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

Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle

Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.

The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.