Participants in a poll to name Scotland’s most treasured place put Victoria Colliery at the top of the poll. The mine, in Newtongrange, Midlothian, opened in the 1890s and became renowned as one of the first Scottish ‘super-pits’, with a workforce of almost 2,000 at its peak.
Named after the wife of the Marquess of Lothian, it closed in 1981 and now houses the Scottish Mining Museum.
More than 20,000 votes were cast in the vote to select the best of Scotland’s rich heritage as part of the lead up to the centenary of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. In second place came Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art, while the newly restored Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow came sixth, ahead of the Standing Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae, Orkney, and the Rosslyn Chapel (whose enigmatic medieval carvings feature in the Da Vinci Code), in seventh, eighth and nineth place respectively.
Fergus Waters, director of the Scottish Mining Museum, said: ‘There is a very rich seam of coal mining heritage just under the skin of Scotland and this result reflects that and is also a tribute to what the Lady Victoria Colliery represents as the last surviving example of a once vast Scottish industry.'