Arbroath - 'The Prospect of ye Town of Aberbrothick'

Arbroath was once known by its Gaelic name of 'Aberbrothick', 'the mouth of the Brothock [Burn]'. The view here is from the south. There's an expanse of farmland between the buildings and Slezer's viewpoint of Dinland Hill. The historic town stretches from the harbour wall on the right to the dwellings just past the ruins of Arbroath Abbey on the left.

Almost in the centre is the spire of Arbroath Parish Church. The double row of houses to the left of centre, leading towards the front of the drawing, is Millgate. The main road from Dundee is on the right, passing over the Lady Bridge to join Marketgate. Farming figures in the foreground include men with packs and a man leading a horse-drawn plough.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Arbroath


To the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Southesk, Lord Carnegie of Kinnaird and Leachers, &c.


Aberbrothock or Arbroth is a Town in Angus, so called from Aber, which in our Ancient Language signifies a Side or Bank, and Brothock the Name of a Water which runs by it. It lies on the Sea-side near the Promontory, called Rid-Head, and has a Harbour for Ships.

Here was one of the Richest Monasteries of this Nation, founded by King Willian of Scotland, about 1170, in Honour of Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom he was intimately acquainted. It had several considerable Donations from Gillchrist Earl of Angus, and his Son Gillbred. It was possess'd by the Monks of St. Bennet. To the Inhabitants of which Town, for the Monastery's Sake, at the Request of the said King William, King John of England granted the same. Privileges and Liberties through all the Kingdom of England (except London) which the Natives did enjoy. The Patent is yet to be seen among the Records of Arbroth.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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