Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Seafield Tower (1048)

Current Priority
2
East
327942
North
688522
Site Type
Tower And Midden
Period
16th C

Tower and midden in the eroding face.

ShoreUPDATE 09/03/2014: The tower is in poor condition, and the integrity of the surviving structure is doubtful. Part of the southwestern corner of the tower collapsed recently in January 2013 after a storm, and is now a pile of debris on the outside. According to local newspaper Fife Today, the rest of the structure was evaluated after this collapse by Fife Council and said to be 'generally secure' [http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/ancient-tower-tumbles-1-2767540]. Nevertheless, the masonry appears weak in several areas. There are gaps where stones have fallen off, one notable concentration of these being on the exterior of what remains of the recently collapsed western wall. The northern wall facing Kirkcaldy also has a long crack running through the centre, visible internally and externally.

Could not adequately judge the state of erosion based on observation and map/satellite imagery study, although the northeastern corner seems to be most immediately at risk.

SCHARP comment Oct 2016: Tower in similar state to described. No further collapse noted. Interesting 18th and 19th century graffiti and carving of a seal on rock platform on seaward side of the tower.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Poor
Action
Visit - check condition; characterise site and obtain dating evidence ;
Survey site - standing building survey ;
Monitor site to report fresh exposures

Over to you...

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If you have completed a field survey of this site, you can submit your ShoreUPDATE record here.

Record NT28NE5 on map 10 in Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland Fife -Kincardine to Fifeness, 1996

Other records:

NMRS
52771
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

Click on an update to expand it.

9th March, 2014 by Laurens
Survey Information
User:
Laurens
Date:
March 9, 2014
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
<10m
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
structural damage/decay
Description:

Tower and midden in the eroding face. ShoreUPDATE 09/03/2015: The tower is in poor condition, and the integrity of the surviving structure is doubtful. Part of the southwestern corner of the tower collapsed recently in January 2013 after a storm, and is now a pile of debris on the outside. According to local newspaper Fife Today, the rest of the structure was evaluated after this collapse by Fife Council and said to be 'generally secure' [http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/ancient-tower-tumbles-1-2767540]. Nevertheless, the masonry appears weak in several areas. There are gaps where stones have fallen off, one notable concentration of these being on the exterior of what remains of the recently collapsed western wall. The northern wall facing Kirkcaldy also has a long crack running through the centre, visible internally and externally.

Could not adequately judge the state of erosion based on observation and map/satellite imagery study, although the northeastern corner seems to be most immediately at risk.

SCHARP comment Oct 2016: Tower in similar state to descriebed. No further collapse noted. Interesting 18th and 19th century graffiti and carving of a seal on rock platform on seaward side of the tower.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (footpath)
The site is:
is well known; is well visited
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

This site is known by many, being situated on a popular stretch of the Fife Coastal Path, and is regularly visited or bypassed by locals and walkers. Although the tower is fenced off (probably due to safety concerns), it is not difficult to access: the fence is broken at its southwestern end, leaving a gap near the pile of rubble, and does not block entry from the direction of the beach.

The tower is in poor condition, and the integrity of the surviving structure is doubtful. Part of the southwestern corner of the tower collapsed recently in January 2013 after a storm, and is now a pile of debris on the outside. According to local newspaper Fife Today, the rest of the structure was evaluated after this collapse by Fife Council and said to be 'generally secure' [http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/local-headlines/ancient-tower-tumbles-1-2767540]. Nevertheless, the masonry appears weak in several areas. There are gaps where stones have fallen off, one notable concentration of these being on the exterior of what remains of the recently collapsed western wall. The northern wall facing Kirkcaldy also has a long crack running through the centre, visible internally and externally.

Could not adequately judge the state of erosion based on observation and map/satellite imagery study, although the northeastern corner seems to be most immediately at risk.

Recommendations:

Evaluate and monitor stability and safety of the tower structure.

Survey and record standing remains before more collapses occur.

Assess threat of erosion to archaeology.

Retain priorty 2. Tower structurally unstable and at risk from coastal processes during extreme weather events.