10 March 2015
With a new statue of Mary Queen of Scots due to be unveiled at Linlithgow Palace in April 2015, we take a look at the history of another statue of the Stewart queen, which stands in the grounds of nearby Annet House Museum. ...
A new statue of Mary Queen of Scots was unveiled at Linlithgow Palace in April 2015. We take a look at the history of another statue of the Stewart queen, which stands in the grounds of nearby Annet House Museum. For more on Mary Queen of Scots, don't miss our souvenir magazine to celebrate the forthcoming movie.
The statue was erected in 2002 by Linlithgow Heritage Trust (LHT), 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.
Tom was a great admirer of Mary Queen of Scots, and following his death in 2001, the Committee of LHT discussed a memorial to him and it was decided to go some way to meet his interest in Mary by erecting a statue of the queen as Tom’s memorial. Money for the statue was raised by donation from members of LHT and the public at large and benefited by a substantial donation from Tom’s former employer, Johnston Press.
The commission to carry out the work was given to Allan Herriot, the noted Scottish sculptor, and the finished statue was unveiled on 30 August 2002 by Tom’s widow, Iris McGowran MBE. Amongst those present were Tam and Kathleen Dalyell and Mr Fred Johnston OBE, Chairman of Johnston Press and his wife.
Members of the Marie Stuart Society held their AGM in Linlithgow in 2009 and on that occasion, members of the society visited the museum and saw the statue. The society had, some time before their visit, commissioned sculptress Anne Davidson to produce a statue of Mary Queen of Scots. Sadly, Ms Davidson died before she could complete the commission, but she had completed the design and produced a number of maquettes, one of which is now in the museum as part of a small exhibition of images of Mary showing how perceptions of her have changed over the centuries since her death.
Annet House Museum is currently closed to the public and is in the process of moving to a new site to become 'A new museum for Royal Linlithgow'. For more information on the project, visit this page.