Great Polish Map of Scotland granted listed status
- 17 September 2012
- From the section South Scotland
A giant three-dimensional map of Scotland built by Polish nationals in the grounds of a Borders hotel has been awarded B-listed status.
It has been recognised by Historic Scotland for its contribution to the nation's built heritage.
The Great Polish Map of Scotland was built in the 1970s in the village of Eddleston, near Peebles.
It was constructed in recognition of Scottish hospitality to Polish soldiers during World War II.
It also honours the wider links between the two nations.
The map sits in an oval pool about 160ft (50m) wide and 5ft (1.5m) deep and once held gravity-fed water recreating rivers, lochs and seas.
It is currently the focus of a major restoration project in the grounds of the Barony Castle Hotel at Eddleston.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "This remarkable map of Scotland recalls the sacrifices of our Polish Allies, and I am delighted it will now be protected and secured for future generations through the awarding of listed status.
"The hospitality of the Scots is known throughout the world, and we are honoured that the designers also chose to create this map in recognition of the warm welcome given to Polish soldiers.
"I am hopeful that listed status will raise the profile of the map, and attract the increased numbers of visitors which this remarkable structure rightly deserves."
The campaign to restore the map began in April 2010, when a group of volunteers constituted Mapa Scotland, a charitable trust which has now secured Heritage Lottery funding to advance its plans.
Mapa secretary Keith Burns said: "Historic Scotland's listing will help us to save the Great Map of Scotland as a part of our heritage links with Poland.
"Along with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the new land owners, we're looking forward to preserving its future security for the benefit of the new generation of young Scots and Poles, and for all who visit this beautiful corner of the Borders."
The idea for the map is believed to have originated with Jan Tomasik, proprietor of Barony Castle Hotel from 1969 to 1977.
He settled in Scotland after World War II and developed his concept for the map with input from his former commander, Gen Stanislav Maczek, who also lived in the country.
Their proposal was inspired by the hotel's use as a college for Polish army officers during the war.
Five Polish geographers from Jagiellonian University in Krakow were invited to build the structure.
The group visited Scotland in summer 1974, and prepared the site and completed the coastal outline in just three weeks.
Surface modelling was finished between May and June the following year.
The completed project became the largest topographical relief model of its kind in the UK.