Historic Montrose Royal Arch plaque to be restored

The Royal Arch plaque
The Royal Arch plaque

Progress is being made in preparing to restore the Royal Arch plaque, an historic and curious feature in Montrose High Street.

On Friday (July 31), the fragile and crumbling wooden plaque, which sat above the Royal Arch bar, was removed by the Montrose Society, who are coordinating an exercise to restore it to its former glory.

Sandy Munro, society president, told the Review: “The immediate priority is to save it from further deterioration, and to conduct a full assessment with restoration and conservation experts about the steps required to secure its future.

“Angus Council and the property owners have been fully informed.”

The figures on the plaque are an enigma; there are two aproned masons, a seated woman with two children and a savage wielding a club.

They are flanked by four angelic figures who each hold a different symbol.

It has graced the High Street since the beginning of the 18th century and attracts visitors from France and beyond.

The ornate carved curiosity was made in France and erected in its current position by the captains of French sailing ships.

French sailors arriving in Montrose at the time were Freemasons and they used to meet in the building which was then a coffee house.

One hundred years later the premises became a public house but the owners kept the sign and called the pub the Royal Arch.

Any information that members of the public may have on its history and interpretation would be most appreciated to complete the picture and explain its significance.

One certainty is that there will be substantial costs involved in restoring it, the extent of which will depend on the course of action recommended and adopted.

If you have any info about it please get in touch by emailing angus.south.news@jpress.co.uk.