The Royal Arch, was a landmark on the Dundee harbour front. It was demolished in 1964 to make way for the Tay Road Bridge, a decision that’s still debated today. Love it or hate it, The Royal Arch made its impression on Dundee, as can be seen from the items produced to celebrate it. The drawing, which is object number 3 in the display case opposite the clock, shows Queen Victoria, with Prince Albert and Princess Victoria, being welcomed to Dundee on the 11th of September, 1844. The Queen and her family visited Dundee en route to Blair Atholl, where they were to be guests of the 6th Duke of Atholl, Lord Glenlyon, at Blair Castle. With only a week’s notice of the Royal visit, Dundee’s Harbour Trustees quickly commissioned a wooden triumphal arch for the entrance to the docks. The arch was designed by harbour engineer James Leslie, and constructed by Dundee cabinetmaker, Alexander Boyd. The arch measured more than 80 feet wide and 84 feet high. You can see the model of this wooden arch, which is object 2 in the case. Queen Victoria was the first ruling monarch to set foot on Dundee soil since the 17th century. The Arch is evidence of the joyful celebrations that took place in honour of her visit. Soon after the Queen’s visit, plans were made for a more permanent memorial. A competition was held to design a stone Royal Arch. Object number 10, is the winning design, submitted by John T Rochead. His Royal Arch was completed by October 1850. Over a century, the stone suffered badly from sooty pollution emitted from mills, factories, shipping, domestic fires and vehicles. The original pale sandstone darkened to black. This was the main reason that the arch was demolished in 1964. When you’re ready to move on, please leave this gallery through the door on your right, and go up to level 1 via the stairs or the lift. On the way, you’ll pass a lightwork called Waldella, Dundee created by the artist David Batchelor.

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The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum

The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum is situated in the centre of Dundee. The Museum and Art Gallery originally known as the Albert Institute was opened in 1867 as a memorial to Prince Albert. In 2005 The McManus closed for a major refurbishment, reopening again on the 28th February 2010. We celebrated our 150th Anniversay in 2017 with a year of celebration. In 2020 we were awarded Visitor Attraction of the Year by Visit Scotland. The McManus has 8 galleries, which are laid out on 2 floors. Visitors can embark on a journey through 400 million years, and witness how a small settlement developed into the City of Dundee as it is today. From exhibits relating to the life of early man in the area, stunning paintings and decorative art through to artefacts from industries past and present, the City's collections, many of which are recognised as being of national significance, give an insight into Dundee and its people.


  • The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum
  • Dundee United Kingdom
  • www.mcmanus.co.uk