Dundee Landmarks and Monuments

(Dundee, Scotland, UK)

Law Hill viewNot taking into account the dearth of heritage sites in Dundee relating to the city's earlier medieval history, there are still many landmarks which celebrate those long-lost years in other ways. The one remaining medieval structure is St. Mary's Tower, set on a Roman lookout point and an important monument to the past.

Many millennia older is Law Hill, the wind-sculptured basalt plug of a long-dead volcano and the highest point in the city. Dundee's ancient Howff Burial Ground cemetery holds burial sites from as early as the 1600s, with the inscriptions on these and the 18th- and 19th-century trade guild members' mausoleums making for fascinating reading. Further prominent city landmarks include the centrally located City Square, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral and the Mills Observatory.

Law Hill Memorial photo

Law Hill

Address: Law Hill, Dundee, Scotland, UK
The best way to see Dundee from above is by taking a trip to the top of Law Hill, the eroded lava plug of an ancient volcano. Law Hill is set in the centre of the city and boasts spectacular views across the cityscape, the Tay Estuary, the Tay Rail Bridge, the Tay Road Bridge and the North Sea. At 174 metres / 571 feet, this hill is the highest point in the city, whilst also being home to a war memorial and the former site of an ancient Pictish settlement. Law Hill may be a tiring uphill walk, but is well worth the effort.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

City Square picture

City Square

Address: City Square, Dundee, Scotland, UK
The bustling heart of Dundee is its city square, now a pedestrianised zone. Along one side lies the impressive colonnaded Victorian City Hall and the City Chambers, which is housed within the Caird Hall. A number of attractions are based both in and around the City Square, including a statue of comic character Desperate Dan from 'The Dandy', published here since the 1930s. The main shopping area begins here, with the traffic-free High Street leading in a westerly direction towards the Nethergate area. This square is now a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

Address: 1 High Street, Castlehill, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 01382 224 486
The imposing St. Paul's Cathedral of Dundee was built on the orders of Sir George Gilbert Scott and dates from 1853. Its main feature is its magnificent 64-metre / 210-foot tall towering spire, which is clearly visible from all over the city. Now a listed building and consecrated as a cathedral in 1905, St. Paul's stands close to the Caird Hall, the City Council and the Forum Shopping Centre. The interior holds a reredos (an oriental screen covering the back of the altar) by the famed Venetian craftsman, Salvati.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

St. Mary's Church and Tower picture

St. Mary's Church and Tower

Address: Nethergate, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 01382 226 271
Located just off Crichton Street and Whitehall Street, the late 15th-century Gothic St. Mary's Tower is the only surviving remnant of Dundee's striking medieval past, and even this 49-metre / 160-foot tall structure had to be rebuilt after bomb damage in WWII. Near to the Overgate Shopping Centre and built on the site of a 12th-century church, St. Mary's really is hard to miss, with the tower serving as a reminder of the city's past glories and its many conflicts. Once used as a prison and watchtower, this ancient stone structure is both a belfry with eight bells and a clock tower.
Open hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - 10:00 to 12:00
Admission: free, donations welcomed

Mills Observatory photograph

Mills Observatory

Address: West Lodge, Glamis Road, Balgay Park, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 01382 435 967
Set on Balgay Hill and built in the 1930s, this public observatory is the only one of its kind in the whole of Scotland. The moon and stars of the Scottish sky come alive here, with the Mills Observatory being both a popular place to visit as well as a Dundee landmark. The resident planetarium gives a close-up view of the night sky over the city and offers an overview of the solar system, with the dome interestingly being made from nothing more than papier mache.
Open hours: April to September, Tuesday to Friday - 11:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 12:30 to 16:00; October to March, Monday to Friday -16:00 to 22:00, Saturday and Sunday - 12:30 to 16:00
Admission: free, charge for planetarium shows

Black Watch Memorial

Address: Dundee, Scotland, UK
The famous Scots Black Watch Battalion is known as 'Dundee's Own' and is a memorial to its members killed in conflicts across the world, lying approximately 3 km / 2 miles from the centre of the city. The Black Watch Memorial is in the form of a young soldier in full regimental uniform looking down over the cityscape below. Names of the dead are poignantly inscribed on a prominent plaque.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Image showing the Howff Burial Ground

Howff Burial Ground

Address: Meadowside, Dundee, Scotland, UK
This eerie ancient cemetery sits on land granted to Dundee by Mary Queen of Scots. A few of the headstones date back to the 17th century and the spectacular Victorian monuments to members of the city's trade guilds and Masonic lodges have magnificent decorative carvings. The cemetery was closed to further burials early in the last century and although not the most obvious attraction, it does make for an interesting visit if you are in the Meadowside area.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free