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Abdie Curling Club House, Lecturer's Inch, Lindores Loch, Near Newburgh

A Category B Listed Building in Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, Fife

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Latitude: 56.3362 / 56°20'10"N

Longitude: -3.1973 / 3°11'50"W

OS Eastings: 326074

OS Northings: 716623

OS Grid: NO260166

Mapcode National: GBR 28.4MNS

Mapcode Global: WH6QN.VZNZ

Entry Name: Abdie Curling Club House, Lecturer's Inch, Lindores Loch, Near Newburgh

Listing Date: 17 March 2014

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 402158

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52182

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Abdie

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Howe of Fife and Tay Coast

Parish: Abdie

Traditional County: Fife

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Built between 1863 and 1865. Single storey, rectangular-plan, gabled, curling club house located at the north west end of Lindores Loch. Squared and snecked rubble with rock-faced quoins and raised cills. Entrance to east gable: later metal door flanked by openings with wrought iron bars (fragments of leaded diamond-pattern glazing behind) and timber shutters. Timber bargeboards and corrugated iron roof covering. Octagonal chimney can to west gable end.

Interior seen in 2013. Largely complete and unaltered interior with stone fireplace, press cupboard to west gable. Timber curling stone storage shelves to north and south walls. Cast iron Carron Dover stove.

Statement of Interest

The Abdie Curling Club House, probably built in 1864, is a rare, distinctive and substantially unaltered stone-built curling house in a scenic loch-side setting with rusticated dressings and an intact interior with a fireplace and timber shelving. The rural setting at the north west end of Lindores Loch in North Fife is both scenic and integral to the building type. A man-made curling pond area to the north east of the pavilion is currently overgrown with loch-side vegetation. Curling was likely to take place on the loch itself in the 19th century.

The use of stone construction rather than the more common timber is of interest with the rusticated rock-faced quoins in the classical manner adding to the visual interest. The building would have originally been thatched with reed from the loch-side. The simple interior scheme remains much as built with a fireplace, recessed cupboard, shelves for storing the curling stones, table and benches. The inclusion of a fireplace was an important feature of the building type.

The importance of the game of curling to Scotland's sporting history is second perhaps only to golf. Known as the 'Roarin' Game' after the sound of the stones on the ice, some argue that the game was brought to Scotland from the Low Countries, and others putting the case for a Scottish origin. The earliest reference to the game in print in Medieval Scotland is in 1541.

The longest continuously operating Curling Club in Scotland is Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire, instituted in 1716. The Duddingston Curling Society (instituted 1795) in Edinburgh had a strong influence on furthering interest in the game during the early years of the nineteenth century and their rules of 1806 form the basis of the modern game.

Its popularity increased dramatically in the early years of the 19th century, with varying rules and forms of play across the rapidly increasing number of clubs that were forming at that time, around 40 clubs by 1800 and at least 200 by 1850. Secure storage facilities for curling stones, near to the loch or curling pond, first began appearing during this period.

Abdie Curling Club has a complete set of minute books dating back to 1831, the year it was initiated. Kerr's A History of Curling (1890) notes that the Abdie Curling Club was "a revival in 1830 of an old club which had long been dormant". It was one of 36 Scottish curling clubs involved in the founding of the Grand Caledonian Curling Club in 1838, a national governing body for the sport to regulate and promote curling.

The drafting of the first constitution of the Grand Club was largely indebted to Captain James Ogilvy Dalgleish of Abdie Curling Club. His hand is visible in most of the constitution and the essential features including the promotion of the sport by providing medals for competitions between member clubs, establishing provincial 'bonspiels' (tournaments), inaugurating Grand Matches, and publishing an Annual, have remained much the same since it was unanimously adopted in 1838. Such was its success in promoting the sport that almost every mainland parish had a curling pond by the mid-19th century.

Most curling houses of the period were simple timber huts and very few of these survive. There are less than 10 curling club houses currently recognised through listing (2014). Four are built of stone, one is brick, the remaining are timber.

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