The renovation work to Abbot House began in 2019 with upgrades to the now complete Gift Shop in the East Wing of the building, together with the external toilets and artisan Workshop in our outbuilding.
The next phase of upgrades started in March 2021 with repairs being carried out both internally and externally, including remedial work to the lime plaster, windows, and roofing. Scaffolding will initially be erected on the east side of the house, then move to the west in a project lasting until the end of summer 2021.
Following these repairs, the house will reopen in a phased approach, including classes in the outside workshop, creative rental space and the opening of an education centre on the first floor, including a digital archive of Abbot House. The renovation of the coffee shop will follow on from current works and is now planned for early 2022 reopening due to the knock-on effect of the pandemic.
The repair work is being carried out by heritage experts G. Brown Stonemason Ltd., who won the contract through a rigorous tender process. They are also responsible for the recent upgrade of St. Margaret’s Church. The repair programme will be project managed by William Napier, who is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Heritage Consultant from Adams Napier Partnership. The project will include an opportunity for the community to attend heritage skills workshops and to learn about traditional building practices in conjunction with the Scottish Lime Centre Trust http://www.scotlime.org.
ABBOT HOUSE – CHERISH THE OLD, EMBRACE THE NEW
Much of the inspiration for the Abbot House SCIO’s strategic plan derives from the innovative Scottish town planner and sociologist, Sir Patrick Geddes (2 October 1854 – 17 April 1932). It is documented that Patrick Geddes once worked from Abbot House when commissioned by Carnegie Dunfermline Trust to create a vision for Dunfermline and its parkland in 1904. It, therefore, feels appropriate to use Geddes and his passion for people led projects as inspiration for the vision of Abbot House.
Geddes was driven by the idea of ‘connection’, connecting people with everything that has the potential to bring about balance and pleasure in our lives, like buildings, culture, art, nature, and education.
Like Geddes, community and people will be placed at the heart of Abbot House, ‘connecting’ them with what makes them happy and fulfilled through social interaction, learning and creativity.
CONNECTING PEOPLE ON EVERY LEVEL
The vision to connect people on a social, learning, and creative basis will be rolled out across the three floors of Abbot House, celebrating the best of ‘local’ from not only our past but also our present and future. We have a lot to be proud of in Dunfermline and each day we are creating our very own history for future generations to look back at.
GROUND FLOOR – Socialising
Our ground floor will feature a gift shop and coffee shop. Both will have an artisan feel, with an emphasis on local produce. The Coffee Shop will open during the day and offer pop up/ hire events in the evening.
FIRST FLOOR – Learning
The first floor will be dedicated to learning through an Education Centre, offering a calendar of both heritage and contemporary events. We aim to work with local interest groups, schools and universities to appeal to a wide range of age groups and interests. Space will be flexible and will include exhibition and room hire opportunities. There will also be an area dedicated to Abbot House, hosting a digital archive of the house and its history.
SECOND FLOOR – Creativity
Our top floor will be offer room and open unit rental space to local artists, designers and makers. There will be a flexible space that will be used for exhibition and pop up events. Our resident designers currently include the talented http://www.clarabellachristie.co.uk and http://www.rachelhendersoninteriors.co.uk.
If you are interested in renting creative space please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKSHOP & GARDENS
The Workshop and gardens is an accessible overflow space from the café for art events, education, concerts and food and shopping fayres. The creative workshop events will focus on Heritage and contemporary learning opportunities, which will include our resident artists and gift shop suppliers.