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Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.


Brief description of site

This is a coastal 18th-19th century landscape park overlying an earlier formal landscape associated with the 15th century West Wemyss Castle and Chapel tower-house. The picturesque character and structure survives today, and the site has a long history of gardening, including the involvement of the influential designers John Nicol, his son Walter Nicol and Thomas White Jnr.

Brief history of site

By 1423, Sir John Wemyss of Reres had a castle at Wester Wemyss. The castle was a prestigious residence by 1564-5 when Queen Mary stayed and first met Henry Lord Darnley. In December 1669, the 2nd Earl contracted Robert Mylne, Master Mason to the King, to build an L plan addition to the south of the Castle's east range. This scheme incorporated the 15th century tower within the main entrance front, a seaward facade including a new tower, and a garden was laid out on the mansion's east and south fronts. William Wemyss (1760-1822) added to the amenities of the estate, developing the gardens and parkland landscape. In c 1789 he employed John Nicol, the gardener at Raith to lay out the walled garden and flower gardens. In c 1800 he commissioned Thomas White Jnr. to prepare a landscape scheme and planted some of White's proposed woodlands.

Location information:

Address: Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, KY1 4TE

Locality: Kirkcaldy

Local Authorities:

Fife; Wemyss and Muiredge

Historical County: Fife

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 59 Grid Ref: NT329952
Latitude: 56.1448 Longitude: -3.08149

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The gardens are open, by prior appointment only, between April and July. The castle itself is not open to the public.

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: castle

Plant type/environment: coastal garden

Main period of development: 18th century

Survival: Extant

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