Mary statue

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I saw on BBC1 News on Thursday night that Linlithgow is to be the location for the first statue of Mary Queen of Scots to be erected in Scotland.

That is not quite true. There is already a statue of Mary in the garden of Annet House, Linlithgow’s local museum.

This statue was erected, in 2002, by Linlithgow Heritage Trust, which operates the museum, as a memorial to Tom McGowran OBE. Tom, who had died the previous year, had been very much involved in the creation of the local museum which first opened its doors in 1991.

The Mary Stuart Society, which is erecting the new statue, claims its is the first statue of the queen which is publicly accessible. It is difficult to understand how this differs from the accessibility of the Annet House statue which is situated in a prominent position in the museum garden.

The museum is open seven days a week from April to September and visitors often come to the museum in the closed season by prior arrangement.

One final point: visitors coming to Linlithgow to see the new statue should first check that Historic Scotland has no special events taking place at the Palace on the day of their visit. On such days the public availability of the statue will only be possible on payment of the entry fee for the event.

There is, of course, another option for visitors in such cases. They can visit Annet House to see the statue of Mary in the garden there and, in addition, see the exhibition about Mary in the museum which includes a maquette of the new statue.

Alan Young