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Coordinates: 56°33′41″N 2°35′09″W / 56.561385°N 2.585705°W / 56.561385; -02.585705

Scottish Gaelic: Obair Bhrothaig
Scots: Aiberbrothock
Arbroath Wide Angle Panorama.jpg
Arbroath from the south
Arbroath is located in Scotland

 Arbroath shown within Scotland
Population 22,785 (2001 census)
est. 22,140(2006)[1]
OS grid reference NO641412
    - Edinburgh  45 mi (72 km) SSW 
    - London  371 mi (597 km) SSE 
Council area Angus
Lieutenancy area Angus
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ARBROATH
Postcode district DD11
Dialling code 01241
Police Tayside
Fire Tayside
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Angus
Scottish Parliament Angus
North East Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Arbroath or Aberbrothock (Scottish Gaelic: Obair Bhrothaig) is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 22,785.[1] It lies on the North Sea coast, around 16 miles (25.7 km) ENE of Dundee and 45 miles (72.4 km) SSW of Aberdeen.

While there is evidence for settlement of the area now occupied by the town that dates back to the Iron Age, Arbroath's history as a town begins in the High Middle Ages with the founding of Arbroath Abbey in 1178. Arbroath grew considerably during the Industrial Revolution owing to the expansion of firstly the flax and secondly the jute industries and the engineering sector. A new harbour was built in 1839 and by the 1900s, Arbroath had become one of the larger fishing ports in Scotland.

The town is notable as the home of the Declaration of Arbroath, as well as the Arbroath Smokie.[2]





The earliest recorded name for the town was 'Aberbrothock', a reference to the Brothock Burn which runs through the town, the prefix 'Aber' coming either from the Gaelic 'Obair',[3] or the earlier Brythonic Pictish 'Aber' for 'river mouth'.[4] The name 'Aberbrothock' can be found in numerous spelling variations. In the earliest manuscripts available, it is seen as 'Abirbrothoke' (in the letter to Edward I confirming the Treaty of Salisbury, which agreed that the Queen regnant, Margaret, Maid of Norway would marry Edward I[5]) and 'Aberbrothok' (in the subsequent letter giving consent for the marriage[6]). In the Declaration of Arbroath, it is seen as 'Abirbrothoc'.[7] Early maps show a number of variants including Aberbrothock,[8][9] Aberbrothik,[10] Aberbrothick,[11][12] and Aberbrothwick.[13]

The modern name 'Arbroath' became more common in the mid-nineteenth century,[12] with the older name being largely dispensed with by the time of the first edition of the Ordnance Survey Maps.[14] However, variants of 'Arbroath' had been used since the seventeenth century, including 'Arbroth'[15] and Aberbreth.[16]

Early history

The Drosten Stone.

The area around Arbroath has been occupied since at least the Neolithic period. Material taken from postholes from an enclosure at Douglasmuir, near Friockheim, about 5 miles north of Arbroath have been radiocarbon dated to around 3500 BC. The function of the enclosure is unknown, but may have been for agriculture or for ceremonial purposes.[17]

Bronze age archaeology is to be found in abundance in the surrounding area. Examples include the short-cist burials found near West Newbigging, about a mile to the North of the town. These burials included pottery urns, a pair of silver discs and a gold armlet.[18] Iron Age archaeology is also well represented, for example in the souterrain nearby Warddykes cemetery[19] and at West Grange of Conan,[20] as well as the better known examples at Carlungie and Ardestie.

The area appears to have been of some importance in the early Christian period, as evidenced by the Pictish stone carvings found during the restoration of St Vigeans church, and now housed in the small museum there. The stones had been used in the building of the old church and, unfortunately, many been badly damaged. One of the stones, the ninth century Drosten Stone, has the distinction of being one of the few Pictish artefacts to have an inscription in Latin text: 'DROSTEN: IREUORET [E]TTFOR CUS', which has been interpreted in various ways, but it is thought that the second line refers to the Pictish King Uurad, who reigned between 839 and 842 AD.[21]

Medieval History

The ruined Arbroath Abbey, built from local red sandstone.

The first modern development in Arbroath was the Abbey, founded by King William the Lion in 1178 for monks of the Tironensian order from Kelso Abbey. It received consecration in 1197 with a dedication to Saint Thomas Becket. It was the King's only personal foundation, and he was buried within its precincts in 1214. The Abbey was not finally completed until 1233.[22]

Arbroath was the location of the Battle of Arbroath in 1446. A series of disagreements between the Chief Justiciary of Arbroath, Alexander Lindsay, third Earl of Crawford, and Bishop James Kennedy of St Andrews resulted in Lindsay sacking the bishop's lands and burning his properties. Lindsay was excommunicated for his troubles and it was felt that this was incompatible with his role as Chief Justiciary. The monks of Arbroath Abbey selected Alexander Ogilvy of Inverquharity as his replacement and the insult led to pitched battle in the town, leaving 500 dead, including Lindsay and Ogilvy. Large parts of the town were destroyed in the aftermath by the Lindsay family.[23]

The Abbey relatively quickly fell into disuse and eventual disrepair after its dissolution at the Reformation, the lead from the roof rumoured to have been used in the 16th century civil wars and the stonework plundered for housebuilding throughout the town. The ruins were a popular site for travellers during the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally in 1815 the remains were taken into the care of the State for preservation. The remains are now administered by Historic Scotland.[2]

On 6 April 1320 the Scottish Parliament met at Arbroath Abbey and addressed to the Pope the Declaration of Arbroath, drafted by the Abbot of the time, Bernard. This document detailed the services which their "lord and sovereign" Robert the Bruce had rendered to Scotland, and affirmed in eloquent terms the independence of the Scots.[7]

Modern history

During the industrial revolution, Arbroath's economy expanded and the population of the town expanded, with new housing having to be constructed to house the influx of workers. Arbroath became moderately well known for jute and sailcloth production, with 34 mills employing 1400 looms and producing over one million yards of osnaburg cloth and 450,000 yards of sailcloth in 1875. Arbroath is believed to be the source of the sails used on the Cutty Sark.[24] In 1867, the mills in Arbroath employed 4620 people.[25] Arbroath was also prominent in the manufacture of shoes and lawnmowers; local firm Alexander Shanks supplied mowers to the Old Course at St Andrews and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.[2][26][27]

Arbroath today is mostly known for its connection with the Scottish fishing industry. After the original harbours, dating from the 14th and 18th centuries, were replaced in 1839 with a larger harbour, the local council tried to find fishermen who would be interested in migrating to Arbroath in order to take advantage of the new facilities offered. The town council contacted fishermen in nearby Auchmithie and further afield, including Shetland. The fishing industry grew and at its peak years between 1900 and 1980, around 40 whitefish and pelagic vessels worked from Arbroath, with hundreds of men employed directly as fishermen, hundreds more employed ashore to service the fishing vessels and to process the fish. Quota cuts and decommissioning took its toll on the fishing industry throughout Scotland from the 1980s to present. Today, Arbroath remains a designated whitefish landing port, and although no fish auction takes place, the fishmarket remains open and is used for landing shellfish.[28] There is now only one large fishing vessel operating regularly from Arbroath, and a further three Arbroath owned vessels operating from Aberdeen and ports further north. The fish processing sector remains one of the largest employers in the town however, but fish for processing now comes from Aberdeen, Peterhead and occasionally from Iceland, Norway and Ireland.[2][29][30]


The Royal Burgh of Arbroath's Coat of Arms

Arbroath was made a royal burgh in 1178 by King William the Lion at the same time as the Abbey was established. The burgh of regality permitted the monks to hold a weekly market, dispense basic justice and to establish a harbour. In 1559, the town's burgh of regality was reconfirmed in 1559 by King James VI of Scotland. A provost and a town council were appointed and it was at this point Aberbrothock became a fully fledged royal burgh.[2]

Arbroath was controlled by Arbroath Town Council from the time of King James VI through to 1975, when Arbroath (and the county of Angus) were amalgamated with the counties of Perthshire and Dundee City into Tayside, under the control of Tayside Regional Council. Angus, together with Dundee City and Perth & Kinross were re-established following reorganisation under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994.[31]

Local government

Arbroath is a constituent town of Angus, one of 32 council areas of Scotland. Prior to the 2006 boundary changes, Arbroath was represented by seven councillors, each in turn representing one individual ward. Councillors were elected using a first past the post system. Following the boundary changes in 2006, the seven wards were amalgamated into two large wards (Arbroath West & Letham and Arbroath East & Lunan) with each ward now returning four councillors, voting takes place using the Single Transferable Vote system. The 3 May 2007 elections were the first in which the new voting system was used to elect councillors for the new wards. The Scottish National Party lost four councillors and the remaining parties formed a coalition called the "Angus Alliance" in order to take over as the ruling party of Angus Council.[32][33]

Angus Council Election Result 2007
Party Seats Gains Losses Net Gain/Loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/-
  SNP 13 N/A* N/A* -4 N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*
  Independent 6 N/A* N/A* 0 N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*
  Conservative 5 N/A* N/A* +3 N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*
  Liberal Democrats 3 N/A* N/A* 0 N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*
  Labour 2 N/A* N/A* +1 N/A* N/A* N/A* N/A*

* Because of the changes in boundaries and amalgamation of wards across Angus, it is not possible to accurately tell which seats were won or lost by the respective parties, or to accurately calculate percentage differences in voting and turnout.

Arbroath is represented by three Scottish National Party councillors, two Independent councillors, two Conservative councillors and one Liberal Democrat councillor, one Independent councillor, both Conservative councillors and the one Liberal Democrat councillor are members of the ruling Angus Alliance, whilst the one remaining Independent councillor has no political affiliation. The three SNP councillors and the remaining Independent councillor have no official function within the council, other than to represent their constituents' interests.

Parliamentary representation

For elections to the House of Commons, Arbroath forms part of the Angus constituency, presently represented by Michael Weir (SNP) who held the seat with a small majority of 1200 votes (4.2%) at the 2005 General Election.[34] In the Scottish Parliament, Arbroath forms part of the Angus Scottish Parliamentary constituency, represented by Andrew Welsh (SNP). Arbroath also forms part of the North East Scotland electoral region and is represented by seven members of the Scottish Parliament who are elected through a Single Transferable Vote system from votes placed in the individual constituencies which make up the North East Scotland electoral region. The representatives for the Angus UK and Angus Scottish Parliament constituencies are elected through a first past the post system.[35]


At 56°33′31″N 02°34′58″W / 56.55861°N 2.58278°W / 56.55861; -2.58278, Arbroath is located on the North Sea coast in eastern Scotland 17 miles (27 km) northeast of Dundee, within the Angus region. Geologically, Arbroath sits predominantly on Old Red Sandstone. Lower-lying parts of the town were below sea level during and immediately after the last ice age.[36]

Arbroath is located 98 miles (158 km) northeast of Glasgow, 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Aberdeen and 77 miles (124 km) from Edinburgh. The neighbouring villages of St Vigeans, Carmyllie, Friockheim, Colliston and Inverkeilor are considered part of Arbroath for the purposes of council representation, and together with Carnoustie, share the 01241 telephone area code with Arbroath.

Panorama of Arbroath Cliffs in winter.


Residents of Arbroath are called Arbroathians[37] but often refer to themselves as Red Lichties[38] after the flame that burned to aid shipping, from the still remaining, Roond O tower of Arbroath Abbey.

At the 2001 census, the population of Arbroath was 22,785. Approximately 88.9% were born in Scotland, while 97.7% were born in the United Kingdom as a whole. Most Arbroath residents are between 16 and 65, with 19.8% under 16, 59.5% between 16 and 65 with those over 65 making up 20.7% of the population. There are 47.1% males to 52.9% females.[1]

Arbroath has a moderate rate of unemployment - around 2.7% of the population are claiming unemployment-related social welfare benefits.[39]


Arbroath has no sizeable employers outside of the public sector, with most workers commuting to Dundee.[40] Arbroath itself has an economically active population of 9,192 people, with the public sector (21.8%) the largest employer of Arbroath residents closely followed by the manufacturing (16%) and retail sector (15.4%). The fishing industry accounts for 0.4% (fewer than 50 people) although the processing sector is considered separately under manufacturing and the figure of 50 people relates directly to the catching and support sectors.[41][42]


Arbroath's prospects originally revolved around the harbour. The original harbour was constructed and maintained by the abbot within the terms of an agreement between the burgesses and John Gedy, the abbot in 1394 AD.[2] This gave way to a more commodious port in 1725,[2] which in turn was enlarged and improved in 1839, when the sea wall, quay walls and breakwater were added to the old inner harbour, at a cost of £58,000.[43] Arbroath became a major port for the coastal shipping trade and in 1846, there were 89 Arbroath registered vessels, totalling 9100 gross tons. In the same year, 599 vessels docked at Arbroath, 56 from foreign ports (mainly Baltic ports) with the remaining 543 employed on the coastal trade. Bark, flax, hemp, hides, oak, and fir timber, and guano for manure, groceries from London, and numerous articles of Baltic produce were imported via Arbroath, with manufactured goods (mainly sailcloth) exported via Arbroath.[27]

View of Arbroath Harbour.

Driven by the needs of the fishing and commercial sailing industry, in 1795 Arbroath-based sail maker Francis Webster Ltd had perfected the art of adding Linseed oil to flax sails, creating an oiled flax.[44] This developed in the late-1800s into waxed cotton, which drove Arbroath as a manufacturing centre, until the early 1970s manufacturing began to decline. A major employer, Keith & Blackman, closed in 1985 and Giddings and Lewis-Fraser wound down its operations at about the same time, with the entire plant eventually demolished to make way for a Safeway (now Morrisons) supermarket.[45][46] Alps Electric Co. was a large employer in Arbroath from 1990 to 2001, employing 180 staff. Following the closure of the plant, all 180 staff were made redundant


Arbroath is home to 45 Commando of the Royal Marines, who have been based at RM Condor since 1971. The barracks were originally built in 1940 and commissioned as RNAS Arbroath / HMS Condor, a Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) until 1971. The Royal Marines moved to Arbroath in 1971 and remain a major contributor to the local economy, in addition to the Marines stationed at Arbroath, around 600 residents employed by the Ministry of Defence.[42] The Royal Marines from 45 Commando were recently engaged on operations in Afghanistan and have deployed in support of operations in Iraq and the Falklands War.[47] In 2004, there was speculation that RM CONDOR would be transferred to the Army as a replacement for Fort George and that the barracks would become a permanent base for a battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. These plans never went beyond the planning stage and in 2005 it was confirmed the Royal Marines would remain based at the site.[48]


House Prices in Arbroath are very close to the national average and in April-June 2006 were £99 below the national average, local prices averaging £113,646 compared to the national average of £113,745.[49] The average house price across Angus has risen by 14.9% in the past year (to November 2006) and now stands at £124,451.[50] Angus Council suggests the recent upgrading of the A92 between Arbroath and Dundee to dual carriageway has lured Dundonians to Arbroath and this may be driving up house prices.[51]


Tourism plays some part in the Arbroath economy, with Arbroath Abbey attracting over 14,000 visitors each year.[52] Attractions during the summer months include the Seafront Spectacular, which includes an airshow, and the Seafest which is themed around Arbroath's maritime heritage. There is also a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath (the declaration of Scottish independence) and in past years there has been a mock Viking invasion culminating in the burning of a longship.[53]

Arbroath is home to Kerr's Miniature Railway, the oldest miniature railway in Scotland, which has been operating since 1935 and which at its height, in 1955, saw 60,000 visitors. Today, the railway is operated as a hobby by a group of volunteers and remains popular with locals, tourists and railway enthusiasts.[54]


Arbroath is served by the A92 road which connects the city to Dundee and Fife to the south west, and Stonehaven in the north east. The A92 joins the A90 north of Stonehaven and leads to Aberdeen further north. The A92 is dual carriageway from the southern outskirts of Arbroath to the northern outskirts of Dundee, the A92 proceeds through Dundee before crossing the Tay estuary into Fife via the Tay Road Bridge. The A90 can also be reached at Dundee heading both north (to Aberdeen) and south (to Perth and Edinburgh).

Arbroath has a modest public bus transport system, with the Arbroath Bus Station serving as the town's main terminus. Stagecoach Strathtay and Travel Wishart (part of National Express) operate most of the local services, with most rural services operated by Stagecoach Strathtay. Arbroath has one railway station, a short walk from the bus station, with regional train services to the east coast of Scotland, Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow whilst intercity services operate to destinations in England such as Newcastle, Birmingham, York and London. Passenger services at Arbroath are provided by First ScotRail, CrossCountry Trains and National Express East Coast. Dundee has a regional airport which offers commercial flights to London City Airport five times a week.[55] The airport has a 1,400-metre runway capable of serving small aircraft and is located 3 kilometres west of the city centre, adjacent to the Tay river. The nearest major international airports are in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Arbroath has a sizeable airfield at the Royal Marines military base on the western outskirts of the town, but this remains a dedicated military airfield.


Arbroath has one further education college, Angus College which is based in the former Arbroath High School buildings. There are two secondary schools and 11 primary schools. One primary school is Roman Catholic, the remaining schools are non-denominational. There are 2260 pupils in primary school education in Arbroath with a further 1,720 pupils in secondary education.[56]

Secondary schools

Arbroath has two secondary schools, Arbroath High School and Arbroath Academy. The High School (the older of the two), was originally a grammar school and the Academy a comprehensive. The Academy is located near the Mayfield area and the High School near Keptie Pond. Both schools are well regarded with exam results along reading and writing performance indicators above the national average.[57]

Noted former pupils of Arbroath High School include Michael Forsyth, former Scottish Secretary[58] and Andrew Webster, a professional footballer who is on loan at Dundee United from (Glasgow) Rangers FC.

Further education

Angus College, a further education college, has around 8,500 students, with 80% passing the course for which they enrol. There are around 1,700 full-time students with part-time students making up the majority of the student population. Arbroath is not a student town and there are no student residences in the town. The student population is made up solely of local students living within commuting distance of the college. Angus College offers courses up to Higher National Diploma (HND) level in a variety of trade related and academic disciplines from construction to Social Sciences, as well as a sizeable number of programs relating to computing, information technology and office administration. A large number of the student body are mature students taking evening classes related to computing, digital photography and various software packages.[59]

School leavers going onto study at university have the choice of several local institutions - the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, the University of St Andrews and the University of Aberdeen all within around one hour's travel from Arbroath.

Places of worship

The neighbouring villages of St Vigeans, Carmyllie, Friockheim, Colliston and Inverkeilor are considered part of Arbroath for the purposes of council representation

The Church of Scotland has a number of congregations that meet in Arbroath. The Old and Abbey Church is located in the centre of town at West Abbey Street, and the minister is Rev. Valerie Allen.[60] St Andrews Church is located in Hamilton Green, and the minister is Rev. Martin Fair.[61] Knox's Church is located in Howard Street and the minister is Rev. Ian Gough. The West Kirk is located in Keptie Street and the minister is Rev. Alasdair Graham.[62]

There are also a number of Church of Scotland kirks in the surrounding villages. St Vigeans church is linked with Knox's Church in Arbroath and services are led by Rev. Ian Gough. Arbirlot Church is linked with Carmyllie Church, both being ministered to by Rev. Ian Coltart. Colliston Church is linked with Friockheim and Kinneal Church and Inverkeilor and Lunan Church. The minister of these three churches is Rev. Peter Phillips.

There is an Episcopalian congregation based at St Mary the Virgin Church in Springfield Terrace. The Minister is Rev. Dr. John Cuthbert.[63] The Scottish Episcopal Church also have a church in Auchmithie, King David of Scotland Church. However, this is currently a vacant charge. The Scottish Episcopal Church in Arbroath is part of the Diocese of Brechin.

The Roman Catholic Church meets at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Dishlandtown Street. The church is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dunkeld.[64]

The United Free Church of Scotland meet in Good Templar Hall, High Street, a former Masonic Temple. The minister is Rev. A Begg.[65]

The Methodist Church have one of their earliest established churches in Arbroath, St John's in Ponderlaw, which was opened in 1772. Services are led by David Nicoll.[66]

Other groups that worship in Arbroath include: The Arbroath Corps. of the Salvation Army, who meet in Marketgate; The Elim Pentecostal Church, led by Alan Herd, who meet in Ogilvy Place;[67] The Baptists who meet at the New Life Church in James Street; The Jehovah's Witnesses, who meet at the Kingdom Hall in Lindsay Street; The Springfield Christian Assembly, who meet in the Gospel Hall in Ponderlaw Lane;[68] and the Arbroath Town Mission, an interdenominational group led by Dr Robert Clapham, who meet in Grant Road.[69]

Followers of other faiths and denominations travel further afield to worship.


Arbroath is home to the Webster Theatre, a venue which has featured Harry Lauder, Jimmy Tarbuck,[70] Charlie Landsborough, The Illegal Eagles, and the Drifters, and was the first venue the Alexander Brothers, a Scottish easy listening act, performed in as a professional duo.[71] The Webster Theatre recently went through a multi-million pounds refurbishment and opened in February 2008.

There are several amateur theatre and musical companies based in and around Arbroath, the best known being the Angus Minstrels group, the last group in Britain to regularly perform blackface. In 2005, following pressure from Angus Council, who feared legal action, the show began performing with normal stage makeup, and the group changed its name from 'The Angus Black and White Minstrels' to simply 'The Angus Minstrels'. The decision to stop performing the show in blackface received widespread press coverage in the UK.[72][73]

Beginning in 1947, a pageant commemorating the signing of the Declaration has been held within the roofless remains of the abbey (last full-scale event 2005). This was run by the local Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, now Arbroath Abbey Timethemes, a registered charity, and re-enacts the story and history of the signing. The group also spearhead Scotland's Tartan Day celebrations on April 6 in association with Angus Council as well as educational visits to local schools.[74]

The Arbroath Male Voice Choir was established in 1934 and is now one of only a few male voice choirs left in Scotland. At 2010 the Choir has over 40 members drawn not just from Arbroath but also Angus and Dundee. The Choir's Musical Director is Helen M Addison. They sing a mix of songs from classical, through Scottish, showtunes to pop. The ensemble perform two main concerts each year (one at Christmas and another in April) and several smaller events for good causes. The Choir are notable for attracting well known, often international singers to their annual April concert as guests. In recent years these have included, Jamie McDougall, Karen Cargill, Gordon Cree and Colette Ruddy.

The author Sir Walter Scott is famous for the Waverley series of novels, including Rob Roy and Ivanhoe. Scott is known to have visited Arbroath three times, and his personal favourite in the series, The Antiquary (1816) features affectionately fictionalised versions of both Arbroath ("Fairport") and Auchmithie ("Musselcrag").[75]

Arbroath has one museum, the former Bell Rock Lighthouse Signal Tower. In 1807 Arbroath became the base of operations for the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse. The shore station for the lighthouse - the Bell Rock Signal Tower - was completed in 1813 and acted as a lifeline for the keepers offshore. The Signal Tower Museum was opened in 1974 as a visitor centre detailing the history of the lighthouse and the town of Arbroath.[76]

Arbroath Smokies

Arbroath Smokies, for which Arbroath is well-known nationally and internationally, are made solely in Arbroath following the award of Protected Geographical Indication in 2004, which limits Arbroath Smokie production to within 4 km of Arbroath. Smokies are made from haddock using traditional methods dating back to the late 1800s where the fish are first salted overnight to preserve them, before being left tied in pairs to dry. Next, the dried fish are hung in a special barrel containing a hardwood fire and covered with a lid. After around an hour of smoking, the fish are golden brown and ready to eat.[77] The preparation of Smokies remains a cottage industry in Arbroath, centred almost exclusively at the harbour area, though one larger processor, RR Spink, supplies Arbroath Smokies to several UK supermarket chains, and to HM Queen Elizabeth II for which the company holds a Royal Warrant.[78][79]


Arbroath has one professional football team, Arbroath, presently playing in the 2nd division of the Scottish Football League. Arbroath play their home matches at Gayfield Park, which holds the record for being the closest stadium to the sea in European football (around five metres from the high tide line).[80] Arbroath F.C. holds the world record for the largest winning margin in a senior football match, 36-0, in their Scottish Cup match against Bon Accord (a scratch team from Aberdeen) on 12 September 1885.[81] Further goals were disallowed either for offside, or because it was not clear whether the ball had gone into the goal.[82] For this reason the AFC supporters' club is called the 36-0 club in memory of this event. Arbroath F.C. are nicknamed The Red Lichties, owing to the red light that used to guide fishing boats back from the North Sea to the harbour (Lichtie being a Scots word for light). Arbroath and the surrounding areas are home to several amateur senior and junior teams competing in the various amateur leagues, such as Arbroath Victoria F.C. and Arbroath SC.

Arbroath also has a cricket club, rugby union club and several bowls clubs, with former World and British singles champion Darren Burnett a native of Arbroath.[83] Arbroath is also a popular location for Angling.

Public Services

Arbroath and the surrounding area is supplied with water by Scottish Water. Along with Dundee and parts of Perthshire, Angus is supplied from Lintrathen and Backwater reservoirs in Glen Isla. Electricity distribution is by Scottish Hydro Electric plc, part of the Scottish and Southern Energy group.

Waste management is handled by Angus Council. There is a kerbside recycling scheme that has been in operation since May 2004. Cans, glass, paper and plastic bottles are collected on a weekly basis. Compostable material and non-recyclable material are collected on alternate weeks.[84] Roughly two thirds of non-recyclable material is sent to landfill at Angus Council's site at Lochhead, Forfar and the remainder sent for incineration (with energy recovery) outside the council area.[85]

A recycling centre is located at Cairnie Loan. Items accepted include, steel and aluminium cans, cardboard, paper, electrical equipment, engine oil, fridges and freezers, garden waste, gas bottles, glass, liquid food and drinks cartons, plastic bottles, plastic carrier bags, rubble, scrap metal, shoes and handbags, spectacles, textiles, tin foil, wood and yellow pages. Angus council publishes details of where and how each product is processed.[86] There are also glass banks at Timmergreens Shopping Centre, the Abbeygate Car Park, Morrisons Car Park and East Muirlands Road.[87] The Angus Council area had a recycling rate of 34.7% in 2007/08.[84]

Healthcare is supplied in the area by NHS Tayside. Arbroath Infirmary can be found at Rosemount Road, at the top of the hill[88] and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.[89] Primary Health Care in Arbroath is supplied by Abbey Health Centre in East Abbey Street and Springfield Medical Centre in Ponderlaw Street. Arbroath, along with the rest of Scotland is served by the Scottish Ambulance Service.[90]

Law enforcement is provided by Tayside Police, with the police station located in Gravesend,[91] and Arbroath is served by Tayside Fire and Rescue Service.[92]

Arbroath has had its own Lifeboat since 1803 and is currently the last remaining slipway launched Lifeboat in Scotland.
Located at the harbour the lifeboat station houses two RNLI Lifeboats, an inshore D-Class IB1 lifeboat the "Duncan Ferguson" and an All Weather Mersey Class Lifeboat the "Inchcape" named after the infamous rock that the Bell Rock lighthouse sits on. Photos and information on the Arbroath Lifeboats along with their history and callout statistics can be found at the stations website.[93][94]

Twin Town

Arbroath has no twin town as such. However, Arbroath Academy has twinned with Friedensburg-Oberschule, a secondary school in Germany.[95] The first exchange taking place in 1987, on the 750th Anniversary of the foundation of Berlin. As part of this celebration, the mayor of Berlin paid for the schools trip.

Notable Arbroathians

  • Bernard de Linton (died c.1331), Abbot of Arbroath, Chancellor of Scotland and Bishop of the Isles (also known as Bernard of Kilwinning) widely credited, since the eighteenth-century, as the author of the Declaration of Arbroath. Abbot at Arbroath Abbey from 1309 and immortalised in the town in a statue with Robert the Bruce holding aloft the Declaration sited at the West (or Cricket) Common and in the neighbouring residential streets of Bernard Crescent and Linton Road.
  • Dr Neil Arnott, inventor of the Waterbed and hot air stove as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society.[96]
  • David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Motor Company, and inventor of the enameled bathtub and the overhead valve engine
  • James Chalmers, inventor of the adhesive postage stamp and promoter of the uniform postal rate.
  • Dominik Diamond, TV presenter.[97]
  • James Glen Sivewright Gibson, An nineteenth and twentieth century competition winning architect[98]
  • Durward Lely, Opera Singer and well known Gilbert and Sullivan performer.[99]
  • John Ritchie Findlay, (1824-1898) proprietor of the The Scotsman newspaper and philanthropist, born in Arbroath on 21 October 1824.[100]
  • Sir Harry Lauder, lived and worked in Arbroath until the age of 14.[101]
  • James Lyle Mackay, later first Earl of Inchcape, 1852-1932, was born and educated in Arbroath. Chairman of the P&O Line and the British India Company.[46]
  • Morris Pert, percussionist who has recorded with many major musical artists, including Phil Collins.[102]
  • Alexander Shanks, (1801-1845) inventor of the "Caledonia" lawn mower during 1850s, lived in Arbroath.[26]
  • Andy Stewart, musician and entertainer. Although born in Glasgow, he moved to Arbroath as a boy, lived in Glasgow, then retired to Arbroath.[103]
  • Paul Tosh (b. 1973), Scottish footballer
  • Andy Webster (b.1982 in Dundee - like many younger Red Lichties) - professional footballer & Scotland international (22 caps to date)[104] - grew up and was educated in Arbroath, prior to his departing for clubs further afield, and his parents still reside in the town.
  • George W Dickie (1844 - c1918) Engineer and Ship designer - emigrated in San Francisco in 1869. General manager of Union Iron Works and designer of many famous US Navy battleships of the period.
  • Alexander Bouick (b 1856) Aged 21 he left Arbroath and travelled to London, Melbourne, Hawaii and finally settled in San Francisco. Engineer to trade, then became first Superintendent of Grounds at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
  • Gus Alexander (8 February 1934 – 3 January 2010) was a professional footballer who played as a wing half.[citation needed]

See also


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External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARBROATH, or Aberbrothock, a royal, municipal and police burgh, and seaport of Forfarshire, Scotland. It is situated at the mouth of Brothock water, 17 m. N.E. of Dundee by the North British railway, which has a branch to Forfar, via Guthrie, on the Caledonian railway. Pop. (1891) 22, 821; (1901) 22,398. The town is under the jurisdiction of a provost, bailies and council, and, with Brechin, Forfar, Inverbervie and Montrose, returns one member to parliament. The leading industries include the manufacture of sailcloth, canvas and coarse linens, tanning, boot and shoe making, and bleaching, besides engineering works, iron foundries, chemical works, shipbuilding and fisheries. The harbour, originally constructed and maintained by the abbots, by an agreement between the burgesses and John Gedy, the abbot in 1394, was replaced by one more commodious in 1725, which in turn was enlarged and improved in 1844. The older portion was converted into a wet dock in 1877, and the entrance and bar of the new harbour were deepened. A signal tower, 50 ft. high, communicates with the Bell Rock lighthouse on the Inchcape Rock, 12 m. south-east of Arbroath, celebrated in Southey's ballad. The principal public buildings are the town-hall, a somewhat ornate market house, the gildhall, the public hall, the infirmary, the antiquarian museum (including some valuable fossil remains) and the public and mechanics' libraries. The parish church dates from 1570, but has been much altered, and the spire was added in 1831. The ruins of a magnificent abbey, once one of the richest foundations in Scotland, stand in High Street. It was founded by William the Lion in 1178 for Tironesian Benedictines from Kelso, and consecrated in 1197, being dedicated to St Thomas Becket, whom the king had met at the English court. It was William's only personal foundation, and he was buried within its precincts in 1214. Its style was mainly Early English, the western gable Norman. The cruciform church measured 276 ft. long by 160 ft. wide, and was a structure of singular beauty and splendour. The remains include the vestry, the southern transept (the famous rose window of which is still entire), part of the chancel, the southern wall of the nave, part of the entrance towers and the western doorway. It was here that the parliament met which on the 6th of April 1320 addressed to the pope the notable letter, asserting the independence of their country and reciting in eloquent terms the services which their "lord and sovereign" Robert Bruce had rendered to Scotland. The last of the abbots was Cardinal Beaton, who succeeded his uncle James when the latter became archbishop of St Andrews. At the Reformation the abbey was dismantled and afterwards allowed to go to ruin. Part of the secular buildings still stand, and the abbot's house, or Abbey House as it is now called, is inhabited. Arbroath was created a royal burgh in 1186, and its charter of 1599 is preserved. King John exempted it from "toll and custom" in every part of England excepting London. Arbroath is "Fairport" of Scott's Antiquary, and Auchmithie, 3 m. north-east ("Musselcrag" of the same romance), is a quaint old-fashioned place, where the men earn a precarious living by fishing. On each side of the village the coast scenery is remarkably picturesque, the rugged cliffs - reaching in the promontory of Red Head, the scene of a thrilling incident in the Antiquary, a height of 267 ft. - containing many curiously shaped caves and archways which attract large numbers of visitors. At the 14th-century church of St Vigeans, i m. north of Arbroath, stands one of the most interesting of the sculptured stones of Scotland, with what is thought to be the only legible inscription in the Pictish tongue. The parish - originally called Aberbrothock and now incorporated with Arbroath for administrative purposes - takes its name from a saint or hermit whose chapel was situated at Grange of Conon, 32 m. north-west. Two miles west by south are the quarries of Carmyllie, the terminus of a branch line from Arbroath, which was the first light railway in Scotland and was opened in 1900.

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