Skip to content


Point K - Extra stop – Tree of Liberty

Walking Route Instructions: Walk up Perth Road to the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art buildings. The Tree of Liberty can be found between the two buildings.

The “Tree of Liberty” has an interesting and turbulent history and links to the French Revolution and the fight for democracy. A fir tree had been planted in the High Street by a group who claimed it as a Tree of Liberty. It was removed but word had spread and a large mob gathered and replanted a tree which had been taken from where you are now standing and was planted at the Market Cross. On the Sunday 25th November, over a week after the original tree had been planted, Provost Riddoch ordered the tree to be removed and is said to have thrown it in jail – the only known instance of a tree being imprisoned! However on the Monday it was returned to its original home and from then onwards was decorated on special occasions and remained as a landmark until 1930 when it had to be removed for road widening works. A table was made from the trunk and is now in the McManus galleries and museum.

Tree of Liberty plaque – photo : J. Wilson
The Tree of Liberty at Duncan of Jordanstone buildings – Photo J. Wilson
Plaque – Photo J. Wilson

Several replacement trees have been established over the years to keep the tradition alive and the young ash tree in front of the plaque here is the new Tree of Liberty.

To read more about this period of history you might like: How Radical a Town? Dundee and the French Revolution – Edinburgh Scholarship (


Herald Scotland article which mentions the Tree of Liberty in the wider picture of what was happening at the time.

Walking Route Instructions: We hope you have enjoyed this little tour of some of Dundee’s European links. Dundee has so much to explore. We would love to hear how you got on and any suggestions you might have for other stops we should feature.