High Street

Buildings, Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues
History of the High Street

About High Street

High Street is where traditional game of Handba’ is played in February/March each year, between the “uppies” and “doonies”. One explanation of the origins of the game is that it is a spring ritual where the ball represents the sun. It is also said that on one occasion the local men attacked a group of English raiders who had been causing a great deal of suffering in the area.
The severed head of the leader of the English troops is said to have been thrown in the air, which discouraged his soldiers, causing them to flee.
Whatever the true origins of the game, the event is now part of the town’s heritage and is eagerly awaited by all in the town.
On the left hand side of High Street as you head down, you will find the Spread Eagle Hotel. Notice the gilt double-headed eagle over the entrance. The present building dates from the early 18th century. Queen Mary reputedly visited the inn that used to occupy the site when she stayed in the town in 1566. Near this spot stood Moscrope Tower, one of the six towers of the town, although its exact site is not known.
Opposite the Spread Eagle is Number 19, a fine Victorian building, designed by J. P. Alison. An inscribed panel bearing the date of construction, 1897, is visible at second floor level. It is worth pausing and admiring the fine detail around the windows and just below roof level.
As you continue down High Street on the opposite side of the street next to the former Post Office is the original Library. The Dunfermline born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie opened this in October 1884 and there is a stone plaque on the building to commemorate the event. A new Public Library was opened in May 1900 on Castlegate.

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