Great Polish Map of Scotland

Image1Since the 1970s, one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets has been the map constructed by Polish cartographers in the grounds of the Barony Hotel  at Eddleston in the Scottish Borders. Barony Castle had been a training base for Polish troops during the Second World War, and the map was created as a memorial to these men, who had escaped following the invasion of their country but were prepared to defend ours. Many were unable to return home after the War following the closing of the Iron Curtain and remained as valued members of the community. Some time ago I wrote a Gazetteer for Scotland entry on this unique map, which involved a visit.  It is truly a remarkable structure, a three-dimensional representation of Scotland, which is one of the largest maps of its type in the world – almost 50m in circumference.  Sadly, it is in a decaying state but an enthusiastic group – Mapa Scotland – are trying to raise funds for its restoration. I was asked by Historic Scotland to give an expert opinion on its significance, in particular its cartographic merit, and this opinion led directly to it being given the protection of B-listed status. This has all led to significant interest from a younger Polish Image2community who have come to live in Scotland more recently. These Poles have done a remarkable job in mapping out the many and varied cultural and historical links between Scotland and Poland and recently mounted an exhibition in Edinburgh to highlight these. Amongst the work they have undertaken was a  fascinating video which explains the importance of the map. Because of my interests in the map, I was asked to take part in the video. It was a great project and it was nice to be able to give something back to the community.  Like many in Scotland, I have a personal interest in the Poles who came to defend our country during WW2 – my aunt married one of these soldiers, who died a couple of years ago aged 101. Many Scots opened their homes to these men and the University of Edinburgh gave a home to Polish medical students, through its hosting of the unique Polish Medical School.

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One thought on “Great Polish Map of Scotland

  1. Pingback: Gaining Experience with our UAV: More on the Polish Map | Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

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