Saturday, March 21, 2015


Paul McCabe writes in Fife Today:
A Close encounter with 15th century building”
"Work at 1 Adam Smith Close is set to continue after an unexpected discovery caused a delay in proceedings.
The team converting the former home of Kirkcaldy’s most famous son into a visitor’s centre uncovered a 15th century wall which required specialist treatment.
The find meant a delay - and an increase to the budget.
But Marilyn Livingstone, chief executive of the Adam Smith Global Foundation, said that the project is “progressing really well”.
She said: “We thought the whole building was 18th century but we’ve uncovered a 15th century wall which we’ve had to deal with.
“We’re hopefully going to be in a position within the next two weeks to sign up contractors.”
The work has added an extra £40,000 to the cost of the project but Marilyn says that funding has already been secured.
And the delay has also meant the Adam Smith Festival, scheduled for June, has now been put back until September to coincide with the official opening of the new Adam Smith Visitor Centre. A fundraising dinner for the festival will take place at the Adam Smith College atrium on May 29.
“What I’ve found with this exercise and talking to other people is that this is common practice when working with an old building,” Marilyn said, “We’re now past the worst and ready to progress.”
The close itself is also being re-developed with Caithness granite slabs inscribed with a timeline of Adam Smith’s life. It will stand at the beginning of the ‘Merchant’s Quarter’ of the High Street which the Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions group is looking to re-establish.
Marilyn said: “It will start at the Old Kirk and come down then right along the East End where we’ve had a lot of encouragement from traders.
“We have also now raised the funding for a feasibility study so we hope that in the next few weeks to have a business case and a full brief for the work that we want to take forward at the Merchant’s Quarter. That’s the next big project for us.
“We need to be seen not only as the birthplace of Adam Smith but as the place where he wrote his most famous works. I think this is very exciting for Kirkcaldy.”
To attend the fundraising dinner contact the Foundation via the website"
The above landed in my Google Alerts this morning and I think it aposite in view of Peter Foster’s post immediately below. 
It reports the work they are doing in Kirkcaldy to make available an “Adam Smith” experience for visitors wishing to spend a few hours seeing the sight where he was brought up, where he went to school (now a small carpark), where he went to Church (St Brides) with his mother, and where his lived with his mother when he returned from his French tour in 1767.  While his mother’s house was demolished long ago, his mother’s garden and walls are preserved, as well as and 18th-century building (not his house) behind the end wall.
He wrote much of Wealth Of Nations in his mother’s house from 1767-73 and took his bulky manuscript to London in 1773 to finish it (especially on the opening events in the American colonies) and guide its printing and its publication in 1776. Some parts of Wealth Of Nations were from his lecture notes written and delivered at Glasgow University, where he was a Professor (1751-1764). We know this because some copies of his lecture notes were found in the 1890s (his ‘Lectures on Jurisprudence’, 1762-3 - note: before he went to France in 1764) parts of which are reproduced verbatim in Wealth Of Nations, and also a set of his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1762-3) published in the 1950s. Glasgow University holds other short manscripts of Smith’s other notes that also appeared in shortened or slightly altered form in Wealth Of Nations.
As his mother and aunt lived with him in his house in Professor’s Close on the campus of Glsgow University, it is unlikely that he wrote any part of his first book, Moral Sentiments (1759), in Kirkcaldy. University vacations were not as generous as they are today and with his mother staying with him, and his formidable library to hand in Glasgow, it is unlikely he had reason to travel to Kikcaldy, or spend significant time there. He regularly travelled to his discussion clubs in Edinburgh, however.

In so far as the Adam Smith Trail in Kirkcaldy and associated information for visitors will soon be in operation and build-up thereafter, this initiative is commendable, and all involved deserve all the support they can muster.


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