A PETITION calling for a change to the “deeply offensive” name of the cafe at Edinburgh Castle has gathered hundreds of signatures.

More than 1100 people have so far put their name to calls for Historic Environment Scotland to rename the “Redcoat Cafe” at the castle in the Scottish capital.

Controversy around the name came to fresh public prominence after Edinburgh Castle announced on social media that a renovation of the cafe had been completed.

“We are happy to welcome you all back to our newly refurbished Redcoat cafe,” the castle’s official account wrote. “If you are visiting us over the weekend, pop in for a warm beverage or even a tasty slice of cake.”

A backlash at the name of the cafe saw SNP MP Douglas Chapman call for a “swift rebrand”.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil noted that “redcoats hanged innocent civilians in my part of the world,” adding: “The ‘Redcoats Cafe’ is useful stupidly – a new generation will within a month know all about the Butcher Duke of Cumberland.”

Alba general secretary Chris McEleny had expressed concern about the name of the cafe in the summer of 2023, as he also questioned the appropriateness of a display of Nazi artefacts from the Second World War.

READ MORE: Let’s tell the truth about the Butcher of Cumberland

The Redcoat cafe is named after the red-uniformed British troops who fought against the Jacobites in Scotland, against US succession in North America, and were involved in colonisation across the globe. They counted a number of Scots among their ranks.

The petition calling for the name to be changed states: “As concerned citizens and patrons of this historic landmark, we believe that the current name of the cafe is deeply offensive to the Scottish people and perpetuates a painful legacy associated with the oppression of our nation.

“The name ‘Redcoat Cafe’ glorifies and honours the Red Coats, the British soldiers who played a significant role in subjugating Scotland and suppressing its people during periods of history marked by conflict and strife. These soldiers were responsible for carrying out brutal acts of violence and repression against the Scottish population, leaving scars that still resonate within our collective memory today.”

The Change.org petition claims that the cafe’s name “inadvertently celebrates and legitimises the actions of an occupying force that inflicted suffering and hardship upon the Scottish people”.

The petition says that renaming the cafe would not be “merely a symbolic gesture but a necessary step towards acknowledging and rectifying the injustices of the past”.

It adds: “We propose that the new name of the cafe be chosen through a collaborative process involving input from members of the Scottish community, historians, cultural experts, and other stakeholders. This approach will ensure that the new name reflects the spirit and character of Edinburgh Castle while honouring the resilience and dignity of the Scottish people.”

Responding to the controversy, a spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said that the names of both the Redcoat cafe and the Jacobite function room would be reviewed.

They said: “We are aware of the comments on social media on both sides of the debate about the name of the café at Edinburgh Castle.

“The name has been in place since 1992 and reflects the military history which is told throughout the castle, however the way we interpret history is constantly evolving.

“As part of our future plans for Edinburgh Castle, the names of both the Redcoat Café and Jacobite function room will now be reviewed.”