With the passage of time, there has been a gradual deterioration in the fabric of the structures and site. As the birthplace of the Saltire is of national significance, the Trustees consider it essential that the issues are addressed quickly and that fresh investment is made in a programme of restoration and renewal. This will allow the story of Scotland’s flag to be presented to the highest standard and brought to a wider audience for generations to come.
The gravel pathways leading to the Memorial and Heritage Centre have become very uneven and rutted over time. The steps which are also uneven and worn present a barrier to people with reduced mobility.
A new resin-bound path will create a smooth and safe path for everyone and make the site easier to access for wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility. Signage guiding people to the viewpoint and flag heritage centre at the back of the kirkyard will also be added along with a new interpretative walkway that will lead people back in time through the history of the saltire.
The setting for the saltire memorial will be enhanced by remodelling the whole area surrounding the monument. This new space will be used to show Scotland's connections across the globe featuring an interpretation of Scotland's links through the Saint Andrew's societies worldwide. New landscaping, engraved paving, benches and new floodlighting will be installed.
To celebrate Athelstaneford’s significance in the story of Scotland, a striking monument was erected in 1965 commemorating the ancient battle and the birthplace of Scotland’s national flag.
The Saltire Memorial consists of a massive concrete plinth within which is a granite plaque depicting the two armies beneath the cross of St Andrew in the sky. Attached is a tall flagpole on which the Saltire flies permanently, floodlit at night.
Overlooking the battle site is a lectern doocot built in 1583 by George Hepburn whose son, Sir John Hepburn, was the founder and first colonel of the Royal Scots. This famous regiment, the First of has used the Saltire as its emblem since the 17th century. In the 1990s the building was restored and converted into an interpretative centre to allow the historical origins of Scotland’s flag to be brought to a wider audience.
The building is category B listed and is described as early and well detailed example of the Lectern Doocot in East Lothian. Will situated and with associated historic interest due to its siting. Rare in being restored with lime render and limewash giving it its original appearance.