Milestones in the life of the Great Polish Map of Scotland



-the campaign to restore the Great Polish Map of Scotland





This page explores some of the background to the Great Map of Scotland,

including the extensive military use of relief models in the Second World War

and their role as major public attractions in the years that followed.

It is copied from Roger Kelly’s webpage at


                                                                                                                                                                       Cavaye collections

Here is the place later chosen for the Great Map of Scotland: the South Lawn putting green at Black Barony Hotel, Eddleston.  The moment captured in this image is at the end of April 1940.  Germany’s invasion of Denmark has been completed and the last ports of Norway were soon to fall.  At this time the invasion of France and the Low Countries was still in the immediate future.  A month or two later, after the fall of France, the first Polish forces arrived in Scotland, and in due course they were to use the Black Barony buildings and site as a wartime training centre. 


Two British military leaders, Gubbins and Montgomery, both at this time still relatively junior, were to be intimately involved with the Polish forces.

Kilfinichen from the Ard
McVean and Gubbins family Mull Scotland
image copyright Colin Houston

 Colin Gubbins’ child’s-eye view of the landscape of coast and mountain beside his grandparents’ house on Mull


Colin McVean Gubbins was a grandson of the Cowan Penicuik papermaking family, and grew up at the kilted knee of his grandfather Colin McVean who’d supervised the Japanese Empire’s first geographic surveys from 1869 onwards. His uncle Dondo McVean had served in the Himalayas with Rattrays Sikhs and had been Winston Churchill’s tentmate in the Malakand Field Force.  Bold, practical, and far-thinking, Colin Gubbins acted as British military liaison with Polish Forces, first in Poland at the time of the German invasion, then in France and in the operations to defend Norway.  In the summer of 1940 he was given the task of preparing the home territory for invasion, finding places for exiled army (and sometimes exiled naval and airforce personnel), and making plans for deploying irregular forces on home territory all over Britain for last-ditch defence.  Later in the war Gubbins was to develop these ideas as Head of the Special Operations Executive, co-ordinating work across Europe behind enemy lines.


World War II saw increasing use of increasingly sophisticated terrain models.  The models were hand crafted by enlisted sculptors, architects, stage designers and artists using all sorts of basic materials.  As Pearson records and illustrates , “model-making materials varied according to the specific location. The model makers in Cairo used “mangarieh,” a mixture of minced newspaper, local plaster, and glue. A photo-skin was created by mosaicing re-scaled photographs of the area and pasting the photo-skin to the model, using road intersections or other common reference points for registration. The availability and close scrutiny of aerial photography using stereoscopes was an essential part of the more detailed stages in the modelling process. Maps were used for reference to locate airfields, railways, and roads before the model was finished.  In order to promote realism and provide personnel with portable visual references while conducting operations, the terrain models were sometimes illuminated and then photographed to replicate as closely as possible the light that would exist at the time of the planned operation. Aircrews could thus be briefed with photographs taken from above the model, whereas Commandos would be shown photographs of the model as if viewed from the sea.”.

Alastair W. Pearson: Allied Military Model Making  during World War II –in Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2002, pp. 227-241


From strategic relief maps at 1:100,000 or 1: 500,000 scale in which the vertical scale was highly exaggerated, to tactical maps for coastal assault and airborne operations, these maps brought landform to life and were invaluable in all the key aspects of military planning and operational responsiveness.


Across Europe, there had been long interest in relief maps and models. The Musée des plans-reliefs in Paris  has a collection of one hundred models, “portraits in relief ” of towns and their surrounding countryside which can be used to illustrate the strategic implications of local landform. 


Poland’s interwar mapmaking was of great simplicity and clarity.  Wojskowy Instytut  Geograficzny (WIG) [The Military Geographic Institute] operated in Warsaw from 1921. The Institute was subordinate to the Ministry of Military Affairs with the task of making astronomic, geodetic and  topographic measurements of the country and preparing precise topographic maps of Poland  for printing and publishing. Maps published by WIG were intended for the army, but  thanks to their clarity and versatility they were widely used.  Mapa Taktyczna Polski 1:100 000  [Tactical Map of Poland 1:100,000] was a map on 482 sheets of which 437 sheets were made by 1937 with a two-kilometre military grid  reference system. Later, during the war, maps were prepared  by the National Army and the Geographic Section of WIG  in exile operating in Edinburgh from 1941, covering the territory of Poland at 1:100,000, and

1:300,000, as well as plans of Polish cities and maps at smaller scale.

Lucyna Szaniawska, M.Sc.: Cartographic materials registered in Polish bibliographies published in the years 1846–2008 as testimonies of their times :Department of Cartography,National Library of Poland  see pp 9-11, 23


In Germany around 1925, Karl Wenschow (1884-1947) developed a procedure for creating shaded relief which now bears his name.  A three dimensional model of the terrain is carved with precision routers from a block of plaster. The model is then obliquely illuminated and photographed from a distance of 40 to 50m using a special camera.


Wenschow milling machine                                                           Wenschow model made of plaster


Britain already had a wartime tradition in military relief model making.  As Alastair Pearson noted, the 1914-1918 conflict had seen around a thousand relief models made for British forces.  Work on models for the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918 had shown the exceptional value of relief models in coastal assault and defence, and in particular heralded their importance for combined operations.


It was exactly this kind of action, to support Commando operations in Norway in which Gubbins was involved, that led to the formation of a terrain modelling unit under British command as early as summer 1940.  Soon the most pressing problem was home defence from sea and air. The terrain of Scotland was closely studied to prepare for the imminently expected invasion, thought likely to be launched from Norway.  Polish forces were deployed to defend Scotland’s east coast.  You can read more about these Polish forces, how they got here, and their deployment in Scotland here.


 As a seasoned cavalryman and tank commander with combat experience of the recent German invasions of Poland and France, General Maczek was a celebrated user of the lie of the land in military strategy and tactics, and contour maps were his stock-in-trade.  Edinburgh was a key source of worldwide contour map information and production, involving firms such as Bartholomew, Nelson and W & A K Johnston. The Polish forces prepared for coastal defence, tried to second-guess the invasion strategy and tactics, and moved to take up the most effective positions from which they could respond quickly to an invasion of Scotland’s east coast, and later began to prepare for the invasion of France.


Polish troops at Peebles Hydro            Creating coastal defences            Polish Hospital, Edinburgh Western


In parallel with Polish troop deployments to protect Scottish coasts,  Lt-General Bernard Law Montgomery, who had been highly effective in the defence of Belgium and evacuation of Dunkirk, took over key sections of coastal defence in the south of England: Hampshire and Dorset in July 1940, Kent in April 1941, and a full South Eastern Command overseeing the defence of Kent, Sussex and Surrey in December 1941. During this time Montgomery developed and rehearsed his ideas and trained his soldiers, culminating in Exercise Tiger, May 19-30 1942, a combined forces exercise involving 100,000 troops (not to be confused with SHAEF’s ill-fated Exercise Tiger in 1944) .


Montgomery is believed to have visited Peeblesshire during 1942, perhaps to help inaugurate an element of training at the Polish Staff College.  It appears to have been before preparing for his new tasks in North Africa at El Alamein in August of that year.  Maczek’s battle experience in distracting the advance of German tank columns was at that time unique among the allied commanders, and should have been of great interest to Montgomery. 


Captain Zbigniew Mieczkowski of General Maczek’s First Armoured Division attended the Staff College at Black Barony for training promising officers for higher rank.  He confirms that General Maczek was involved and frequently to be found there but probably not in residence because his duties took him all over the place.  Maps and mapping were fundamental to the training.

Maczek and Montgomery


Naturally Maczek and Montgomery, each concerned with repelling a combined operations coastal invasion in the dark days between 1940 and 1942, would each be well prepared to plan for the converse offensive role planned for the Allied landings in Europe as D-Day approached.


Priorwood, Melrose was Maczek’s base in the months before D Day. Planning maps and models moved with Staff from place to place.


Montgomery came to Scotland to visit General Maczek’s First Armoured Division again in the build up to Operation Overlord at the beginning of March 1944 and was much impressed with what he saw of its fighting strength.  He used this knowledge to outbid Polish Commander-in-Chief Sosnkowski who was reluctant to commit reserves to Overlord wholeheartedly.  If Montgomery could not have Maczek’s Division in full strength he threatened he would not involve the Poles in Normandy at all.  A working arrangement was quickly found.


Within a month of the first Normandy landings in June 1944, a million allied troops had been brought ashore, along with vast quantities of war materiel, stores and provisions. To support the Polish forces as they swept into Normandy and across Europe a young Pole, Jan S Tomasik, former builder and son of a Kraków circuit judge, was enormously occupied in the duties of the quartermasters department and closely linked with his US and British counterparts. His would be able to put this experience in obtaining supplies and maintaining reserves to good use in business after the war.

                                                                                                                                                          Image courtesy of the Tomasik family

Jan S Tomasik directs building operations near Kraków before Poland is overrun


But first General Maczek was to put his military experience to decisive use after the D-Day landings when the Allies and their Axis foes had become locked in a stalemate around Caen.  Taking a commanding position at Hill 262, Maczek’s Polish forces broke the deadlock and prevented Axis regrouping, bottling up and destroying German fighting units and equipment at the Falaise Gap.  By 22 August, all German forces west of the Allied lines were dead or in captivity. Historians differ in their estimates of German losses in the pocket.  Most state that between 80,000 and 100,000 troops were caught in the encirclement of which 10,000–15,000 were killed, 40,000–50,000 taken prisoner, and 20,000–50,000 escaped.  In the northern sector alone, German material losses included 344 tanks, self-propelled guns and other light armoured vehicles as well as 2,447 soft-skinned vehicles and 252 guns abandoned or destroyed. In the fighting around Hill 262, German losses totalled 2,000 killed and 5,000 taken prisoner, in addition to 55 tanks, 44 guns and 152 other armoured vehicles. The once-powerful 12th SS Panzer Division had lost 94% of its armour, nearly all of its artillery, and 70% of its vehicles. Mustering close to 20,000 men and 150 tanks before the Normandy campaign, after Falaise it was reduced to 300 men and 10 tanks.



Danesfield House at Medmenham in Buckinghamshire became the location of the main secret modelmaking workshops. Here

relief map-models were produced with the terrain often enhanced with photographic layers. Model makers worked around the clock,

seven days a week, with eight or twelve hour shifts. Their work was top secret, highly demanding, and to tight deadlines.


The Normandy campaign had been very carefully planned using an enormous relief model of Normandy and the whole of Northern France which was secretly assembled in London at Montgomery’s old school, St Pauls Hammersmith.  After a dry run on April 7 1944 to describe the invasion plan –Operation Overlord- to the senior commanders most closely concerned, a full dress presentation using the relief map was given on May 15 with Eisenhower, Churchill, King George IV, Chiefs of Staff, Corps Commanders and civil servants. It was astonishing to see such vital secrets displayed to so many people in such a vivid way.


Part of a rubber terrain model of Utah beach prepared by Allied modelmakers and now installed at the Library of Congress


Individual Overlord landing areas are known to have had their own individual rubber models which were used in the field.  Typically these models showed the details of relief and tide lines, the slope of the beach, buildings, and locations of the anti-landing craft systems known as hedgehogs.  Surviving models of wartime days are now treasured exhibits, although few now remain.  The appeal of models for the public was already  proving intense.  Even before the events in Normandy were unfolding, military models had become a major public attraction across the Atlantic.  At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, between the months of January and March 1944, Norman Bel Geddes (father of actress Barbara) and his team displayed their massive War Maneuver Models Exhibition which the audience viewed from catwalks and runways above.   Bel Geddes had already made a name for himself in futuristic city planning presentations and scale models for General Motors and Life magazine, and his war work was to culminate in modelling –and filming- Tokyo Bay for strategy tactics and training.




Visitors look down on the future at the 1939 New York World’s Fair                                                                                                 .

example of Bel Geddes modelling for city planning

These Geddes relief models were lit and photographed from various angles and then marked up for Life magazine.

In the New York exhibition from January-March 1944 the public viewed these original war models from catwalks above

Lighting the enormous Geddes military model of Tokyo Bay to simulate time and weather


As war gave way to peace, the skills of the modelmaker, photographer and illustrator would continue to be widely used in filmmaking, magazines and exhibitions, as well as in long term civil and military planning


Fanciful tartan relief map of Scotland -with Hadrian’s Wall- in Michael Powell’s film  I Know Where I’m Going (1945)

The film was shot in Gubbins familiar childhood surroundings by Moy Castle on Mull.


Tintin and Captain Haddock drop in on a Great Polish Map?  On a marché sur la Lune was published in parts 1950-53



The Great Relief Map of Belgium opposite the Town Planning pavilions at the Brussels International Exposition in 1958

It was overhung by the enormous concrete Fleche of Civil Engineering, from which was suspended a metal viewing bridge

high above the map’s surface.  This outdoor example was to inspire construction of the Great Polish Map of Scotland.


Visitors can look at the map from the raised edge, or from the bridge high above at the very top of this picture,

 which is itself suspended  from the massive concrete Flčche du Génie Civil .


We know that one relief model was to be inspirational to Jan S Tomasik: the presentation of Belgium at the Brussels Expo of 1958.  After the war Tomasik –who never lost his quartermaster’s passion for stockpiling foodstuffs and equipment- had become a hotelkeeper at the ever-expanding Learmonth Hotel in Edinburgh’s West End.   In 1967 he created a new multi-storey International Hotel and petrol station at Craigleith beside the Leith North Branch railway.  It is now a Holiday Inn.  In his hotel group as the years passed, Tomasik was able to offer various roles to General Maczek, who at first had no pension (one was later awarded by the town of Breda in the Netherlands which the Polish Forces had liberated).  In the early post-war years the General is said to have served as a storeman at the Gifford Co-op.  Now the General found himself as a barkeeper and petrol pump attendant at various times.  Tomasik was well known as an ambassador on the tartan tourist scene, visiting the USA in the kilt to drum up business.  He also maintained close links with the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh and was able to cross the iron curtain to Poland regularly to obtain labour and supplies by special permit.



 extract of creative commons  image by Alan Findlay on Geograph and Wikipedia websites                                 Image courtesy of the Tomasik family   .

Suspension bridge across the Forth under construction 1962                                Jan S Tomasik in 1965


The old staff college at Black Barony and its 58 acre estate beside Eddleston station had been operated as a country hotel for two decades after the war, but the Peebles railway closed in the Beeching cuts of 1962 and the hotel became available a few years later.  In the autumn of 1968 it was bought by Jan S. Tomasik as a going concern (it had to operate as a business to fulfil previous commitments). The railway was closed now, but the big old house had powerful associations and the estate had storage space for Tomasik’s agricultural and equipment needs. 

After running under the new regime for a year, Black Barony closed for refurbishment in the autumn of 1969.  It would be reborn as a hotel and as a home for some of Tomasik’s extended family. A new dining room was created and a series of new bathrooms reduced the need for hot water jugs and chamberpots.

The work on the hotel continued through 1970 with the installation of a lift and the tidying up of the gardens and woods.  By the spring of 1971 the revamped Black Barony hotel was ready to reopen for business as part of the Learmonth Hotels group.  The third floor refurbishment was not yet complete. The hotel was managed by Jan Tomasik’s daughter Catherine and her husband Marek Raton.  Through the summer the hotel continued to cater for guests and for special functions including weddings. The 79 year old General Maczek, Madame Maczek and their daughter became regular summer visitors to the family accommodation.  The visits would continue throughout the decade. Those who knew and respected the old General would line up outside in respect as the Maczeks arrived and left.


Enter Klimaszewski

In these years of the late 1960s and early 70s Poland was changing.  A new effort to emphasise the permanence of  Polish land and culture was gathering strength as the Communist authorities struggled to hold on to control in the face of popular unrest and the challenge of the church.  A key individual in this effort to steady the ship and secure Poland’s long-term interest was the geographer Mieczysław Klimaszewski.


A prewar academic hero, glaciologist and geomorphologist Mieczysław Klimaszewski (right)

 (26 June 1908 - 27 November 1995)  taking part in Poland’s 1938 expedition to Spitzbergen in Norway’s Arctic

Mieczysław Klimaszewski rose to Professorship in 1949 and headed the Institute of Geography at the Jagellonian University from 1952.   As head of the University from 1964 onwards he became a vice-regal figure in his Rectorial ermine..


In June 1965 Klimaszewski was elected to the Polish Council of State.  He helped organise the Polish Congress of Culture in Krakow in September 1966.  By 1967 he had become deputy-president of Poland and chaired the Supreme Council for the Polish Diaspora (Polonia), reaching out to Polish communities around the world..


In March 1968 Klimaszewski tries to soothe students demonstrating for greater academic freedom at the Jagellonian University.

As Poland’s deputy president Klimaszewski joined the world’s crowned heads in Iran to celebrate the Shah’s  2500th  anniversary

of Persian civilisation in 1971.  Iran had been the main route out of Russia for thousands of displaced Poles in the second world war.

Mieczysław Klimaszewski was chairman of the Tatra National park and in  the 1970s began work supervising a vast Atlas documenting all aspects of the natural and human history of the region, including its potential for tourism. Kasimierz Trafas would be placed in charge of the Atlas project, drawing on academic and scientific support and experts from the Military Mapping Institute.


In 1973 -after the 81-year-old General Maczek and his family had spent another summer break in the hotel- Jan Tomasik met Mieczysław Klimaszewski at an autumn Polonia diaspora congress in Poland.  The World Polonia Games –seen as Poland’s Commonwealth Games- were being planned for Kraków the following year after a 40 year break since their inauguration in Warsaw in 1934.   Tomasik and Klimaszewski started to discuss building the Great Map of Scotland in Scotland.   The creation of a great relief map of Scotland in the open air beside his Black Barony Hotel at Eddleston would be seen by Jan Tomasik as a tourist magnet.    Klimaszewski’s trusted geographers Kazimierz Trafas and Roman Wolniak were put in the picture.


   Building the Map

In the summer of  1974 General Maczek and his family spent their usual summer break at Black Barony and the young Polish geographers made their first visit to Scotland.  After a tour of the country they began the project at Black Barony by removing topsoil and marking the outline of the map.  They began the task of cementing and building up the map structure; after their return to Poland the process was continued by local labour throughout autumn and winter. 


It’s worth noting that when the Great Map came to be built by Polish expertise and Polish labour in the mid seventies, maps and relief models were still at the forefront of Government planning for Scotland.  It was a time of big ideas.  The Scottish Office moved early in 1975 to New St Andrews House, a purpose-built office complex in the heart of central Edinburgh with a well equipped maps room at the very heart of the building, serviced by a full complement of cartographic, model-making and air-photo interpretation staff. 


 The summer of 1975 saw the second visit of the Polish geographers to Scotland.  Now aged 83,  General Maczek and his family spent their usual summer break in the hotel.  With the sale of the Learmonth Hotels, Black Barony began to operate as an independent business.  The third and final visit of the Polish geographers was in 1976: the cement topography was finally completed over previously laid cement and the finished map was painted with whitewash.  General Maczek and his family spent their usual summer break.


When the Polish geographers came to lay out the Great Map of Scotland, the scale of 1:10000 and 5x vertical exaggeration selected was in line with the standard adopted by the allied forces in World War II  Relief models routinely adopted these standards to show general topography, main roads, railways, towns, wooded areas and waterways for use in strategic planning by General Staffs at Force or Army Group level.  Pearson describes the standard on page 232 of his paper.  Incidentally, an excavator (one of Jan S Tomasik’s collection of Massey Ferguson machines) can be seen in the picture below.

                                                                                                                                                   Above two images from private sources.

At Black Barony the hotel’s 1940 putting green is the scene of the Great Map’s realization by Polish geographers in 1975-6.

Cartographer K Trafas ponders the map with R Wolniak.

Read the Great Map story from the Polish geographers’ point of view here



 Meanwhile huge logistical exercises were in progress on Scotland’s Atlantic coast.  In 1975 work began at Loch Kishorn on the construction yard and dock for the production of oil platforms on the north side of the loch. This lay at the end of a two mile stretch of road built to provide access in just 12 days, and by 1977 over 3,000 people were working here, housed in temporary accommodation on site and in two retired liners moored in the loch: the Rangatira and the Odysseus.  The largest project involved the excavation of a huge dry dock, in which was constructed the 600,000 tonne Ninian Central Platform in 1978. Material was supplied by sea and when complete the platform needed seven tugs to tow it to its operating position in the North Sea. The Ninian Central Platform still holds the record as the largest moveable object ever created by man.

Ninian Central Platform under construction at Kishorn: the largest moveable object ever created in human history



After the last summer visit of the Polish geographers in 1976, completion of the Great Map slowed down.  Although there may have been ideas to add Orkney and Shetland, this was never done.  General Maczek and his family continued to spend their summer break each year in the hotel.  The Great Map was to be painted white with blue rivers and lochs and green forested areas.  Roads were painted red and railways black, in line with normal WW2 strategic mapping conventions.  By 1978 the whitewash and cement had begun to show signs of deterioration.  In 1979 the Great Map’s surrounding wall was finally completed and the previously-removed earth was banked up outside it.  The concrete surface of the map was coated in plastic paste and overpainted in a greyish hue. Forests were painted green, major cities outlined in light brown, roads through cities and all major roads painted red, rivers and lakes blue. Lakes and major rivers had water running through them supplied by gravity through over 40 headwater distributors.  The traces of green and brown paints found on the map today were applied in light refurbishments carried out much later.   


In 1979 Catherine and Marek Raton stopped working at Black Barony, and by 1981 the health of Jan Tomasik had slowed him down.   Jan S Tomasik senior retired in 1981 but Black Barony continued in the family.  His son, Jan S Tomasik junior, had been manager of the Learmonth’s International Hotel in Edinburgh, general manager of Unicorn Leisure, including the Glasgow Apollo, and part of the team running Radio Clyde.


                                                                                                                           Image courtesy of the Tomasik family

A white-haired General Maczek and his daughter (in wheelchair) with some of the Tomasik family around 1981

Coastal relief model for a fictional oil terminal in the wave and water tank in Bill Forsyth’s film Local Hero (1983)


In 1985 Black Barony closed but attempts to reconstruct the hotel and the business were begun in 1986 by Jan S Tomasik junior. In 1987 he proposed major new investment of Black Barony under the Business Expansion Scheme. In this he was backed by Birmingham financiers Centreway, with loans from bankers Hill Samuel & Co and Tennent Caledonian Breweries. Professional advice included company solicitors Bird Semple Fyffe Ireland and architects Dick Peddie & McKay. Morrison Construction were the managing contractors. The prospectus for the share issue included the plan shown below and the words:

“ A feature of the gardens is a rare, if not unique, relief map of Scotland with waterways.”

Joining Jan Tomasik junior in the Directorship were Andrew Harvey of Lismor Records, Financial Director Norman Quirk, formerly of Radio Clyde, and Brigadier Keith Hudson CBE,  Director of the British Institute of Innkeeping, a  former Director of the Army Catering Corps and its Commandant till 1985.

In the end, although Black Barony was demolished internally and rebuilt, and some extensions made, the company was unsuccessful in its aims and the association with the Tomasik family had ceased by 1990.  The hotel passed through various hands, lost some of its estate, and was renamed the Barony Castle.  It became a training headquarters of the Scottish Ambulance Service and is still used by the Service, although it now again functions as a hotel.

The Great Map continued to dominate the South Lawn at the Barony.  It was mentioned here in The Sun newspaper in 1992.  Heather Lowrie reported: “James Paton isn’t kidding when he tells guests they can see the whole of Scotland from the back of his hotel.  The 157 ft long, 131 ft wide replica, complete with hills and glens, has well and truly put the country on the map.  The massive scale relief model in the grounds of the Barony Castle Hotel in Peeblesshire was originally built by former owner Jan Tomasik.  But when Jan died the map fell into disrepair until businessman Sam Docherty moved in to restore it to its former glory.  The masterpiece includes a 5 ft high model of Ben Nevis  --  plus a train running between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  James said: ‘Sam and his friends deserve the recognition for getting it back in shape.  It’s all made of old tin cans, chicken wire and things, then covered in cement.  It even has rivers and waterfalls.’

The Great Map had clearly been lightly refurbished by the time of the newspaper article, possibly with a coat of pale green paint.  Not long afterwards the map –complete with railway- was again spruced up by The Scottish Office so that it could be filmed to illustrate the reorganisation of local government in 1995.  Later when the Barony Castle had come into the hands of the Verde group, later De Vere, there was a proposal of a further refurbishment, this time supported by the Edinburgh-based mutual Scottish Widows Fund. The Fund then became part of Lloyds TSB and the idea was abandoned.  The current campaign for the restoration of the Great Map and recognition of the wartime role of Polish Forces in Scotland began in 2008 with an exhibition in Penicuik Town Hall.  The voluntary restoration group MapaScotland was formally constituted.  And in May 2010, on election night, the Great Map project was featured with onsite interviews by Lisa Summers on BBC Scotland’s main evening news bulletin.




The Great Map in April 2010 showing the erosion of Mull. some green paint is still there, and older underlying heather brown.

The Campaign secured Heritage Lottery funding for restoration, and listing by Historic Scotland in September 2012 to recognise the Great Map’s contribution to the nation’s built heritage. The Great Map was the subject of a debate in the Scottish Parliament on 19 September 2012 led by Christine Grahame MSP in which its unique importance was warmly commended as a symbol of Poland’s long-standing connections with Scotland up to the present day and as a focus for remembering the particular role of the Polish community in Scotland’s protection during the second world war.


This RCHAMS crown copyright image of the Map accompanied the official listing announcement




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Eddleston Black Barony 1940

-immediately before the fall of France and the hotel’s requisition for Polish forces see website and Maczek exhibition


 Penicuik exhibitions

A few dozen of over 100 Penicuik Open House weekly displays arranged by Penicuik Community Development Trust and its supporters to date

Some to note: 








Penicuik’s Concorde Designer  JAMES ARNOT HAMILTON






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