College features in Arch booklet

Release Date: 2 June 2016

D&A College features in a newly-published booklet offering a concise history of Dundee’s Royal Arch written by leading local history expert Dr Jeannie Cooper.

Arch booklet article
Dundee College Principal Grant Ritchie with a copy of the Royal Arch booklet, written by Jeannie Cooper.

Jeannie is a member of the field division of the Abertay Historical Society and last year, along with fellow volunteers, Christine Donald and Catherine Smith, visited D&A College Kingsway Campus to record two large carved stones, reputedly from the Royal Arch.

The team were alerted to the presence of the stones after articles appeared in ‘The Courier’ and ‘Evening Telegraph’ relating the story of the college’s claim to have had not one but three carved pieces from the arch doted about the campus since the 1960s.

By last year, however, this had been reduced to two stones at college with the third having been incorporated into a water feature in a show garden at Childrens’ Hospice Association Scotland’s Robin House in Ballock, near Loch Lomond.

The show garden was created by staff and students of the college’s horticulture unit.

Jeannie and her fellow field division team members were able to identify the stones as being from the demolition of the arch which took place in 1964 – the year that the Kingsway Campus was opened to students.

Their findings are included in the 20-page free booklet which Jeannie hopes is a precursor to a much larger volume to be published in future.

Another link between the college and the arch was forged when students on the HND architecture technology and building courses took part in the ‘The People’s Tower; Dundee Royal Arch’, when enthusiasts recreated the Royal Arch in cardboard in the newly-created Mary Slessor Gardens, close to its original riverside location.

“While we at D&A College take pride in being a modern, forward-looking establishment, continuously updating our resources and maintaining cutting-edge facilities, it is nice to have historic links of this sort,” said Grant Ritchie.