Burns Monument plans approved

Burns monument  at Komoram Court, Dalkeith.
Burns monument at Komoram Court, Dalkeith.

Dalkeith’s Burns Monument is to be moved to the eastern end of the High Street as part of a £120,000 scheme to improve the historic area.

Councillors approved plans at the recent cabinet meeting which will be funded by £60,000 of developer contributions and £60,000 from Dalkeith Business Renewal.

The proposals include the Burns Monument, currently situated on Buccleuch Street. It will be completely restored to minimise further damage to the structure which is in a “critical condition” according to officers. As well as the restoration, a working replica lamp will be fitted to the top of the monument. The missing pedestal, basin, and seated boy holding an oar and known as Putto will also be replaced.

Those works will cost an estimated £46,000, while £70,000 will be spent on paving and trees on eastern High Street outside the former Cross Keys building and the former Tolbooth. A new paved area will be formed at the last hanging spot outside the Tolbooth, with an acknowledgement in the pavement. A further £4,000 has been set aside as a contingency.

Councillor Margot Russell (Lab), welcomed the plans to move the Burns Monument.

She said: “I think it’s good that the Burns Monument is going back to the historic part of Dalkeith where it should be.

“It’s in poor condition at the moment but it will now soon be back to its former glory. I’m sure many of the older generation will have fond memories of it when it was there before.”

The Burns Monument was erected in 1899, paid for by the local Burns club.

It was originally in a prominent position in the High Street and remained there until the 1960s when it was considered a traffic hazard and moved to the park. In 2003 it was relocated to its current location in Buccleuch Street.

Previous attempts in 2013 and 2014 to secure Scottish Government funding for the project were unsuccessful.