outer right with large 3-light mullioned window; frieze with decorative 'timber-framed' panels above; weathervane at apex of roof. Returns to gabled bay to S elevation with later flat-roofed additions (set back) and to N elevation.
Timber-framed windows, mostly with multi-pane upper lights to original block. Grey slate roofs, swept apart from W, with red ridge tiles. Piended corniced wallhead stack with vertical margins to N side of original block; cans missing.
BOUNDARY WALL: coursed stugged sandstone and coursed sandstone rubble boundary wall encloses bowling green to E of pavilion; droved chamfered ashlar coping and roughly rounded coping respectively. Wall punctuated by long sections of railings to N and S; those to S are decorative cast-iron originals; those to N modern replacements.
The Dunfermline Bowling Club is a well-detailed example of a late 19th century bowling clubhouse designed with Arts and Crafts influences. Its half-timbered gables, swept roofs and decorative use of timber detailing all add to its distinctive character.
The club was established in 1852 by a group of 12 local artisans and tradesmen. Making use of an area of garden ground at the top of Woodhead street, the game became popular so quickly that members of the public who used the green were ordered to pay for green maintenance as a penalty. The club moved to a new and larger green at Priory Lane in 1861. A 'rustic' clubhouse was built the following year. This building was replaced by the present club pavilion in 1895 at a cost of 354 pounds.
The history of lawn bowls in Scotland is long and distinguished and it remains a hugely popular sport. The earliest reference to the game in Scotland appearing in 1469 when James IV played a variation referred to as 'lang bowlis' at St Andrews in Fife, and James VI played bowls when he resided in the Royal Palce of Dunfermline in 1596. The first public bowling green in Scotland was laid out in 1669 at Haddington near Edinburgh. However, it was not until 1864 that William Mitchell of Glasgow committed the rules of the modern game to writing in his Manual of Bowl-Playing. Machine manufactured standard bowls were invented by Thomas Taylor Ltd, also of Glasgow, in 1871 and the Scottish Bowling Association was formed in 1892. The advent of indoor bowling also began in Scotland around 1879. There are currently (2013) around 900 clubs with an estimated 90,000 players.
Sport is a hugely important part of Scotland's shared social and cultural history and it is fitting that the country's sport-related architectural heritage is so rich and varied.
List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).
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