The Rose Window

A unique feature of Balgay Park is the Rose Window. Normally seen in a church, the Balgay Rose Window has a fascinating history.  Our Rose Window, or rather its stone skeleton is embedded in the earth on the southern side of Balgay Hill.

To view the location of the Rose Window on the map, click here.

History of the Rose Window

Over a hundred and seventy years ago the Rose Window stood proud in the Church of St Mary, one of the three churches in the centre of Dundee, where it had stood for hundreds of years.  Sadly, early in the morning of the first Sunday in January 1841 a disastrous fire broke out in the boiler room of the churches.  The fire swiftly got out of control and it was soon evident that the churches were doomed.  Contemporary accounts describe how the Rose Window, its glass already gone, succumbed to the flames and crashed down to the ground below.   Only St Mary’s Tower was saved that day, though some pieces of the original structure remained.

When it was decided to rebuild a single replacement church, the question arose as to what should happen to the remains of the stone work. At a meeting of the Council in August 1873 it was decided that, apart from certain sculptured stones, at present lodged for preservation in the Tower, the other old stones, presumably including the Rose Window, should be given to the Recreation Committee to be placed in Balgay Park. Thus, it came about that our Park proudly owns a Rose Window.  It is unlikely that we shall ever know who had the inspired idea – for inspired it was - of reconstructing the Window and embedding it in the earth on the south side of Balgay Hill. There, however, it has lain for almost 140 years, a feature of interest and delight to visitors to the Park.