Associated Presbytery (Erskine) Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 23220 85800, map


High Street

Also known as:

  • Erskine Church (1900)
    At this time the congregation became part of the United Free Church and opted for the new name. The congregation stayed at this church until 1903, when they built a new church also to be called Erskine Church (site number: 4621).
  • Associated Presbytery Church (1743)
    This was the original name of the church.


A church was constructed in Burntisland's High Street in 1743 as an Associated Presbytery Church, a new group within the established Church. The Associated Presbytery Church was formed from the first secession, which was from 1733-40 and was led by Ebenezer Erskine, the Minister of Stirling. This was a period when Erskine and three of his fellow Ministers decided to break away from the Church of Scotland in a formalised opposition to patronage. James Thomson, the Burntisland minister since 1719, joined the Associated Presbytery in 1738 and later donated the land for the church, which was constructed in 1743. After many changes of denomination the congregation became part of the United Free Church in 1900 and at this time they adopted the name Erskine Church and decided to go ahead with the building of a new church. The final service in the High Street church was in October 1903 and the congregation then moved to the new church, namely Erskine Church on Kinghorn Road, Burntisland (see Erskine Church). The High Street building now stood empty and eventually became more dilapidated. In 1904 a site was required for the construction of a new public library, funded by Andrew Carnegie. There were several options for the site but James Shepherd of Rossend Castle offered to purchase the site of the church and gift it to the town. This proposal was accepted in 1905 and the church was demolished in 1906 to make way for the Carnegie Library, which still stands today.

Description (exterior)

Description (interior)

People / Organisations:

United Free ChurchDenomination1900-1903The final denomination of the church; the result of over 150 years of changes within the Church.


  • Church: New Denomination (1744)
    The Associated Presbytery became known as the Associate Synod in 1744.
  • Church: New Denomination (1747)
    The Associate Synod split into Burghers and Anti-burghers; the Burntisland congregation became Anti-burghers.
  • Church: New Denomination (1806)
    The Anti-burghers split into New Lichts and Auld Lichts; the Burntisland were now New Licht Anti-burghers.
  • Church: New Denomination (1820)
    The New Licht churches from the Burgher and Anti-burgher churches joined to form the United Secession Church.
  • Church: New Denomination (1847)
    The United Secession Church joined Thomas Gillespie\'s Relief Church to form the United Presbyterian Church; the Burntisland congregation backed the union.
  • Church: New Denomination (1900)
    The congregation agreed to become part of the United Free Church (formed by a union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland).
  • Church: Abandonment (1903)
    The last service in the church was held in October 1903, before the congregation moved to the new Erskine Church on Kinghorn Road (site no. 4621).
  • Church: Destruction/demolition (1906)
    Demolished to make way for the public library.

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 10499

Bibliographic References:

Erskine Church, Burntisland 1738-2003, A History of the CongregationSommerville, I2003pp. 7-15