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Inchkeith Island and fortifications

A Scheduled Monument in Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0324 / 56°1'56"N

Longitude: -3.1352 / 3°8'6"W

OS Eastings: 329358

OS Northings: 682744

OS Grid: NT293827

Mapcode National: GBR 2B.RX7F

Mapcode Global: WH6S7.TM7W

Entry Name: Inchkeith Island and fortifications

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1976

Last Amended: 4 June 2018

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3838

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Domestic buildings (prefabricated); Secular: fort (non-prehistori

Location: Kinghorn

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy

Traditional County: Fife


The monument consists of the greater part of the island of Inchkeith and its fortifications, the main elements of which are:

The Franco-Scottish Fort of 1556-64, of which two curtains and a flanker with a gunloop stand to full height, with the lower courses and corework of the south salient.

Three small forts or self-defensible batteries with underground magazines of 1878-81. Of these forts 2 and 3 survive with modified gun pits and splinter canopies, while the superstructure of fort 1 has been superseded by a later emplacement.

Three barbettes or gun pits for 9.2" guns of 1903, 1904 and 1907, with associated accommodation, storage and magazines.

A stone built barrack complex south-east of the harbour of about 1900.

Cells and passages of position-finding and fire control systems of about 1890-1914.

Gun emplacement at the West Stell of the early 20th century.

Various concrete block houses above high-water mark of the early 20th century.

Fire trenches of the early 20th century and the period of the First World War.

Wire stakes from early 20th century barbed wire entanglements.

The scheduled area consists of the whole island, including an area off-shore in order to cover any associated archaeology.

Specifically excluded are:

The memorial to Lord Herbert of Lea;
The lighthouse and lighthouse keeper's house and ancillary buildings (but including the rebuilt 16th century gate in the screen wall);
The jetty of the Leith Harbour; and
The fog horn stance at the extreme northern end of the island

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance for our understanding of the history of artillery fortification in Scotland, with structures dating from the 1550s to the period of the Second World War.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCHAMS records the site as NT28SE 1.


Saunders A 1984, 'The defences of the Firth of Forth, in D. J. Breeze (ed.) Studies in Scottish Antiquity, 469-487.

Saunders A 1989, Fortress Britain, 195-205.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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