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38 Rodger Street, Cellardyke

A Category B Listed Building in Kilrenny, Fife

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Latitude: 56.2249 / 56°13'29"N

Longitude: -2.692 / 2°41'31"W

OS Eastings: 357189

OS Northings: 703808

OS Grid: NO571038

Mapcode National: GBR 2W.CTBF

Mapcode Global: WH7SM.MS9S

Plus Code: 9C8V68F5+X5

Entry Name: 38 Rodger Street, Cellardyke

Listing Name: Cellardyke, Rodger Street, Nos 10, 14-38 (Even Nos), Including Boundary Walls and Ancillary Buildings

Listing Date: 1 July 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397565

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49884

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilrenny

County: Fife

Town: Kilrenny

Electoral Ward: East Neuk and Landward

Traditional County: Fife

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Begun by Robert Williamson, builder and plasterer, 1878. No 38 with 1883 datestone. 2-storey and attic paired 2-bay terraced tenements purpose-built for local fishing community with predominantly single storey freestanding fishing gear storage to rear terminating in corner shop at N (No 38). Coursed tooled sandstone to street elevation, rubble to rear and S elevation, squared and snecked tooled sandstone to N elevation. Base course, rectangular piended stair projections to rear, chamfered window and door openings, few remaining cast-iron brackets supporting guttering, polygonal piended dormers (crowstepped dormerheads to No 38) to W elevation, variety of dormers to E elevation, pairs of houses stepped at roofline. Some minor alterations and additions. W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: 7 paired 2-storey and attic terraced tenements, that to N with corner shop (No 38). To S paired bipartite ground floor windows to No 10. Nos 20, 22 and 24 have some decorative cast-iron gutter brackets remaining. Variety of glazing, some 4-pane timber sash and case windows with horns, some modern. Modern rooflights. Grey slates. Large gable end stacks and ridge stacks at division of paired properties. Various door types, some timber 4-panel, some modern, simple rectangular fanlights above. INTERIOR: No 10, modernised. No 22, ground floor sitting room with tiled cast-iron fireplace with inset cupboard to left, glazed above. No. 14 (former home of Robert Wiilliamson) with an unusual and high-quality plastered ceiling (restored in 2019), including cornicing, a large, very ornate ceiling rose, and roundels with cherub-type figures. ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: predominantly single storey terraced fishing gear storage sheds forming courtyard to rear with tenements. Pantiled. Simple timber boarded doors. Some surviving gable stacks. BOUNDARY WALLS: low coursed sandstone walls to W with predominantly chamfered coping. High dividing walls forming sides of rear courtyards of properties.

Statement of Interest

See also list description for nos 1-35 Rodger Street running parallel opposite. These tenements are remarkable for their coherent design and uniform development formed for the specific needs of the Cellardyke fishing community. A revival of the fishing industry had created a shortage of housing stock which these buildings hoped to redress. The standard of construction and design at Rodger Street was considerably superior to earlier forms of housing and took on board previous smaller schemes at Ellice Street (by George Rae of St Andrews) and West and East Forth Streets. Crew members who contributed both labour and fishing gear earned twice as much as those only supplying labour and the large amount of gear storage offered at Rodger Street is evidence of the market the builder wished to attract.

Robert Williamson trained as a plasterer under his father, Robert Williamson of Pittenweem, before turning to speculative building in Cellardyke and Kilrenny. It is probable that he was responsible for all the tenements on this side of Rodger Street. The first houses built by him at what is now Nos 10-14 differ from the others in that externally they appeared to be two dwellings but internally they were subdivided into 5 flats. The ground floor of No 14 was Robert Williamson's home until the family moved to a larger property in 1884, which accounts for the presence of the ornate plastered ceiling in this property. The rear buildings at this tenement operated as a works store and sleeping accommodation for some of their children, in contrast to the fishing purpose of the other properties. It is likely that the rest of the street was modelled on those already underway on the opposite side of the street - two-family tenements with access through a doored close leading from front to back and an internal rear stairway. The majority of these tenements appear to have been unobtrusively converted to accommodate one family now. As two-family tenements it was usual for the owner to occupy the slightly more spacious upper floor and to rent out the lower floor to provide additional income. The walled areas to the front of the tenements allowed for the temporary setting down of nets. In contrast to the traditional style of fisher houses with a forestair, where the nets were stored below and living accommodation was above, the Rodger Street buildings had a garret or attic area for the repair and storage of fishing equipment. Fixed external rear hoists were used for the nets, but sliding dormer beams were more common. It is not known if any of these survive now, although one was extant at No 4 in 1986. In addition to this, the houses were provided with net and gear storage in the form of detached sheds to the rear of the properties. With high walls on either side the sheds form a small courtyard. Water pumps provided a convenient source of water. Beyond the sheds are generous gardens. The courtyard area would have been entirely concerned with fishing. The sheds to this side of Rodger Street appear to be mostly single storey in contrast to the 2-storey sheds on the West side. Comprising probably a lavatory, coal store and washhouse, the sheds are divided internally to provide a loft space for nets and gear. It seems likely that No 35 on the west side of Rodger Street was built by Williamson as the architectural detail follows that of the east side. The majority of the building work in Rodger Street was completed by 1883. Rodger Street is named after the renowned Cellardyke-born captain and shipowner, Alexander Rodger (1801-1877). In 1866 the annual tea race from China to London was won by a hair's breadth by the Taeping, owned by Captain Rodger and crewed by men from Cellardyke. It narrowly beat the Ariel, crewed by Anstruther men. Captain Rodger subscribed to harbour improvements in Cellardyke in 1868 and gave money to assist the poor each winter.

Listed building record revised in 2019.

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