Fife Tourism Partnership

Nearly 160 Years of Unearthed History at Old Manor Hotel Inspires New Name for Lounge

30 November 2023

The Old Manor Hotel in Lundin Links, under the ownership of the Wallace family of Pettycur Bay for the past two years, has revealed that it's given a brand new name to its recently refurbished lounge, having unearthed some fascinating information about the building’s history.

The lounge, which has been fully redecorated, with new carpeting & furniture, will now be named 1864, after the year that the building, then known as Airthernie House, was constructed - to the design of Glasgow architect Mr Campbell Douglas - as a home for two spinster sisters, the Misses Rigg.

“We are delighted to reveal the new name for our lounge,” said Operations Manager at The Old Manor, Steven Carleschi. “During our recent work at the Hotel, we came across an old photograph album style book in a cupboard, and it turned out that it was filled with historical documents, copies of birth certificates & wills, newspaper clippings, and many other types of information about the history of this building which had been documented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,” said Steven. “In the Sixties it was The Beach Hotel Lundin Links, with a sister Hotel, the Leven Beach Hotel.  Sadly, the Leven Beach Hotel was damaged by fire in 1989 and subsequently demolished, but our building continued its life as a hotel.”

“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, with guests attracted by the golf and the beautiful coastline.”

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

“For example, Sandra our Head Housekeeper, knew that the Paxton Nursery in Methil, which is still in existence today, has a direct link to the Hotel,” he said.

“In 1937, Fife’s Children’s Home, the first of its kind in Scotland, was set up here at the Old Manor, by a Miss Margaret Paxton, who leased the House from the then owner David Russell, of the Tullis Russell papermill family.”

“It was Margaret’s sister Jessie who ran a Nursery in Methil which is still in business today as the Paxton Nursery.”

“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,” said Steven. “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.”

Steven finished by saying: “We look forward to showing off all our hard work refurbishing the Hotel, over the fast approaching festive season. We have a new lounge menu and are doing Afternoon Tea in this lovely setting overlooking the golf course. We hope that everyone is going to enjoy what’s going on for Christmas, and that they love the new look in the 1864 Lounge.”

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