Dundee Law

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Law Dundee.jpg
Law is located in Dundee
Location within the City of Dundee
OS grid referenceNO391313
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDUNDEE
Postcode districtDD1
Dialling code01382
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56°28′11″N 2°59′24″W / 56.469734°N 2.990000°W / 56.469734; -2.990000Coordinates: 56°28′11″N 2°59′24″W / 56.469734°N 2.990000°W / 56.469734; -2.990000

The Law is a hill in the centre of Dundee, Scotland. It is the highest point in central Dundee, and with a large war memorial at its summit it is the most prominent feature on the local skyline.[1]


The Dundee Law, which may take its name from the Gaelic word for mound or, more likely, from Anglo-Saxon hlāw (modern Scots law) meaning a grave-mound, is the remains of a volcanic sill. Lava was forced through fissures in old red sandstone from a volcanic area miles to the west. Actions by subsequent rain, wind and ice movements eroded the sandstone. The glaciers of the ice ages deposited more debris around the base creating a crag and tail. The shallow gradient of the slopes on the north and eastern sides of the law suggest a north easterly movement of ice flows. The hill's summit is over 500 feet above sea level.[2] Despite the derivation of "Law" suggesting it would be tautological to do so, the Law is commonly referred to as the "Law Hill".[3][4]


World Wars I and II Memorial

Archaeological evidence of burials suggest that the law may have been used by human settlers 3500 years ago. During the Iron Age it was the site of a Pictish settlement. Roman pottery has been found on the law, suggesting that the Romans may have used it as a lookout post in the first century. The Law played host to an important event on 13 April 1689: Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart Royal Standard on the Law, which marked the beginning of the first Jacobite rising.

The Law has a tunnel which runs through it. Closed in the 1980s, it used to be used for the railway to Newtyle. In 2014 a campaign was started to reopen it as a tourist attraction.

A war memorial to the fallen in both world wars was constructed atop the summit which was first unveiled on 16 May 1925. In the years 1992 to 1994 the facilities on the summit of the Law were upgraded by Dundee District Council and Scottish Enterprise Tayside with additional funding from the European Commission's regional development fund. The memorial is lit with a large flame at its top on a number of significant days, viz: 25 September (in memory of the Battle of Loos, in which many members of the local Black Watch regiment lost their lives), 24 October (United Nations Day), 11 November (Armistice Day) and Remembrance Sunday


  1. ^ "Dundee Law". Dundee City Council. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey, Explorer 380 map Dundee and Sidlaw Hills
  3. ^ "Dundee Law". The Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Law Hill". Dundee City Council. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  • On site tourist information boards