Silverburn House Estate: Flaxmill, Largo Road, Leven

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Silverburn House Estate: Flaxmill
Other Name(s)
Silverburn House Offices
Largo Road, Leven
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NO 39381 01948
Location Type
HS Reference No


Single and 2-storey, approximate T-plan, classically-detailed small industrial range converted to agricultural use. Brick with large ashlar quoins and original corrugated-iron roofs. Partial band course. Round-headed openings and segmental recessed arches; lunette windows. Boarded timber doors. Small-pane glazing patterns (some with lying panes) in timber casement windows. Corrugated-iron roofs, ashlar skews where gabled. Brick ridge stacks.

David Russell leased Silverburn from the Durie Estate sometime before 1855, and Arthur Russell purchased the land in 1866. He rebuilt Silverburn House and opened a flax mill. In 1973 Major Russell gifted the Silverburn Estate to Leven Town Council and the National Trust for Scotland. The offices (mill buildings) were opened as a 'mini farm' in 1985. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Mid 19th century

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
June 2005, 1/10/2007, 16/08/2010, 31/7/2014, 24/4/2019
Development History
2000: Local planners report that the condition of the mill is poor with obvious signs of deterioration. The brickwork is failing in some places, with over 50% of the brick turned to dust. The roofing sheets are split and damaged and guttering has failed, whilst the roof timbers have suffered through prolonged exposure to water. The main structural beam running the full length of the mill has being showing signs of rot for many years, and many truss ends fixed to the beam and supporting the valley gutter are affected by rot. Internally, the structure is supported by scaffolding and all of the external fittings are in poor condition. June 2005: External inspection reveals that parts of the property still appear to be used for storage. October 2007: External inspection reveals that the building is partly occupied. The buildings shows no evidence of regular maintenance and may be vulnerable to decay and vandalism. December 2007: Fife Council are seeking expressions of interest to take forward a development brief for Silverburn Park Estate.
February 2009: East Fife Mail reports that Fife Council have approved offering the Silverburn House, the former Flax Mill and Corriemar, on a long leasehold basis. The council is hoping to attract private investment to turn the properties into businesses which will offer new recreational opportunities for local people and tourists. Fife Council are inviting indications of interest and are ready to have detailed discussions with interested parties, before they ask for formal offers to be submitted.
November 2010: External inspection finds no significant change from the last site visit. The property continues to deteriorate.
October 2011: A member of the public contacts to advise the estate was gifted to Fife Council by their father, Major Russell, in 1973/74, in conjunction with a conservation agreement with the National Trust for Scotland.
31 July 2014: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
8 December 2014: The Levenmouth Area Cttee were presented with a long term business plan for the redevelopment of the park - to include maintaining and improving the woodlands and gardens along with the restoration of the mill - though Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) in May 2014. FEAT propose to demonstrate they can generate income from park activities to achieve financial viability over a two year period as well as securing funding towards the restoration of the mill. Fife Council and FEAT have proposed a gradual hand-over for the future management of the park. The lease to FEAT is not currently proposed to include Silverburn House or Corriemar.
24 April 2019: External inspection reveals no significant change from previous visit. The property continues to slowly deteriorate.
2 December 2021: The Courier reports (23/06/2021) that Fife Employment Access Trust have taken over renovation of Silverburn Park, with plans to renovate the former flax mill into a visitor centre and community hub. The articles goes on to note that the group has already raised £30,000 and plans to open the converted mill in 2026.
22 December 2021: Fife Today reports (21/12/2021) that the Fife Employment Access Trust has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government to help transform the flax mill into a visitor centre, community hub, café, shop, hostel and an arts and crafts studio.
7 January 2022: The Courier reports (05/01/2022) that Silverburn Park owner is aiming to open the visitor centre and backpackers' hostel by 2026. The delivery phase of the project is due to commence in March, with a goal of appointing a contractor by March 2023 with construction beginning the following month. The article goes on to report on the current condition of the park, with green spaces having been transformed for public use and the addition of a new campsite with glamping pods.
3 February 2022: Fife Today reports (27/01/2022) that councillors have approved plans to give the Fife Environment Access Trust (FEAT) the Flax Mill for no fee. FEAT are planning to turn the building into a hostel, a cafe and restaurant, arts and crafts studios, a gift shop, meeting rooms, an event and exhibition space and offices.
15 February 2022: Scottish Construction Now reports (14/02/2022) that £3.47 million has been awarded from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for the renovation of the building. The article notes that the project plans to create 130 jobs and volunteering opportunities for under-represented communities.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
03451 555 555 ext 476998


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Fife Council
Type of Ownership
Local Authority

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Textile Industries
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit