Anstruther THI & CARS

The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), ran from 2011 to 2017.

As well as managing the £2.8m programme on behalf of Fife Council, we led the repairs project at the Dreel Halls on behalf of the Anstruther Improvements Association (AIA).

FHBT also provided support to the Murray Library Trustees in their conversion of the Murray Library building to create two exciting new facilities in Anstruther – Murray Studios, a creative business centre with seven occupied units; and the Murray Hostel, a popular seafront visitor/back-packers hostel.

Other projects included:

  • A small building repair grant scheme for private owners
  • Creation of the Thomas Chalmers garden in Hadfoot Wynd
  • Training for contractors and private building owners in traditional skills, delivered in partnership with the Scottish Lime Centre.
  • Opportunities for local people to learn about Anstruther’s heritage – e.g. traditional skills open days, evening lectures, have-a-go mason’s mark activities for pupils at Waid Academy, and the year-long community research/archaeology project to develop a Burgh Survey.

We are grateful to all our funders and partners, inc. Fife Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, ERDF, LEADER, Fife Environment Trust and Church of Scotland.


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Dreel Halls

Anstruthers Dreel Halls re-opened in January 2014 following a £700,000 repairs project.

The former Hew Scott Hall, St Nicholas Tower and Wester Anstruther Town Hall is now a stunning landmark following external repairs to the at risk buildings – there had been strucutral supports in place to the tower for many years. Works included the removal of a damaging cement render and re-harling in traditional lime with vibrant ochre limewash, and were led by ARC Architects, Cupar and main contractors John Smart & Sons, Kirkcaldy.

We are very grateful for the support of Anstruther residents who coped with the disruption to traffic during the works at this busy corner!

This is the first stage in giving the buildings a new lease of life as the Dreel Halls, owned and operated by the Anstruther Improvements Association (AIA). The AIA are working up proposals for a second phase project to upgrade the building interior and its facilities for community activities.

“These buildings have been transformed by the repairs – a once at-risk building that blighted a busy approach to Anstruther is now an attractive landmark again, with a vibrant new future as the Dreel Halls.”


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Murray Library

This C listed building has an exciting new future, thanks to a £1m project that has transformed this former Library to two new facilities for Anstruther:

Murray Library Hostel – tourist/backpacker accommodation with stunning sea and harbour views

Murray Studios – 7 studios for creative industries, developed in the former snooker hall at the back of the building

This stunning red sandstone building on the seafront had suffered from the ravages of its coastal location for 100 years and the stonework was in very poor and dangerous condition. Repairs and conversion were led by ARC Architects working with contractors LTM and Marshalls.

The Murray Library Trust – who led the project throughout – and the building – founded in 1908 using funds donated by local boy David Murray, who made his fortune as a retail draper in Australia – can now look ahead to the next 100 years with new purpose.

Murray Library Anstruther

“Lovely stay in a historic building … with a fantastic view over Anstruther harbour. You can feel the history of the place.”


To find out more about our past, present and future projects throughout Fife by the Fife Historic Buildings Trust, click below.


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Holiday Lets

Fife Historic Buildings Trust has two self-catering holiday apartments to let. For more information and to book, click below.


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