Wednesday, December 6, 2023
NewsScottish hotel unearths 160 years of history

Scottish hotel unearths 160 years of history

SCOTS history from the last 160 years ago has been discovered by staff at The Old Manor Hotel in Lundin Links, Fife.

Operations Manager Steven Carleschi revealed that historical documents such as birth certificates and newspaper clippings were discovered during recent work at the hotel.

The building has been under the ownership of the Wallace family for the last two years, but was originally built as Airthernie House in 1864 as a home for two spinster sisters, to the design of Glasgow architect Campbell Douglas.

An advertisement for the sister hotels in Fife.
A historic advertisement for the hotels. The Beach Hotel – Lundin Links is now The Old Manor Hotel.

The fully redecorated lounge will now be named ‘1864’, in honour of the fascinating history of the hotel that has been recently unearthed.

The hotel has had a long history, including as the Fife Children’s Home in 1937, the first of its kind in Scotland. It was set up by Miss Margaret Paxon, whose sister ran the Paxon Nursery in nearby Methil.

At the time, the building was owned by David Russell of the Tullis Russell paper mill family, who lived in the home with his family from 1920 to 1927, after which the building was vacant until it became the Children’s Home.

It was after World War II the building first became a hotel, under the name The Beach Hotel Lundin Links, with a sister hotel, the Leven Beach Hotel. The Leven Beach Hotel was damaged by fire in 1989 and demolished.

Steven Carleschi said: “We came across an old photograph album style book in a cupboard, and it turned out that it was filled with historical documents about the history of this building which had been documented and gathered together by the previous owners.

“It really is very thorough, covering the period from when the building was first constructed, to when it became a Children’s Home in 1937, to then becoming a Hotel after World War II, and beyond.

“Our historical book contains a couple of original advertisements from the 1960’s promoting both hotels to the public – they really are so interesting to look at. It would appear that Lundin Links and Leven were as popular then as they are now.

“Finding all this information has been fantastic, sparking lots of debate and hearsay amongst our staff, many of whom are local to the area.

“Anyone who would like to come in and have a look at the book, especially any amateur historians, or anyone with a family or employment connection to any of the previous owners over the decades, are more than welcome.

“We’re going to put it on display and encourage all guests to look at it if they wish – it really is an absorbing record of an amazing building and estate.”

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