Abbey as it stands today consists of two churches - the nave of
the medieval monastic church erected by David I, the son of Margaret,
and dedicated in 1150, and the modern parish Abbey Church (dedicated
in 1821) which contains the final resting place of King Robert the
Bruce. Other relics of Bruce can be found in Dunfermline museum.
In the absence of a royal presence, Dunfermline declined throughout
the 17th century, until the rise of the weaving industry in the
Plentiful water and good access to the ports of Fife made the
town a centre for damask weaving by the 1770s, but it was not until
the Industrial Revolution that weaving was promoted from a cottage
industry to production on a grand scale. This resulted in the decline
of the hand weaving industry.
It was into this environment that the great philanthropist Andrew
Carnegie, was born in 1835. His birthplace cottage is now a fascinating
museum offering an insight into the life of one of the worlds
richest men. The son of a jacquard loom weaver, Andrew entered into
lively debate and self-education which, following his emigration
to America in 1848, helped him to make millions in the steel industry.
Andrew Carnegie never forgot the town on his birth and in 1903
founded the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust «to bring into the
monotonous lives of the toiling masses of Dunfermline more of sweetness
He made funds available for workers pensions, church organs
and the building of libraries, as well as buying Pittencrieff Estate
(whence he had been refused entry as a child), for the people of
the town. The estate now forms Pittencrieff Park just to the west
of the Abbey and Palace, and Pittencrieff House has become a fascinating
For more information see www.dunfermline.50megs.com
or ask Jack.
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