Stunning new look proposed for historic Prestonpans War Memorial

A war memorial will be given a window to the sea in council plans to transform its surroundings.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 4:45 pm

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Artist’s impressions of the way the new Prestonpans War Memorial’s town square will be transformed have been lodged by East Lothian Council.

It will see the memorial, which is topped with a sculpture by William Birnie Rhind, given a “noble threshold” and a new view.

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The war memorial as it currently looks
The war memorial as it currently looks

The council’s plans for the square include demolishing an ageing viewing platform which towers over the memorial and creating a picture window and Juliet balcony in the wall behind it, providing visitors with a view of the Firth of Forth and out to sea.

The plans have been lodged with the local authority’s planners, giving a first glimpse of how the new look square, which lies next to part of the John Muir Way, could look.

It shows the current platform, which is reached by metal stairs up the side of a baker’s shop, removed and a new smooth area around the memorial with seating.

The wall, which blocks the view of the water from the memorial, would have a window and balcony built into it to allow people to look out to sea.

How the memorial could look

It would also allow those on the John Muir Way a glimpse of the memorial itself as they walk past.

Prestonpans War Memorial is a B-listed monument which has undergone extensive refurbishment in recent years.

The memorial, which dates back to the 1920s, commemorates local lives lost in the First World War, Second World War and the Spanish Civil War.

Artist's impression of the memorial

It is topped by the evocative figure of a Scots soldier standing with his chin resting on his fist.

Additional plaques are expected to be incorporated into the new-look square which will be funded with grants from the Scottish Government town centre funds, to include fallen heroes who have been identified as not on the memorial itself after years of community research.

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Another image of how the memorial could look

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