Historic Environment Scotland

Photograph of Charlestown Harbour, Fife in 1882 by Erskine Beveridge

This photograph captures the vitality and importance of industry in late 19th century Scotland. Charlestown, Fife was once a major industrial complex, the lime kilns here producing a third of all lime across Scotland. The harbour was constructed to transport the lime, limestone and coal from the area by sea. The limekilns remain and their importance is recognised by Category A Listed Building status while the harbour is now home to only a few leisure boats.

But this visual record was so nearly lost. It was one of 90 glass plate negatives that were rescued from a skip outside a mill in Dunfermline in the 1960s or 70s.  They were in a brass handled oak box and in their original envelopes annotated by Erskine Beveridge, the photographer. The photographs illustrate historic communities across Fife and are of superb quality, reflecting Beveridge’s ability and skill as a photographer.