The Dysart Trust

The Dysart Trust, a registered charity, was formed in 1964 with the aim of collecting and preserving the history of the former Royal Burgh so that it is available to all; and to keep watch over the future development of the town on behalf of the community.  

For more than 40 years, the Trust has looked after several historic buildings - the distinctive Tolbooth which was built in 1576; the adjacent Town Hall where Dysart’s Provost the Town Council met, which was built in 1887 in the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee to replace an earlier building on the same site; and historic St Serf’s Church (now in ruins) built probably around the early 16th century, with its landmark tower added on at a later date.

A changing exhibition of some of the Trust’s large collection of archives - photographs, artefacts and records - is held in the Town Hall and open to the public annually on Doors Open Day each September, and on other occasions by appointment. The ever-extending archive collection has been built up over the years with no public funding but through the generosity of local people and exiles who have donated their own personal memorabilia, and more recently through acquisitions from antique shops and the internet - often coming home from America and Canada. The Trust is always on the lookout for items to add to the archives which, while of little commercial value, are literally priceless in adding to the records and history of Dysart.

The Trust also opens St Serf’s on Doors Open Day to give visitors the opportunity of climbing the winding stairs to the top which on a clear day gives a magnificent panoramic view in all directions. In conjunction with Dysart Kirk, the Trust also takes part in an annual open air service in the ruins of St Serf’s, carrying on the tradition of worship which started in an earlier building on the site many centuries earlier.

The Trust is run by a hard working committee and supported by a large number of subscribers whose annual subscriptions help to finance the work of the Trust, as does the revenue from books and publications.

As one of the main purposes of our organisation is to preserve the heritage of the village of Dysart, we plan to include on this site much of the material that has been collected over the 42 years the Trust has existed.

As you may appreciate, we have collected a vast quantity of material over the years and are still adding to our collection. Most of this material is able to be displayed on this site, but this will take time. What we have included so far is a very small proportion of what we would wish to share with you. We will endeavour over time to display all we can, but in the mean time, please bookmark our site and come back regularly to see what we've added. Of course, if you have any suggestions about what you would like us to display, or any general comments about the site, please let us know via the -Contact Us- link at the top of this page.

Through pressure of time, the Trust is however unable to help with tracing individual family trees, or supply copies of the photographs which appear on this website.

Many thanks again for visiting, and please come back soon.

The Dysart Trust