St Catherine's Chapel and Almshouse

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 08920 87360, map


St. Catherine's Wynd
KY12 7NA


It is not clear when this chapel and almshouse (or hospital) were established but they are first referred to in a charter of Dunfermline Abbey in 1327, in which it is stated that the buildings stood outwith the West Port which was in the middle of St. Catherine's Wynd. St Catherine's Chapel had possibly been destroyed by 1420, as the Almoner is recorded as being engaged in rebuilding the chapel in roughly 1420. As the almshouse stood outside the Abbey complex it may have been a separate establishment to the Abbey. After the Reformation in Scotland, in 1566, the lands and dovecot formerly belonging to St. Catherine's Chapel and almshouse were let on feu to lay people. The only visible part of the chapel and hospital is a buttressed wall built of cubed sandstone blocks which is just inside Pittencrieff Park, below St Catherine's Wynd. This wall stands to approximately two metres in height, is supported by large buttresses and is largely ivy covered, but remnants of small windows are evident at its south end.

Description (exterior)


Description (interior)

People / Organisations:

Pre-reformation Church of ScotlandDenomination1327B


  • Hospital: Build/construction (1327B)
    The first mention of the chapel and almshouse was in a charter of the abbey in 1327.
  • Hospital: Build/construction (1420)
    Rebuilding of the chapel.
  • Hospital: Destruction/demolition (1420 uncertified)
    The chapel was possibly demolished by December 1420.
  • Hospital: Excavation (1993)
    When St. Catherine\'s Wynd was being reconstructed in 1993 foundations possibly relating to the chapel and almshouse were found extending eastward into the street.

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 49407
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 4651Robert McEwan
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 8514St. Catherine's Hospital

Bibliographic References:

The Scottish Burgh Survey: Historic Dunfermline, Archaeology and DevelopmentDennison, E.P;Stronach, S.2007pp. 7, 25, 30, 38, 101
Annals of DunfermlineHenderson, E.1879Chapter 4, part 2; chapter 6, part 3.
A History of the \'Fitpaths\' and Streets of Dunfermline, Then and NowPitcairn, S.2007pp. 344-354