Glasgow-based surgeon Colonel Sir George Thomas Beatson, acclaimed artist Joan Eardley and mathematician Mary Somerville are among the latest recipients to be recognised through the Commemorative Plaque Scheme in Scotland.
Now in its fifth year, the scheme - run by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) - celebrates the life and work of significant persons from history by highlighting the link between them and a building connected with their work or life, giving an insight into both the life of the person and the social history of local architecture.
Each year, the scheme recognises 12 notable recipients and amongst this latest batch is physician George Thomas Beatson (1848 -1933), who published a paper in 1886 which detailed pioneering treatment of advanced breast cancer; Joan Eardley (1921 -1963), one of Scotland's most enduringly popular artists, noted for her portraiture of street children in Glasgow and for her paintings of the fishing village of Catterline; and Scottish science writer and polymath Mary Somerville (1780 -1872), one of the first female members of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Martin Ross, Policy and Projects Manager for HES, said:
“By running this scheme, we are placing a spotlight on the social and human stories behind Scotland’s local and national architecture and the different contributions of those who helped to shape Scotland’s story.
“This latest group of recipients highlights this diversity and ranges from explorers and writers to mathematicians and golfers. We hope that by recognising them in this way it encourages people to find out more about their role in Scotland’s varied and extensive history.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This latest round of plaque recipients celebrates a range people from different walks of life and various periods of Scottish history.
It’s especially encouraging to see a greater representation for women – from astronomer Mary Somerville to artist Joan Eardley, whose powerful paintings transformed Scotland’s everyday surroundings.
“I hope that today’s announcement will lead to a far greater recognition of the contribution each of these remarkable people have made to Scottish society and, in many cases, to the wider world.
“With 2017 being the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, it is particularly important that we celebrate the achievements of some of the most remarkable figures in Scotland’s history and their links with our urban landscape and famous buildings. This scheme helps enhance our rich cultural tradition and diverse built heritage.”
Other recipients of the scheme include pioneers in the fields of engineering, architecture, literature, sport, science, and politics:
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874 – 1922)
Polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration
Location: 14 South Learmonth Gardens, Edinburgh
Charles Glover Barkla (1877 – 1944)
British physicist and Nobel prize winner for Physics in 1917. He was a key experimentalist solidifying our understanding of the quantum world.
Location: Hermitage of Braid Nature Reserve, Braid Road, Edinburgh
Willie Park Snr (1833 – 1903)
One of the most prominent Scottish golfers in the mid-late 1800s, who promoted the development of the game as an open event which came to be known as the ‘Open Championship’. He won the Open four times and was the greatest golfer of his day.
Location: 23 Ravenshaugh Road, Musselburgh
Walter Macfarlane (1817 – 1885)
Local politician and pioneer of pre-fabricated architectural ironwork, who supplied rainwater goods, bandstands, fountains, banking halls and entire railway stations to India and South Africa.
Location: 22 Circus Park, Glasgow.
Margaret (Maggie) McIver nee Russell (1879 – 1958)
The Barras Queen saved money to buy the land for a market to enable the hawkers to sell their goods. Enclosing the market allowed Maggie to build a second floor, which in turn could be used as a ballroom, later becoming a venue for dances, and attracted musicians from all over the world.
Location: 244 Gallowgate, Glasgow
Phyllis Mary Bone (1894 – 1972)
Renowned female sculptor and illustrator, who was the first female Royal Scottish Academy member, contributing to Scotland’s rich sculptural heritage and inspiring women artists in Scotland.
Location: Belford Mews, Dean Village, Edinburgh
Mary Burton (1778 – 1818)
Scottish novelist and writer. Burton holds an important place in the history of Scottish women’s literature, standing alongside her contemporaries Susan Edmonstone Ferrier and Christian Isobel Johnstone in developing a tradition of national domestic fiction in post-Enlightenment Scotland.
Location: The Manse, 1 Greyfriars, Edinburgh
Robert Stevenson (1772 – 1850)
Famous Scottish lighthouse engineer and the grandfather of ‘Treasure Island’ author Robert Louis Stevenson. He devoted himself with determination to follow the profession of a civil engineer, and applied himself to the practice of surveying, and architectural drawing.
Location: 1-3 Baxter’s Place, Edinburgh
Christian Isobel Johnstone (1781 – 1857)
Prolific journalist and author, writing a number of popular fiction and non- fiction works during her lifetime. Mrs Johnstone wished to curate and present stories in a manner that could be received by the working poor, to open up the demographic of the readership and give more people the opportunity to read.
Location: 2 Walker Street, Edinburgh
Mary Somerville (1780 – 1872)
Mathematician, astronomer, one of Scotland’s greatest women scientists. Was hailed by the London Post as ‘The Queen of Nineteenth – Century Science’.
Location: 53 Northumberland St, Edinburgh
Joan Kathleen Harding Eardley (1921 – 1963)
British artist noted for her portraiture of street children in Glasgow and for her landscapes of the fishing village of Catterline and surroundings on the North east coast of Scotland.
Location: 1 South Row Cottage, Catterline
Colonel Sir George Thomas Beatson (1848 – 1933)
Glasgow based surgeon remembered for his significant contribution to the treatment of cancer. He also set up a home nursing service that revolutionised patient care, which demonstrates his characteristic concern for the welfare of his patients.
Location: 7 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow
About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017
2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.
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