Basic Site Details

Name: Kirkcaldy High School, Technical and Elementary Schools
Town, district or village: Kirkcaldy
City or county: Fife
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: Academy Architecture shows good scheme linked to existing High School, demolished in 1960 - for which see separate entry under Kirkcaldy Burgh School. Building of this school was largely funded from the local Miners' Welfare Institute by a donation of 40,000 - for the provision of evening classes. NB It is unclear what the competition plans by Gillespie & Scott of 1905 and of 1930 are exactly as the dates do not seem to fit other information.

The accompanying drawing shows the new Technical and Elementary Schools at Kirkcaldy, N B by Mr. William Williamson, architect, of that town, which were accepted in open competition. To the right is the existing High School, the technical department occupying the ground to the left, with the Elementary School (which is now completed) behind. A janitor's house is shown in the foreground. The site is an ideal one, being surrounded by streets on the four sides: the main frontages face St. Brycedale Avenue, one of the most important streets in the town. The Technical School is arranged on three floors - viz., the semi-basement, ground and first floors. On the basement floor are provided carpentry and mechanical workshops, laundry and cookery rooms, general stores, lavatories, etc, and accommodation is also found here for the heating apparatus. Access to the basement floor is obtained by means of two broad flights of steps direct from main entrance, and also by a staircase at east end of corridor communicating with the connecting corridor between the ground floor of technical and high school. The ground floor is reached by a broad flight of steps from the principal entrance, and immediately to the right and left are cloakrooms. On this floor are provided physical laboratory, apparatus room, dark room, workshop laboratory, machine and building construction drawing-rooms, with their store, general masters' room, and classroom. On the upper floor are provided the necessary cloakrooms, chemical laboratory, balance room, chemical store and preparation room, art rooms, modelling rooms, design room, art stores, and art master's private room. [Building News 9 September 1904 p359]

NB Technical School was not built to Williamson's design. It was later built to the design of Walter Alison.

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 3Fife College, St Brycedale CampusYes 
Item 2 of 3Kirkcaldy High SchoolYes 
Item 3 of 3Technical CollegeYes 

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 2College  
Item 2 of 2School  

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1St Brycedale AvenueYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 121904 OpenedElementary School - Technical School not built at this time. Later built (1926) to design of Walter Alison.
Item 2 of 121905  Competition entry by Gillespie & Scott?
Item 3 of 12c. 1905  Chemistry laboratory (plans dated)
Item 4 of 12c. 1926 Competition heldTechnical School
Item 5 of 121930  Competition plans dated
Item 6 of 121933  Addition of two gymnasia and assembly hall
Item 7 of 1222 November 1957 Scheme accepted'plans approved by Fife Education Committee for reconstruction of Kirkcaldy Technical College at an estimated cost of ₤700,000. The work will be carried out in phases, starting early next year.' per Builder p940
Item 8 of 1211 September 1959 Proposed'modernisation and extension to Kirkcaldy Technical College. Est. cost 1,013,500' per Builder p226
Item 9 of 124 December 1959 ProposedPhase I: 34,500 sq. ft.; applications to County C per Builder p830
Item 10 of 12September 1960June 1966Build/constructionactual start and estimated completion dates for major extension to technical college; three two-year phases of construction totalling 1,045,100 per Builder 28 Apr 1961 p811
Item 11 of 127 July 1961 Proposed25,750 set aside by Fife CC for conversion and extension to Kirkcaldy High School per Builder p43
Item 12 of 121966 Build/constructionNew building on site of old High School - though the 1926 addition was retained.


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 19William WilliamsonArchitectA1904 Technical and Elementary Schools - only Elementary School built
Item 2 of 19Gillespie & ScottArchitectural practiceB1905 Plans - repairs? new buildings?. Rebuilding of chemical laboratory after fire
Item 3 of 19James Ross GillespieArchitectB1905 Plans - repairs? new buildings?. Rebuilding of chemical laboratory after fire
Item 4 of 19James ScottArchitectB1905 Plans - repairs? new buildings?. Rebuilding of chemical laboratory after fire
Item 5 of 19Andrew David HaxtonArchitectCc. 1905 Chemistry laboratory
Item 6 of 19Gillespie & ScottArchitectural practiceF1924 Technical School - unsuccessful entry?
Item 7 of 19James ScottArchitectF1924 Technical School - unsuccessful entry?
Item 8 of 19Andrew David HaxtonArchitectDc. 1924 Technical School - unsuccessful entry?
Item 9 of 19George Charles CampbellArchitectEc. 19241929Technical School - measurer only
Item 10 of 19Walter AlisonArchitectGc. 19241929Technical School
Item 11 of 19Gillespie & ScottArchitectural practiceG1930 Competition plans for High School - unsuccessful?
Item 12 of 19James ScottArchitectG1930 Competition plans for High School - unsuccessful?
Item 13 of 19George SandilandsArchitect 1933 Addition of two gymnasia and assembly hall
Item 14 of 19Dennis Alexander ForderArchitectH1957 Additions - as joint project architect with Fife County Education Architects Department
Item 15 of 19John Ernest Gordon HalfordArchitectH1957 Alterations - as project architect with Fife County Education Architects Departmernt
Item 16 of 19Robert Sorley LawrieArchitectH15 February 1957 CHECK - 'plans in hand for alterations and additions to Kirkcaldy Technical College' per Builder, p 344. Project architects John Ernest Gordon Halford and Dennis Forder
Item 17 of 19Dennis Alexander ForderArchitectK1966 new building - joint project architect with J E G Halford and Fife County Education Architects Department
Item 18 of 19Fife County Education Architect's DepartmentArchitectK1966 New building with tower on site of old High School - though the 1926 part was retained.
Item 19 of 19John Ernest Gordon HalfordArchitectK1966 New building - joint project architect with Dennis Forder?


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1Education Authorityc 1960

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Parent Structure and Site

This structure is related to the following parent structure or site (click the item to view details):
 Building nameNotes
Item 1 of 1Kirkcaldy Burgh SchoolNew High School. See separate entry for the new Technical schools. The cost of the 1890s rebuilding work was between 10,000 and 15,000.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Academy Architecture1904 part 1 p75
Item 2 of 4Gifford, John1988Fife (The Buildings of Scotland)  p282
Item 3 of 4RSA1904   448 (Williamson)
Item 4 of 4Who's Who in Architecture1914   Williamson work

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 14Architect5 September 1902LXVIII Supplement, p 9
Item 2 of 14Architect15 January 1904LXXI Supplement, pp 16-17
Item 3 of 14Architect and Building News24 May 1929CXXI p 693 (Technical School 'to be built' to Walter Alison's designs)
Item 4 of 14Builder1902LXXXIII p 218
Item 5 of 14Builder1902LXXXV p 391
Item 6 of 14Builder30 April 1926CXXX p 769
Item 7 of 14Builder18 August 1933CXLV p 287
Item 8 of 14Builder15 February 1957  p 344
Item 9 of 14Builder22 November 1957  p940
Item 10 of 14Builder11 September 1959  p226
Item 11 of 14Builder4 December 1959  p830
Item 12 of 14Builder28 April 1961  'New Technical Colleges, Scotland' p811
Item 13 of 14Builder7 July 1961  p43
Item 14 of 14Building News9 September 1904  p359 and illustration

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 6Courtesy of Gavin McConnell May 2012Information sent to Yvonne Hillyard  
Item 2 of 6Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register44092 
Item 3 of 6National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSHaxton & Watson Collection HW 1900/2/1, HW 1920/10/1-2
Item 4 of 6RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers George Charles Campbell: L no3928 (box 18); William Williamson: F v16 p29 no1031 (microfilm reel 11)
Item 5 of 6Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of ScotlandCanmore224427 
Item 6 of 6St Andrews University LibraryJames Gillespie and Scott Archive Bundles nos 840, 865, 1791, 2080