Abbot House, the city’s only community-run heritage centre, shut its doors after 20 years of community ownership as the Abbot House Heritage Centre Trust (AHHCT) could not make it financially viable.

The Press broke the news in January that the much-loved attraction could shut by Easter it didn’t find £5000 immediately.

The following outpouring of support raised over £10,000 but it wasn’t enough, as in July, the trust decided to pull the plug – just three months after the museum celebrated its 20th birthday.

Hundreds of West Fifers turned out for the farewell party on Saturday, which featured live music, barbecue and themed activities, including a kids’ session with chain mail costumes and swords.

Visitors also brought photos and recorded their memories of Abbot House for ‘Scotland’s Urban Past’, a project by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).

Abbot House heritage director Catherine Gillies told the Press, “You could hardly move in the garden for the people – I have never seen a place that looks less like it should be closed.

“All day, people were asking, ‘Why is this place closing, it’s absolutely ridiculous, the community wants it, the regulars want it.’ “We had a lot of people recording their memories, which were quite emotional, and the live music was a fantastic way to end the day – we sang songs until 1am, shut the doors and went home.

“The house is currently full of volunteers, we’ve been clearing up the collections so they can survive a period of closure – all eyes are now on the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust (CDT) to see what they will do.” Abbot House dates from the 15th century and was gifted to the community by the CDT in 1993. The Dunfermline Heritage Trust, established in 1991, helped raise over £1million to renovate and open the building.

The closure has been blamed on a controversial “reversion clause”, which states that in the event of Abbot House going bust, the building reverts to the CDT or Fife Council.

AHHCT had sought to have the clause dropped, saying it stood in the way of redevelopment and securing vital funding, and has now offered the house and collection to the CDT.