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Chapter 22. - Architecture—{d) Municipal

Montrose, which, in spite of its “gable-endies,” has often been regarded as the most inviting in appearance of the towns of Forfarshire, has some fine public buildings. Its broad High Street is certainly one of the handsomest thoroughfares in the county. Projecting into the street is the town-hall, a large building of four storeys with arcade below and balustrade above, and decorated in front with the armorial bearings of the burgh. Other noteworthy buildings are the Museum and the Academy. Two fine public statues are those of Peel and Joseph Hume, M.P.

Arbroath possesses examples of fine architecture in its Town-hall, Trades-hall, and Guild-hall. In Brechin the new Municipal Buildings, erected 1894-5, which contain the council chambers and court room, are an elegant pile; and the Mechanics’ Literary and Scientific Institute has long been regarded as the finest specimen of architecture in the city. The gift to the community of Lord Panmure, this handsome Tudor edifice is adorned with a finely proportioned central tower 80 feet high, and a castellated parapet ornamented with pinnacles.

Forfar, the county town, has some good public buildings, of which may be specially mentioned the new County Buildings, the Town-hall, the Reid Hall, and the Town Cross, an octagonal turret which marks the site of the ancient castle.

Apart from the Old Steeple, the ancient buildings of Dundee, mostly town residences of the county nobility, are fast disappearing. One interesting relic of the past, renovated in 1877, remains in the Cowgate Arch, from which, during the plague in 1544, George Wishart is said to have preached to the stricken inhabitants. Over the Howff, or ancient burying-ground of the city, Dundonians keep jealous watch lest its crumbling wall and interesting old-world monuments fall a prey to the modern improver. In its immediate vicinity are the handsome Post Office and the newly-opened Reading Room, a particularly graceful building. Hard by in Albert Square are the High School, with a fine Doric portico, the ornate and costly Girls’ High School, and the Albert Institute, a Gothic building. Adjoining this is the Royal Exchange and the new Technical College. The west central part of the city possesses the handsome group of buildings that form University College, an affiliated college of St Andrews University. The Town House (1743), a venerable building with a fine spire 140 feet high, is far from adequate to modern requirements.

The Court House, like some other public buildings in Dundee, suffers from its site and surroundings. Of the other schools the fine edifice of Morgan Academy is noteworthy. The Royal Arch commemorates the visit to Dundee of Queen Victoria in 1844. An interesting relic of the past is the ancient Town Cross, a slender stone shaft surmounted by a unicorn bearing a shield with the Scottish lion between its fore feet.

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