Arbroath (//) or Aberbrothock (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Bhrothaig [ˈopəɾ ˈvɾo.ɪkʲ]) is a former royal burgh and the largest town in the council area of Angus in Scotland, and has a population of 23,902. 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.
Arbroath from the south
|Population||23,902 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference||NO641412|
|• Edinburgh||45 mi (72 km) SSW|
|• London||371 mi (597 km) SSE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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 20th century, 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. The town's football team, Arbroath Football Club, hold the world record for the highest number of goals scored in a professional football match. They won 36–0 against Aberdeen Bon Accord in the Scottish Cup in 1885.
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', or the earlier Brythonic term 'Aber' for 'confluence' or 'river mouth'. 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) and 'Aberbrothok' (in the subsequent letter giving consent for the marriage). In the Declaration of Arbroath, it is seen as 'Abirbrothoc'. Early maps show a number of variants including Aberbrothock, Aberbrothik, Aberbrothick, and Aberbrothwick.
The modern name 'Arbroath' became more common in the mid-19th century, the older name being largely dispensed with by the time of the first edition of the Ordnance Survey Maps. However, variants of 'Arbroath' had been used since the 17th century, including 'Arbroth' and Aberbreth.
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 five 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.
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. Iron Age archaeology is also well represented, for example in the souterrain nearby Warddykes Cemetery and at West Grange of Conan, 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 many had been badly damaged. One of the stones, the 9th 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 to refer to the Pictish King Uurad, who reigned between 839 and 842 AD.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arbroath was created a royal burgh in 1599 by James VI.
In the 17th century, at the church of St Vigeans, near Arbroath, communion was not held for several years because the villagers believed there was a curse on the church. The curse said that if communion were held then the church would fall into a large subterranean lake.
During the Jacobite rising known as the Forty-Five, Arbroath was a Jacobite town. A large portion of its able bodied men joined the Jacobite army. It was one of the principal ports where men and supplies could be landed from France. It and other Jacobite ports along the north-east coast collectively formed ‘an asset of almost incalculable value’ to the Jacobite cause.
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 1,400 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. In 1867, the mills in Arbroath employed 4,620 people. Arbroath was also prominent in the manufacture of shoes and lawnmowers; local firm Alexander Shanks founded in 1840 and based at Dens Iron Works, supplied mowers to the Old Course at St Andrews and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Shanks was taken over in the 1960s by another major local firm, Giddings & Lewis-Fraser Ltd. This company had evolved from the business of Douglas Fraser, established in 1832 and mainly concerned with manufacturing flax and canvas. In later 19th century the firm, by now known as Douglas Fraser & Sons moved to focus its activities onto machine manufacture, following the success of a braiding machine designed by Norman Fraser. The firm had significant interests in South America and India. In 1959 the family run firms was taken over by the American company Giddings & Lewis and renamed Giddings & Lewis-Fraser. Its headquarters was Wellgate Works in Arbroath.
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. 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.
The 19th century saw major development in healthcare in Arbroath. In 1836 a dispensary was set up by public subscription to provide medical care for the poor. In 1842 a typhus epidemic in the town led to the creation of a small fever ward to keep patients in isolation. The following year subscriptions began to be taken to develop this into Arbroath Infirmary, which opened in 1845, and moved to new premises in 1916.
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 1599 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.
In 1922, Lord Inchcape became burgess of the town. To commemorate the occasion he was presented with his ticket to the office in a silver casket engraved with the burgh coat-of-arms and views of the locality.
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.
Arbroath is represented within Angus Council by two wards: Arbroath West & Letham; and Arbroath East & Lunan. Four councillors are elected. The members elected from each ward. At the 2012 local elections, the councillors elected from Arbroath West & Letham were Alex King (Scottish National Party), David Lumgair (Scottish Conservative and Unionist), David Fairweather (Independent) and Ewan Smith (Scottish National Party). Those elected from the Arbroath East & Lunan ward were Donald Morrison (Scottish National Party), Bob Spink (Independent), Sheena Welsh (Scottish National Party) and Martyn Geddes (Scottish Conservative and Unionist).
For elections to the House of Commons, Arbroath forms part of the Angus constituency and since 2001 has been represented by Michael Weir (SNP) who held the seat again, with an increased majority of 3800 votes at the 2010 General Election. Arbroath is also part of the Angus South constituency of the Scottish Parliament (having been part of the Angus constituency until its abolition in 2011), which has significantly different boundaries to the Westminster constituency. The constituency returns a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) to Holyrood directly, and is part of the North East Scotland electoral region with regards to additional Members of the Scottish Parliament. The constituency's MSP is currently Graeme Dey of the Scottish National Party.
At 56°33′31″N 02°34′58″W, 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.
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.
Arbroath has a typical British marine climate, that is heavily influenced by its position by the sea. There are narrow differences in temperature between seasons. January has an average high of 6.4 °C (43.5 °F) and July has 18 °C (64 °F). The climate is somewhat dry and sunny compared to Scottish standards with 628.6 millimetres (24.75 in) of precipitation and 1538.4 hours of sunshine. All data is sourced from the 1981-2010 averages from the Met Office weather station in Arbroath.
|Climate data for Arbroath 15m asl, 1981–2010|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.5
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4
|Average low °C (°F)||1.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−11.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||55.1
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||59.7||83.3||126.0||161.2||197.1||184.6||183.5||176.8||136.0||103.9||74.7||51.8||1,538.4|
|Source: Met Office|
Residents of Arbroath are called Arbroathians but often refer to themselves as Red Lichties after the red lamp that shone from the harbour light and foghorn tower at the entrance to the harbour as an aid to shipping entering the aforementioned harbour.
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.
Arbroath has a moderate rate of unemployment—around 2.7% of the population are claiming unemployment-related social welfare benefits.
Arbroath has no sizeable employers outside of the public sector, with most workers commuting to Dundee. 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.
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. This gave way to a more commodious port in 1725, 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. Arbroath became a major port for the coastal shipping trade and in 1846, there were 89 Arbroath registered vessels, totalling 9,100 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.
Driven by the needs of the fishing and commercial sailing industry, in 1795 Arbroath-based sailmaker Francis Webster Ltd had perfected the art of adding linseed oil to flax sails, creating an oiled flax. This developed in the late-19th century 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. 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 are employed by the Ministry of Defence. 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.
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. The average house price across Angus has risen by 14.9% in the past year (to November 2006) and now stands at £124,451. 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.
Tourism plays some part in the Arbroath economy, with Arbroath Abbey attracting over 14,000 visitors each year. 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.
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.
The town also features a multimillion-pound Harbour Visitor Centre, located close to the Town Quay. The centre features a multimedia experience for its visitors, and is maintained by the Scottish tourist company VisitScotland and explains the town's fishing history, as well as hosting a restaurant and gift shop.
The A92 road connects Arbroath 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 Abellio ScotRail, CrossCountry, Caledonian Sleeper and London North Eastern Railway. Dundee has a regional airport which offers commercial flights to London City Airport five times a week. The airport has a 1,530-yards runway capable of serving small aircraft and is located 1.8 miles west of the city centre, adjacent to the River Tay. 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 2,260 pupils in primary school education in Arbroath with a further 1,720 pupils in secondary education.
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. Arbroath High is the larger of the two with around 1,200 pupils, and the Academy being smaller with around 600 pupils.
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.
School leavers going on to 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 will shortly welcome Rev. Dolly Purnell as its minister. St Andrews Church, Arbroath is located in Hamilton Green, and the minister is Rev. Dr. Martin Fair with associate minister Rev. Stuart Irvin. Knox's Church is located in Howard Street and the minister is Rev Dr Nelu Balaj. The West Kirk is located in Keptie Street and the minister is Rev. Alasdair Graham. Dr Fair has been nominated serve as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2020-2021 - the first time that a minister of a congregation in Arbroath will have served as Moderator.
There are also a number of Church of Scotland kirks in the surrounding villages. St Vigeans Church, St Vigeans is linked with Knox's Church in Arbroath and services are led by Rev Dr Nelu Balaj. Arbirlot Church is linked with Carmyllie Church. Colliston Church is linked with Friockheim and Kinnell 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. Peter Mead. St Mary's Church evolved from a meeting house set up in 1694 by Episcopalians forced out of Arbroath Parish Church. The present church building dates from 1854. The Scottish Episcopal Church in Arbroath is part of the Diocese of Brechin. There is also a Scottish Episcopal Church in Auchmithie; St Peter's.
The Roman Catholic Church meets at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Dishlandtown Street. The priest is Rev Kevin J. Golden. The church is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dunkeld. The parish includes a primary school and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1998.
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.
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; 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; and the Arbroath Town Mission, an interdenominational group led by Dr Robert Clapham, who meet in Grant Road.
Followers of other faiths and denominations travel further afield to worship.
Arbroath's Webster Theatre has featured among others Harry Lauder, Jimmy Tarbuck, Charlie Landsborough, the Illegal Eagles, the Drifters and the Chuckle Brothers and was the first venue the Alexander Brothers, a Scottish easy listening act, performed in as a professional duo. 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.
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 6 April in association with Angus Council as well as educational visits to local schools.
Arbroath Male Voice Choir was established in 1934 and is now one of only a few male voice choirs left in Scotland. At 2012 the choir has over 45 members drawn not just from Arbroath but also Angus and Dundee. The choir's musical director is Sheena Guthrie. 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 spring) and several smaller events for good causes. The choir are notable for attracting well known, often international singers to their annual spring concert as guests. In recent years these have included, Jamie McDougall, Karen Cargill, Gordon Cree, Cheryl Forbes and Colette Ruddy. March 2012 saw international diva Lesley Garrett as the choir's special guest.
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").
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. Signal Tower Museum was opened in 1974 as a visitor centre detailing the history of the lighthouse and the town of Arbroath.
Arbroath Art Gallery occupies two galleries above Arbroath Library. It hosts changing displays of artworks from the collection of Angus Council and elsewhere. Highlight of the collection include two large oil paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, The Adoration of the Magi and Saint John Preaching in the Wilderness.
Hospitalfield House, a baronial mansion to the west of the town, houses an educational charity promoting contemporary arts.
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 19th century 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. The preparation of smokies remains a cottage industry in Arbroath, centred almost exclusively at the harbour area. However, one larger processor, RR Spink, supplied Arbroath smokies to several UK supermarket chains. It appears that, nowadays, the firm concentrates on smoking other fish such as salmon or trout and no longer supplies the Arbroath Smokie. The company holds the Royal Warrant as a fishmonger to the Queen.
Arbroath has one professional football team, Arbroath, who play in Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional 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 5½ yards from the high tide line). Arbroath 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. Further goals were disallowed either for offside, or because it was not clear whether the ball had gone into the goal. For this reason the AFC supporters' club is called the 36–0 club in memory of this event. Arbroath 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 and Arbroath SC.
Arbroath has an outdoor tennis court called the Arbroath Lawn Tennis Club. It has been upgraded between 2014-2015 using money from fundraising and a grant provided by Sportscotland.
Arbroath also has a successful cricket club, having won the CSL Eastern Premiership in 2013 and the Scottish Cup in 2015.
Arbroath is also a popular location for angling.
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. 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.
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. There are also glass banks at Timmergreens Shopping Centre, the Abbeygate Car Park, Morrisons Car Park and East Muirlands Road. The Angus Council area had a recycling rate of 34.7% in 2007/08.
Healthcare is supplied in the area by NHS Tayside. Arbroath Infirmary can be found at Rosemount Road, at the top of the hill and Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. 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.
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. www.arbroath-lifeboat.org.uk
- Gus Alexander (1934–2010), footballer
- Marion Angus (1865–1946), poet
- Dr Neil Arnott, inventor of the Waterbed and hot air stove and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
- David Dunbar Buick, founder of the Buick Motor Company, and inventor of the enamelled bathtub and the overhead valve engine
- James Chalmers, inventor of the adhesive postage stamp and promoter of the uniform postal rate
- 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 18th-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.
- Dominik Diamond, TV presenter
- Ned Doig (1866–1919), Scottish footballer
- The Rev Dr Martin Fair, minister at St Andrew's Parish Church and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 2020-2021.
- John Ritchie Findlay, (1824–1898) proprietor of The Scotsman newspaper and philanthropist, born in Arbroath
- James Glen Sivewright Gibson, architect
- George Gordon (engineer) civil engineer working in the Netherlands, India and Australia
- Patrick Hennessy (1915-1980), realist painter
- Sir Harry Lauder, lived in Arbroath until the age of 14
- Durward Lely, opera singer, especially Gilbert and Sullivan
- David Nicoll Lowe FRSE (1909-1999) botanist
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- Morris Pert, percussionist who has recorded with many major musical artists, including Phil Collins.
- Alexander Ross (1895-1972), first-class cricketer
- Andy Stewart, (1933–1993), musician and entertainer, lived in Arbroath as a boy, and retired to Arbroath
- George Scott Railton, (1849-1913) first commissioner of The Salvation Army and 2nd in Command to William Booth
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- Graham Gano (b. 1987) is an American football placekicker for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Arbroath.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Arbroath.|
- BBC History entry
- A Glimpse of Old Arbroath from Angus Council
- Documentary film about the history of the Arbroath Smokie
- Church of St Mary the Virgin, Arbroath
- A collection of historic maps of Arbroath from the 1660s onward at National Library of Scotland
- Engraving of Arbroath in 1693 by John Slezer at National Library of Scotland