Monday, 22 September 2014

Recognition of the Royal Arch planned

The Royal Arch in 1935
I have welcomed an assurance that Dundee’s former Royal Arch will gain proper recognition as part of the Dundee Waterfront project.

Constituents have asked me if there would be proper recognition of the historic arch, that was erected in Dundee between 1849 and 1853 to commemorate a visit to the city by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, in 1844.  It was demolished on 16 March 1964, as part of the land reclamation scheme, and to make way for the construction of the Tay Road Bridge.

Many constituents regret the demolition of the Royal Arch.   It seems inconceivable that nowadays such a demolition would take place of a historic structure that was an iconic part of the City of Dundee and it is important that the new waterfront recognises its place in Dundee’s history.

In response, Dundee Waterfront Project Co-ordinator has advised me,
I can confirm that we propose to mark the location of the Royal Arch by planting four substantial trees on its site.
By sheer coincidence the line of the proposed trees along the southern section of the Northern Boulevard, opposite the Caird Hall, line up with the location of the Royal Arch foundations that were recently uncovered. The tree spacing will also fall remarkably close to the footings of the arch. 
The present concept we are working on is to plant four very distinctive trees on the actual placements of the four footings. The trees suggested are to have a reddish leaf and different form to the standard trees being placed around them.
At the foot of each of the trees, the thought is to place a large granite slab with an image engraved into its surface. These slabs will be joined by a line of slabs with the name 'Royal Arch' probably in the middle with some historical notes. The four images will show the stages of the life of the arch from the wooden arch to the demolition of the stone arch,
The drawings for the above concept are presently being prepared. However the detailed images needed for the slabs still require to be properly researched.
I am pleased that the Royal Arch’s important role in the city’s history will be recognised in the new waterfront and feedback from constituents to what is being proposed is positive.