'The Fishermen's Monument' – Dunbar, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

'The Fishermen's Monument'

This 19th-century monument served an important purpose for fishermen thanks to its built-in barometer. 


A barometer is commonly used to measure changes in the air pressure that are often predictors of inclement weather. For centuries, they have been life-saving tools for sailors and fishermen. So it’s only fitting that this 1856 monument dedicated to Scotland’s fishermen, originally included one of the most critical tools for seafarers. 

The monument was funded by a local businessman by the name of William Brodie. The monument is comprised of carved ashlar with sculpted Carrera marble panels. The carvings feature various aspects of marine life and fishing scenes. The marble designed by A. H. Richie depicts a scene of a fisherman’s wife warning her husband not to venture out onto the seas as she points to the barometer. A plaque underneath the barometer features a quote by John Ewen, a 17th-century theologian. 

The marble panel on the monument had to be re-carved entirely due to erosion from the salty sea air. This took place in 1996 as part of the Dunbar Initiative Project and the delicate carving was made by Michelle De Bruin. A second restoration took place in 2012, although the original Adie and Sons barometer is missing from the monument.

Know Before You Go

Located on a public section of Dunbar's Victoria Harbour, the monument is visible at all times.

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