The Great Polish Map of Scotland

This is one of the Most Outstanding sights in Scotland. If you ever get the chance to visit then we say Do It

The Great Polish Map of Scotland is a large (50 m x 40 m) three-dimensional outdoor concrete scale model of Scotland located in the grounds of the Barony Castle Hotel outside the village of Eddleston near Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

 It is also known as the Mapa Scotland (derived from Polish mapa Szkocji) or the Barony MapThe brainchild of Polish war veteran Jan Tomasik it was built between 1974 and 1979 and is claimed to be the world's largest terrain relief modelThe sculpture is a category B listed building and is being restored by a group calling itself Mapa ScotlandBlack Barony's connection with Polish Forces during the Second World War dates from early 1942 when the hotel established in 1926 was requisitioned for use as the main Staff College for training Polish officers in ScotlandAfter the Fall of France in May 1940 the Polish Army in Scotland was reorganised as the 1st Polish Corps and entrusted by the War Office with the defence of a long stretch of the country's east coast between Arbroath and Burntisland on the Firth of Forth against a possible invasion from German-occupied NorwayThe Poles strengthened existing defences by installing anti-tank obstacles building pill boxes and patrolling the coastline in armoured trains. In early 1942 they gave up responsibility for Angus taking over instead the defences of East Lothian
Following the formation of the 1st Polish Armoured Division in February 1942 Polish troops under the command of General Stanis?aw Maczek trained in Perthshire East Lothian Berwickshire and East Anglia before taking part in the Normandy landings of 1944. Many settled in Britain particularly in Scotland after the WarThe large concrete map of Scotland was the idea of Jan Tomasik a sergeant in the 1st Armoured Division who during the war had been stationed in Galashiels about 14 miles (22 km) from the castle. He bought the hotel at Black Barony in 1968In the early 1960s finding his old wartime commander like all Polish veterans denied a war pension as a non-UK citizen Tomasik employed Maczek in various jobs including barman in his Edinburgh hotelA friendship developed between the two men and in the 1970s Tomasik provided a room for Maczek to enjoy summer breaks with his family in his newly refurbished hotel at Barony Castle


This has led to speculation that Maczek with his tank commander's interest in topography may have had some input into the map though that has never been established on the basis of evidenceThe precise reasons why Tomasik created the map are unclear. It is known that Polish soldiers created an outline map of Poland on the ground at Douglas in Lanarkshire in 1940 in the very camp where Tomasik was stationed after arriving in BritainIt is also known that he was fascinated by a large scale-model map of Belgium which he saw at the Brussels World's Fair of 1958 on his way to visit relations in Poland. This map appears to have been the direct inspiration for the map at Barony Castle though it is also possible that the wartime model may have been an influenceTomasik seems to have regarded the Barony map primarily as an added attraction for his hotel guests expecting it also to draw sightseers. However he is also on record as having said to hotel patrons that he wanted to show the country the Poles had defended during the war and was planning to invite George VI's consort Queen Elizabeth to open the map officially. He told them that the map was to be his legacy describing it as "a gift to the Scottish people" for the hospitality the Scots had shown the Poles during the war years. Tomasik died in 1991His Legacy Lives on in such a stunning way