Return date pencilled in for iconic Edinburgh whale jawbones in Meadows

The Meadows’ most famous landmark is set to return this summer after a seven-year absence.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 9:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 9:12 pm

The Jawbone Arch, which stood in the park for more than 100 years, was removed in August 2014 for essential restoration work.

The arch, constructed from the upper and lower jawbones of a whale, are now understood the be back in the Capital and awaiting further restorative work.

A City of Edinburgh Council memo, seen by the Evening News, confirmed that the bones are currently “re-acclimatising outdoors” after their £50,000 makeover, and could be ready to return to Jawbone Walk this summer.

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The memo said: “We are planning a mock up in June to test several support structure ideas and then the support structure/mounts will be made.

“Once manufactured, everything will be ready for re-installation.

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“We hope to have the jaw bones back up in the Meadows later in the summer assuming it all goes well.”

The Jawbone Arch, which stood in the park for more than 100 years, was removed in August 2014 for essential restoration work.

The news was met with delight from local Councillor Scott Arthur, who told the Evening News: “A Swanston resident got in touch with me about the jawbones.

“He grew up near them, and has a personal connection as he was born just a few days after the adjacent cherry trees were planted to mark the Queen’s coronation.

“I was delighted to be able to tell him that this much loved local landmark will be back before the end of the year to wow another generation of children."

The Meadows’ most famous landmark is set to return this summer after a seven year absence.

The arch is one of last relics of the enormous International Exhibition of Science and Art which took place in the Meadows in 1886.

The jawbones formed part of the stand of the Shetland and Fair Isle Knitters, and were gifted to the city after the exhibition.

The landmark was removed in 2014 after an assessment suggested the bones had been badly weathered during their century in the Meadows.

The majority of the funding for its restoration was provided jointly by the Council and Edinburgh World Heritage.

Additional support was also pledged from local groups, including the Marchmont and Sciennes Community Council, the Grange Association, Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links - as well as a host of individual donors.

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