“The Musselburgh Archer” is one of two art projects funded in Musselburgh by the supermarket chain, Tesco. The other is the shiny mussel titled “Memory and Reflection.” The art installations were the result of a deal brokered between the town and Tesco. In exchange for putting funding toward the artwork, Tesco was allowed to establish new facilities around Musselburgh.
The statue itself was designed by Svetlana Kondakova and Maja Quille, two Edinburgh College of Art graduates who settled on the figure to represent several key periods of Musselburgh history. First, the archer represents the Roman occupation of the area during the year 80. It’s also symbolic of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh that took place in 1547, and lastly, it represents the Musselburgh Silver Arrow competition and trophy.
The centuries-old competition designed for archers began in 1603 and still continues to this day. The trophy for the contest is thought to be one of the world’s oldest.
The statue anchors a trail of 15 oversized silver arrows spread across Musselburgh and the surrounding area. They were all placed at historically significant locations to showcase the history of Musselburgh. The statue can be found by the River Esk, wearing only a Roman-style pteruges and lacking both bow and arrows. The archer’s position and pose is mostly symbolic. Each arrow is engraved with a “wish” for the future of the town.
Know Before You Go
As it's located in a public park, the statue can be seen anytime.