Top Historic Sights in Arbroath, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Arbroath

Arbroath Abbey

Arbroath Abbey was founded in 1178 by King William the Lion for a group of Tironensian Benedictine monks from Kelso Abbey. It was consecrated in 1197 with a dedication to the deceased Saint Thomas Becket, whom the king had met at the English court. It was William"s only personal foundation — he was buried before the high altar of the church in 1214. The Abbey, which was the richest in Scotland, is most fa ...
Founded: 1178 | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

St Vigeans Church

St Vigeans Church serves the parish of the ancient village of St Vigeans on the outskirts of Arbroath. The church was rebuilt in the 12th century but not consecrated until 1242 by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews. The church underwent some alteration in the 15th century, but suffered very little change following the Scottish Reformation of 1560. A major restoration was carried out in 1871 by the Scottish Victorian a ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Ethie Castle

Ethie Castle dates to around 1300, when the monks at nearby Arbroath Abbey built a sandstone keep. The castle passed through the hands of the de Maxwell family and into the ownership of Scotland"s last Cardinal, David Beaton who was murdered in St. Andrews in 1546. Its association with Cardinal Beaton is still evident as the castle includes a small chapel and the Cardinal"s Sitting Room, with its secret staircas ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Colliston Castle

Colliston Castle is a 16th-century Z-plan tower house, altered and extended in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colliston was part of the lands of Arbroath Abbey from its foundation in the 12th century. On 25 July 1544, David Beaton, Abbot of Arbroath and Archbishop of St Andrews, granted the lands of Colliston, Knives, Park of Conon, and Guthrie Hill, to John Guthrie and his wife Isobel Ogilvie. Colliston was retained by th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Braikie Castle

A heraldic panel over the door of Braikie Castle is dated 1581 and the castle dates from at least this date. It was built for Thomas Fraser of Kinnell the alleged son of the 4th Lord Lovat (as he does not appear in genealogies if true he is an illegitimate son) and is a good example of a fortified laird"s house of this period. The date 1581 forms part of a marriage lintel that combines the armorial crests of the Fras ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.

Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.

Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.

Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.

The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.