The campaign to restore the






After our Annual General Meeting at Barony Castle Hotel, Eddleston EH45 8QW

on Sunday 28 April 2013 our lease negotiations moved into a new phase.

By June 2013 agreement was within our grasp.




mapatemplate    .

Progress at September 2012

Christine Grahame MSP secured a September debate at Holyrood Parliament to discuss the importance of the Great Polish Map of Scotland.  This was followed by a reception with our supporter institutions in attendance -the First Minister briefly looked in.  Read the Scottish Parliament debate in full here


The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has granted us new status as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). 

Our registration number is SC043255.  This gives us the ability to claim Gift Aid tax exemption and provides us with limited liability.

We have received confirmation from Historic Scotland that the Great Map fulfils requirements for category B regional listed status as a significant historic site.  We now have confirmation of formal listing.

Barony Castle is now under new and local ownership.  The new owners are favourable to restoration and have pledged financial support


We continue to battle with weed control and tidy up work.



Progress at April 2012 from a report by Keith Burns

We don’t forget that the map was built in around 2 months back in 1975 by a handful of Polish students from the other side of the Iron Curtain with the enormous moral and financial support of the then owner of Barony Castle..

In humbling contrast our own efforts have seemed painfully slow.  As reported and discussed at the 2012 Annual General Meeting, at the start of the project we vastly underestimated the amount of paperwork that we faced, - through applications to the WREN Landfill Grant Scheme (unsuccessful), to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which resulted in £20k grant aid approval, to Historic Scotland for listed status and to Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) for  SCIO status. 

The Heritage Lottery Fund, like similar grant-giving bodies, requires that the project work shall have a no-break lease. The map is on hotel property, and this has not been immediately forthcoming, complicated by Barony Castle currently being on the market for sale, as we learned in December 2011. As a precaution we have submitted an application to Historic Scotland to list the map as an historic structure or monument, and the assessment procedure is in progress. A decision on listing is expected in the next few months.    HLF are aware of the sale of Barony Castle and grounds, and has agreed to a delay in proceeding until the no-break lease can be resolved. 

We meanwhile keep the map clear of weed growth and further deterioration. Direction signs made by Bob Johnson were installed recently to mark the route from the hotel car park.

Wide publicity has been received over the past year and useful contacts made at a public presentation on General Maczek in Penicuik, at the launch of the book ‘Scotland and Poland’ at the University of Edinburgh, and at a public lecture there on 31st March by Captain Zbigniew Mieczkowski of the First Polish Armoured Division to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of General Maczek.  A poster/ banner made for this last event has been added to an exhibition 'For Our Freedom and Yours' recently opened at the Tweeddale Museum, Peebles.  Roger Kelly gave a talk on General Maczek and the map to a packed meeting of Tweeddale U3A in October 2011.

We plan to write as a matter of urgency to Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Cultural and External Affairs to follow up a contact made at the 31st March lecture with Dr Noel Fojut, Head of Policy and Legislation, Historic Scotland. In addition, other relevant Cabinet members like Mike Russell (Education and Training) and Richard Lochhead (Rural Affairs) will be contacted also.  We are determined to get the strongest possible cross-party political support for the proper recognition of the Map as an important  national and international asset.

Long but necessary additions to the constitution were recommended as part of our application to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. These have now been approved at the 2012 AGM so our formal application for SCIO status can now be taken forward .

We’ve noted  the possibility that the Great Polish Map of Scotland is the largest such topographical relief model in the world and we are keen to pursue this.  It is at least 2.8 times greater in area than the model map in British Columbia currently listed in the Guinness Book of Records. 

We have also become aware that a ‘Goretex National Trail’ from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath has recently been proposed and may run through Eddleston on the Old Post Road, about ½ mile from the map. We intend to follow this up and suggest the Great Map itself as  an ideal place to launch the opening –on the route and showing the route at the same time.


The Project at February 2012 Extracts from an earlier progress report by Keith Burns

Members will recall that at last year’s AGM after failing to secure support from WREN and the Landfill Tax source, we had submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant aid for the project.  We were very pleased to hear during the summer that Heritage Lottery Fund had offered us a starting grant of £20,000, with a requirement to find equivalent matched funding from another source (which we were pursuing).

However, it is an understandable requirement of the grant terms that we obtain a no-break lease securing public access to the map.  This is necessary to prevent any risk of sequestration of the map as an accumulating asset once we start spending money on materials and adding value with material and labour.  

Meanwhile we have had very strong support from Heritage Lottery Fund staff in Edinburgh.  All your subscriptions and donations are secure in our Mapa Scotland Bank account (less some very minor expenditure on wire brushes, other tools and some pamphlets).  This is because it is a condition of the grant that we do not start restoration until we have the grant contract formally in place with the no-break lease. We shall be proposing changes to the constitution for approval at the AGM so that we can qualify for charitable status to consolidate our broader eligibility for grant aid. 

If you would like to get involved in any aspects of our work, through the Steering Committee, please let me know.

Keith Burns, Secretary,

For Mapa Scotland Steering Committee

Tel 01620 860257

Progress in 2011 saw volunteer work on the map and an application for £42,100 Heritage Lottery Funding.


Earlier progress following our inaugural meeting on 25 April 2010 included:

1.       Major grant application submitted to Landfill Communities Fund and entered the assessment process.

2.       Grant application submitted to Scottish Borders Council Community Grants Scheme for 3rd party funding grant in conjunction with 1. above.

3.       Letters of support received from 18 local and regional bodies with an interest in the restoration of the map as a community facility and a heritage site with national and international importance.

4.       Visit made to map by Polish Consul General in Edinburgh (brother of the map’s designer, Kazimierz Trafas).

5.       Bank account set up to hold membership subscriptions and donations.  Donations and subscriptions received from as far away as California.

6.       Application submitted for charitable status.

7.       Nine project meetings held since the Steering Group was formed.

8.       Press and media coverage achieved on BBC Scotland TV (filmed interviews at map were broadcast on main evening news on election night) and radio, TV Polonia, Polish National Press, Royal Scottish Geographical Society  magazine, featured as Collins (publishers) “Map of the Month”, Southern Reporter feature article.

9.       Minute of Agreement signed with landowners for co-operation with the project aims and assuring open access to public.

10.      Meetings and visits to map hosted for potential sponsors and grant aid providers.

11.      Numerous talks given to interested groups.  Exhibitions at Penicuik Town Hall.

12.      Coverage in forthcoming book to be published on “Scottish Oddities” by Hamish Brown.

13.      Clearance work in progress on map to prepare for start of repair work when grant aid secured.

14.        Tool shed in place at the map.

15.      Project costing completed for phase 1 and quotations secured for specialist contractor work.

16.      Specialist advice obtained on surface reconstruction, rebuild, surface protection etc.

17.      Communications established with one of the original team (Janusz Szewczuk in Cracow) that built the map.

18.      Preliminary design of hydraulics system completed.

19.      3d virtual landscape visualisation software acquired for sculpting of rebuild sections.

20.      Question and answer session for WREN CEO and Edinburgh and Midlothian Advisory Panel  (Sept 2010)

21.      WREN Board Meeting on 14 October 2010 to decide on our application.

22.      WREN rejects our grant application after advice from their Edinburgh and Midlothian Advisory Panel in favour of municipal infrastructure support.

23.      Map clean up continues through November with plans for trial repairs to Islay and Jura, and trial reconstruction of Mull.

24.      Search for new sources of grant aid starts, Nov 2010.


20 December 2010

Dear Members and Supporters,


Following our frustrating failure to secure grant aid from the Landfill Communities Fund we have submitted a pre-application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for which we seem to fit their heritage requirements very well.  Meanwhile, the steady progress with clean up at the map has been suspended due to snow on the map that’s a good scale-representation of the next ice age at peak glaciation.  When the thaw arrives we’ll be able to model sea level rise over the next few centuries.


Thank you for your continuing support.  This is vitally important for our continuing eligibility for grant aid. 


With best wishes for the Festive Season and the New Year.


Your Steering Committee, Mapa Scotland

Replies to:

Keith Burns, Secretary, 

Tel: 01620 860257

21 The Dean

East Linton

East Lothian

EH40 3ED


We are a small (though enthusiastic) group.   Please give our project publicity: spread the word!  Your membership is important to us and subscriptions are an important source of funding.  Please join us with as many friends and colleagues as you can.  Use these links to find out more about the project: our constitution, our inaugural leaflet, our latest news and activities, our project progress to date, some photographs and some of the historical background to the Great Map. 

For queries about membership and project plans, contact the Secretary, Keith Burns, at And for more about the history and background of the Great Map, contact Roger Kelly at