Brief History and Development of Dunfermline

Before James I was assassinated in 1437, Denfermline had been the original capital of Scotland. Then the courts were transferred to London. Most parts of Dunfermline was destroyed in a serious fire in 1624, making the city start declining. The fire, the reformation as well as the loss of monarchy, all of them were too much for this town to bear. 


This decline was only to last a short while as the weaving industry became important. Dunfermline became the world’s finest and leading producer of fine damask linen. Other industries that helped bring the town back to life include brewing, distillery, textile milling, iron founding, rope making, soap, bleaching and dyeing. After WWII many of the factories were shut down and linen and the coal industries became obsolete. Currently the town acts as a dormitory town for Edinburgh though it is still the main center for leisure and shopping in West Fife.


The conservation and histories areas are mixed in with newer buildings and areas. The ruins of the Royal Palace of Dunfermline and the abbey can be visited. Many of the historic buildings are churches and include Gillespie church, United Free Church, and St Leonard’s’ Parish church.


The famous American Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline and there are many building that bear his name including the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Carnegie Sports Center, Carnegie Library, Carnegie public baths, Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Theater.


One of the best examples of Scoto-Norman architecture can be found at Dunfermline Abbey. The church was constructed in 1128 for Queen Margaret. The church was further expanded between 1128 and 1450. Currently the only original section of the church is the nave. The Abbots house is just down the street from Dunfermline abbey and is one of the oldest houses in the area. Currently the town is the second largest in Fife.