Vigil for the Scottish Parliament Monument

Vigil for the Scottish Parliament Monument
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Vigil for the Scottish Parliament Monument

A cairn on Edinburgh's Calton Hill, commemorating the vigil for the Scottish Parliament. The vigil continued from the evening of the fourth Conservative general election victory in 1992 for 1980 days, until 11th September 1997, the day Scotland voted for devolution and the restoration of a Scottish Parliament. Symbolically, it was held next to the Royal High School building, at the foot the Calton Hill, which was to be the location of a new Scottish Parliament in the 1970s, and opposite the Scottish Office in St. Andrews House, a UK Government Department which ran Scotland on behalf of an administration based in London. The monument is topped by a brazier, which had become a symbol, having been kept burning throughout the vigil.

A quotation from Hugh MacDiarmid appears at the base of the monument:

For we ha'e faith
in Scotland's hidden poo'ers
The present's theirs
but a' the past and future's oors.

The cairn includes a number of stones brought from afar; namely from Robert Burns' cottage at Mauchline, from Robert the Bruce's castle at Lochmaben, from Ben Nevis, from Paris and from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland in memory of Jane Haining who died there in 1944.

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