Campaign to restore

General Maczek’s


The Great Polish Map of Scotland from the air 

Aerial image of the Great Map from Virtual Earth


Our campaign to restore the Great Polish Map of Scotland started here in 2008.


Then on Sunday 25 April 2010 at a public meeting and open day at Barony Castle, Eddleston, we formally inaugurated the Mapa Scotland project, its objects and organisation as set out in its first constitution later revised in 2011 and revised again to the current constitution here.


Background to the Great Map of Scotland is summarised in the inaugural leaflet here  and in a longer descriptive background about the Map’s creation here; with a history of Polish forces in Scotland here.

Our latest Annual General Meeting was held at Barony Castle Hotel, Eddleston EH45 8QW on Sunday 28 April 2013 at 2pm



Find out a lot more about current progress of the project or the full history of the map and the role of Polish forces in Scotland plus current news and photographs from our project signposts here.  For direct correspondence about membership and project logistics, contact the Secretary, Keith Burns at or for history and the background of the Great Map, contact Roger Kelly at


Conceived by General Maczek and his Polish companions as a permanent three-dimensional reminder of their part in Scotland’s defence and of Scotland’s wartime hospitality, and to reflect the General’s lifelong interest in geography and landform, this amazing and little-known artefact is waiting for our attention, restoration, and for its seas and rivers to be filled with water once more.   Perhaps the largest outdoor relief map anywhere in the world, The Great Map is an amazing learning resource and a lasting testament to technical skill and international co-operation. Pre-launch displays to attract support were held in Penicuik Town Hall on two Saturdays before the Mapa Scotland inaugural meeting and Open Day at Barony Castle on Sunday 25 April 2010.



August 2010 - Clean-up starts.

In warm afternoon sunshine, Ben Nevis emerges from the moss and debris after a working party tackles the Central Highlands, Torridon and Arran with wire brushes.  Re-build work cannot start until we have secured grant aid, but volunteers are cleaning the map surfaces in preparation for a start of reconstruction and repair.  Here Ben Nevis and surrounding Mamores emerge from their covering of years of moss growth.  The acid attack damage to the concrete at sea level show the future challenge we face in protecting the re-build from similar attack.


12 September 2009 - Restoration group at Barony Castle study the Bartholomew base maps

12 September 2009 Great Polish Map of Scotland picture by Adam Ward

12 September 2009 Great Polish Map of Scotland picture by Adam Ward

12 September 2009: Restoration group examine weathering on restored section of Skye



21 May 2008: David Cameron, Elizabeth Laudenslager and Roger Kelly discuss restoration




General Stanisław Maczek (March 31, 1892 – December 11, 1994) was the most accomplished Polish tank commander of the Second World War.  A veteran of the First World War. The Polish-Ukranian and Polish-Bolshevik Wars, he commanded Poland's only major armoured formation during the September 1939 campaign, led a Polish armoured formation in France in 1940, and was commander of the famous First Polish Armoured Division, and later of the First Polish Army Corps under Allied Command in 1942–1945.   Of Croatian extraction, Stanisław Władysław Maczek was born in  Lwów in 1892 in Austro-Hungarian Galicia.  Graduating from grammar school at Drohobycz he attended the philosophy faculty of Lwów University where he studied Polish literature and language.  After the outbreak of the Great War, Maczek interrupted his studies hoping to join Piłsudski's Polish Legions, but instead was drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army. Assigned to the Italian front, he rose to become the only Polish battalion commander in Austria-Hungary's Alpine regiments. At the war’s end he joined the Polish Army and took part in its later Ukranian and Bolshevik campaigns.  His experience in speedy movement and rapid response led -after military college, colonelship and a series of infantry commands- to his taking charge of Poland’s first fully motorised formation during the 1938 Munich crisis.


When Poland was attacked in force in 1939 Maczek led the only Polish units not to lose a single battle. His forces made a dogged defence under Blitzkreig attack but these efforts became eclipsed when Russia invaded from the rear.  Appreciated by his superiors and respected by enemy commanders, Maczek was loved by his soldiers, who called him “Baca”, a Galician name for a shepherd like the Scots gaelic “Buachaille”.  Ordered to take his brigade over the Hungarian border, he made his way to lead some of the Polish forces in France at the end of 1939, but French commanders left unopened Maczek’s detailed reports on the Blitzkreig tactics they should prepare for.  After the fall of France Maczek and many of his men made their way through Africa and Portugal to London, and formed the nucleus of a Polish armoured unit based in Scotland for four years.  Trained at Blairgowrie and equipped with the latest Churchill and Sherman tanks, the Poles took up the defence of the Scottish shoreline between Montrose and Dundee.  In July 1944 the division transferred to Normandy, attached to the First Canadian Army, where General Maczek’s force and his gift for using natural features contributed decisively in the Battle of Falaise.  His Division continued to spearhead the Allied drive across the battlefields of France, Belgium, Netherlands, and finally Germany, where it captured the port of Wilhelmshaven and accepted surrender of the garrison and 200 navy ships.  After Germany capitulated, General Maczek went on to become commanding officer of all Polish forces in the United Kingdom until their demobilization in 1947.

General Maczek’s Great Polish Map of Scotland stands in the grounds of Barony Castle, Eddleston, once the home of the Murrays of Elibank, later known as the Black Barony Hotel.  In the war years the house and grounds seem to have been in use by Polish forces, and some say an outdoor outline map was one of the features used to help plan the defence of the Scottish coastline which was under threat of invasion after the fall of Norway.   Although returned to hotel use in the forties, years later the hotel came into the hands of Jan Tomasik who had been billeted there in wartime. He was a friend and admirer of the General, gave the Maczeks the use of an upstairs flat at Barony Castle (perhaps deliberately reflecting the official grant of an upper flat at Culzean Castle to General Eisenhower) and set about restoring and enhancing some of the Barony’s water features.


General Maczek had been shown an impressive outdoor map of land and water in the Netherlands demonstrating the working of the waterways which had been an obstacle to the Polish forces progress in 1944.  He remembered this during his long years of exile in Scotland after he was deprived of Polish citizenship by the postwar Stalinist regime.  These were not easy times for the General and those he had led.  They were not welcome by the government at home in Poland.  Here in Britain the official world had no further need of them either.  No Allied government would offer a pension.  It was a tragic irony for those who had given so much.   But people thankfully, in Breda and in Scotland at least, continued to acknowledge their contribution. 


Set in the open air in the Peeeblesshire landscape at Eddleston, General Maczek and his companions conceived The Great Polish Map of Scotland as a permanent three-dimensional reminder of Scotland’s hospitality to the Polish Forces. It was also a powerful symbol of their role in protecting Scotland from invasion in wartime and of the General’s instinctive appreciation of geography and landform.  The coastline and relief of Scotland were laid out precisely in 1975 by Kazimierz Trafas, a young Polish student geographer-planner from the Jagiellonian University at Cracow, with a few of his Polish colleagues.  With hard labour, the group created the map in just a few weeks.  Engineering infrastructure was put in place to surround it with a sea of water and at the General’s request some of the main rivers were even arranged to flow from headwaters pumped into the mountains.


General Maczek’s Great Polish Map of Scotland 

Aerial image of the Great Map from Virtual Earth


General Maczek died in 1994 aged 102 and is buried with comrades at Breda in the Netherlands. Now, after long years of dereliction, and as a first step towards what we hope can become a broadly based effort for restoration, the Great Map was first drained and cleared of undergrowth by Barony Castle’s current owners, De Vere Venues, and the first steps of our own project then got under way.



the campaign to restore

General Maczek’s



Roger Kelly, David Cameron and Elizabeth Laudenslager acknowledge the help of Steven Sweeny, Deputy General Manager, Barony Castle on 21 May 2008


The project, the Great Map, and General Maczek were the subject of  fuller displays (click to open) for Penicuik Community Development Trust in the Cowan Institute, Penicuik Town Hall on Saturday 19 July 2008, again on Saturday 9 August 2008, and at a Barony Castle Open Day on Sunday 7 September 2008.  As a result a mass of helpful information and support was forthcoming, a working group was convened by Keith Burns in 2009 to carry the project forward, and the project was formally inaugurated in 2010.

Further exhibitions in Penicuik in 2010 on 17 and 24 April and 5 June have brought even more material and individuals to the group.


The Campaign to restore the Great Map was started in 2008 by a small group including Roger Kelly (convener of the Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland and member of the Saltire Society Council); David Cameron (former convener of the Saltire Society and Edinburgh’s former Deputy City Planner, who worked with the late Kazimierz Trafas on urban restoration in Cracow); Krystyna Szumelukowa, Edinburgh’s former Director of Economic Development; Keith Burns (Hydraulic engineer with a long-term interest in the Map); and Alastair Nimmo (Civil engineer and concrete specialist) and the initial interest of Elizabeth Laudenslager –USA, Diana Webster –Edinburgh, Jonathan Cosens -West Linton, Anne Hardie –Penicuik, Alan Hardie –Penicuik, Mark Hutcheson –Edinburgh, Peter de Vink –Edinburgh, Reuben Crook –Leadburn, Nick Macdonald –Edinburgh and George FutersEddleston.  A meeting to review and report progress to Janusz Szewczuk (one of the Great Map’s surviving cartographer-builders) was called by Keith Burns at Hillend on Tuesday 11 August 2009 with Roger Kelly, Barbara Conboy, David Cameron, Dave Peck, Nick Macdonald and James Barton. A study group on Saturday 12 September 2009 at Barony Castle, onsite at the water intake and at the Great Map itself was hosted by George Futers with Keith Burns, Roger Kelly, David Cameron, Anne Hardie, Barbara Conboy, Krzysztof Chuchra, Krystyna Szumelukowa, Dave Peck, Nigel Rose, Jim Barton and Adam Ward. A further meeting was held at Barony Castle on Sunday 25 October with Keith Burns, Dave Peck, Krystyna Szumelukowa, Alastair Nimmo, David Cameron, Jim Barton and Roger Kelly, with the helpful support of George Futers of De Vere Venues. The group is formally reconstituting itself as a committee and will seek constituted and properly limited financial and charitable status.  It meets regularly to take forward progress on the Great Map’s restoration and engage all interested parties in Scotland, Poland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Contact Keith Burns, the project secretary, at or Roger Kelly, organiser of these campaign webpages, at




Szkocja w Szkocji –the Great Map’s construction described in Polish by Janusz Szewczuk

Scotland in Scotland –translation of the above

Restoration of the Great Map: Launch leaflet 2010

Polish Road to Breda:  picture diary 1944  (shown Penicuik Town Hall and Barony Castle April 2010)


Before and after pictures of the Map

Black Barony Hotel grounds in 1940 (before the fall of France and the later requisition for wartime use by Polish forces)

Polish Forces in Scotland in the Second World War


The Great Map features in the Scottish Planner of June 2008 and in Cairt –newsletter of the Scottish Maps Forum. 

The Polish Chamber Singers Affabre Concinui  visited the Great Map while performing at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Ż




The Murrays of Elibank were also associated with Thomas Adams, the Carlops farmer who became regional planner of New York.


Proud supporters of the Mapa Scotland Project:

Penicuik Community Development Trust presents

SUNDAY MARCH 7 2010   7.30


Krzysztof Kieslowski’s THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE (La double vie de Véronique / Podwójne życie Weroniki)

Irene Jacob    music by Zbigniew Preisner    Cert 15  92 mins 1991


Past and current film season here




MapaScotland has a home page at




Other displays in the COWAN INSTITUTE PENICUIK