East Port Almshouse (site of)

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 09400 87400, map




The site of a former almshouse near Dunfermline’s east port, historically documented but without any visible standing remains.


The town of Dunfermline had two almshouses, one dedicated to St Catherine which was located near the abbey and remnants of which may still be seen in St Catherine’s Wynd.


There was another almshouse and presumably a chapel just outside the East Port, on the north side, recorded in documents from the 15th and 16th century. A 1488 burgh record mentions that the building 'stood without the east yett on the north side of the causeway'.  The dedication and patronage of the house is however unknown.


The name Viewfield has been historically associated with properties on the south side of the street. This etymology may suggest a hospital/almshouse in the immediate area. In the mediaeval period hospitals were commonly referred to as ‘Maison Dieu’ which has sometimes been converted to ‘Viewfield’.


The structure was possibly destroyed or ruined during the Reformation, since its last record is in a 16th century Courtbook map, but a 1771 map of the area fails to depict it.


  • Hospital: Founded ( to 1488)

Archive References:

Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 49424
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 8513

Bibliographic References:

The Scottish Burgh Survey: Historic Dunfermline, Archaeology and DevelopmentDennison, E.P;Stronach, S.2007pp. 25, 84, 86.
A History of the \'Fitpaths\' and Streets of Dunfermline, Then and NowPitcairn, S.2007p. 123
Historic Dunfermline, archaeology and development. The Scottish Burgh Surveys Series.Dennison, E.P. and Stronach, S.2007.Pp 86.