Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dunfermline

     I decided to take an optional day trip to Dunfermline with some of my classmates and my two professors. I was interested in seeing the abbey and the library, but did not know what a treat the trip would be. After arriving at the bus station, this is the view from across the street. Looks like a quaint (and awesome) little town, right? 

     After some java, we walked to Dunfermline Abbey to see the Parish Church and the ruins of the the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Trinity and St. Margaret. The remains of the abbey can be seen in the first photo below. Dunfermline Abbey holds the tombs of many important people including Queen Margaret of Scotland (Saint Margaret) and Robert the Bruce. I took a lot of pictures at Dunfermline Abbey and could not pick which ones to remove, so I left them all for your viewing pleasure.

   




























     Next stop was the very first Carnegie (car-nay-gee) Library ever built. In 1880 Andrew Carnegie offered up £5000 for someone to construct a library in his hometown. James Campbell Walker was commissioned to build the library. Carnegie's mother, Margaret Carnegie, laid the library's memorial stone on July 27th, 1881, and the library was opened in 1883 by Lord Roseberry (who later became the British Prime Minister). The Dunfermline Carnegie Library sadly closed its doors in March of this year. The library will have a part in the Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery planned to open in 2016. 
     Out group was lucky enough to get to tour the library. The library had already been vacated of books, but we still had a chance to look throughout the building. Our tour guides for the day were Janice Erskine, the Local History Librarian, Sharron McColl, a Library Assistant, and Anne Gilmour, the Customer Service Coordinator. Sharron had an instant connection with our professor, Dr. Griffis; they are both Carnegie scholars in their respective countries. I personally really enjoyed talking with Janice. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the building and the daily functions of the library. After a full tour, the ladies had us over for a tea and biscuits. They get the award for the most thoughtful hosts, having Scottish caramels and all butter Scottish shortbread (to die for). Below are pictures from library exterior and interior...













View of Parish Church from window.












     The last stop in Dunfermline (ok, I did go shopping afterwards, but we are talking about the important stuff) was to visit the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. His parents' house has been turned into a museum. The free entry allows you to see the house and a museum dedicated to all things Carnegie. I have a much deeper respect for all the philanthropy Carnegie was a part of in his life and that his foundation carries on even today. I did not realize how much he truly gave back.





The website for the Dunfermline Carnegie Library now gives information about the four libraries that are being used until the library reopens in 2016. We made the Fife Direct Website after visiting the library (how cool).


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