Wishart Arch – Dundee, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Wishart Arch

Atop this arch, during the 16th-century, a sermon was given to those suffering from plague. 


Like many cities throughout Britain and mainland Europe, Dundee was once surrounded by a defensive stone barricade. The coastal port of Dundee’s last remaining fortress lies to the east and likely survives today due to its connection to the Scottish Protestant Reformer George Wishart(1513-46).

During the Plague of 1544, the controversial preacher was said to have given a sermon atop the balustrade to the infected, who were quarantined on the other side. A plaque on the wall reads: “During the Plague of 1544 George Wishart Preached from the Parapet of this Port The People standing within the Gate and the Plague stricken lying without in Booths.” The passage is followed by a Bible verse and a date of restoration. 

The wall was initially referred to as the Eastgate, commonly known as the Cowgate, but over time, the name was replaced with Wishart Arch due to the aforementioned connection. Wishart himself was burnt at the stake in St. Andrews, as he was convicted as being a heretic. The rest of the fortress was demolished as retribution for the losses incurred by the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

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January 27, 2022

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