Dundee’s Royal Arch was erected in 1853 to commemorate the Royal visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844, the first visit to the city by a monarch since the 17th century. The Queen often visited Dundee which was on her way to Balmoral. The Arch was commonly known as Victoria Arch to Dundonians, and sat between King William IV Dock and Earl Grey Dock on the south side of Dock Street between the junctions of Castle Street, and Whitehall Crescent. At over 80ft wide it was an imposing landmark on the waterfront and the grand structure was loved by locals and visitors alike.
In the 1960s, it was decided the Arch should be demolished to make way for the new road bridge slip roads, and finally on 16th March 1964 the Arch came down.The arch was dynamited, and the rubble thrown into both the King William IV and the Earl Grey Docks. Afterwards, the docks were land-filled to accommodate the slip roads for the new road bridge. In the opinion of many dundonians this was one of the worst decisions in Dundee’s planning history, and there have been many.
The Arch still resonates today, and the recent discovery of some large slabs during work on the waterfront development, and the work of the McManus museum staff in locating the original stones may well lead to the restoration of the Arch, or at least some of it. If you want the Arch reinstated support the petition by Lost Dundee and see the comments on the petition page for just how strongly Dundonians remember and want to see the Arch back again.
– DD Tours operates walking tours in Dundee city, covering dark local history such as wars, battles, murders, diseases, riots, disasters and executions. Walk with us for an unforgettable storytelling experience.