Fishing town in Angus, on the east coast of Scotland, 26 km/16 mi northeast of Dundee, at the mouth of Brothock Water; population (2001) 22,800. In 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath was signed by the Scottish Parliament in Arbroath Abbey, proclaiming Scotland's independence to the pope. The town has a number of oil-related firms, a fishing industry and produces smoked haddock (Arbroath smokies). The harbour at Arbroath has been working for many years. Although not as busy as in past times, many fishing boats still sail from Arbroath.
Arbroath's first harbour was built in 1394 at Danger Point by Abbot John Gedy. The present Harbour was begun in 1842 and was completed with the opening of the wet dock in 1877. Arbroath town council invited some fisher families from Auchmithie to the town in 1830 and the local fishing industry developed. Use of the harbour by other local industries such as textiles, farming, and quarrying declined after World War I and now the town's port is entirely given over to fishing.
Features include Arbroath Museum, housed in a complex of regency buildings which were originally built in 1813 as the shore station and family living quarters for the famous Bell Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse lies 18.5 km/11.5 mi from Arbroath. Arbroath's lifeboat has been in action since around 1800. There are the remains of a Benedictine abbey, built in 1178 by William the Lion. The town was celebrated by Walter Scott as ‘Fairport’ in The Antiquary (1816). Over 30 Pictish sculptured stones can be seen at St Vigeans museum, about a mile north of the town centre.
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