a fishing town on the east coast of Scotland, is located
about 17 miles north of Dundee and 50 miles south of
Aberdeen. For generations the town has earned its livelihood
from the sea, and remains today an important fishing
port as well as being known worldwide for its unique
place in Scottish history. A long established holiday
resort, Arbroath continues to attract visitors from
near and far.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, like many other
coastal towns in Scotland, Arbroath's fishing industry
relied heavily on the prolific herring shoals which
made an impressive appearance every season. Fishing
boats crowded the harbour, where "fishing lassies"
gutted the newly caught herring before they were cured
with salt into wooden barrels for export, often to ports
in the Baltic.
The town has also become renowned worldwide for its
Arbroath Smokies, which for generations
have been smoked over oak chips in tiny smokehouses
around the harbour. History tells us that the 'Smokie'
most likely originated in the tiny fishing village of
Auchmithie, 3 miles north of the town, perched unbelievably
high on the cliffs and practically tumbling into the
North Sea. The stretch of coast to the north east is
not only renowned for its caves, such as the Forbidden
Cave and Dickmont's Den, but also its tales of smugglers.
well as the thriving fishing industry, Arbroath was
busy in the flax trade. The Brothock Burn not only provided
the power to drive the many flax mills which had sprung
up along its banks but was also a source of drainage
for the town. In fact the name of Arbroath (Aberbrothock)
was originally taken from this hard working little river.
town of Arbroath has a unique place in Scottish history
as it is home to the famous Tironensian monastery -
The Arbroath Abbey - the ruins of which
dominate the town's skyline with its circular window
known for centuries as the 'Round O'.
In days gone by this window was illuminated at night
as a beacon for mariners, to help guide them into port.
It was in this Abbey that an event took place which
is held dear in the hearts of Scots at home and abroad,
the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.
The year was 1320 when the Scottish King Robert the
Bruce witnessed the famous document being signed, establishing
Scotland's independence from England's rule.
The Arbroath Abbey is one of the most historically important
buildings in Scotland and in 1951 the Stone of Destiny
found a temporary home there.