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Angus (Forfarshire) – The site of the Declaration of Independence


Known as Forfarshire from the 18th century, until 1928, Angus is one of the historical counties of Scotland, now ruled by a government council. Its lands, mountainous to the north, more hilly and fertile towards the south and east, are known for the famous Angus cattle, and potato crops. It is represented by two constituencies in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Once an ancient earldom, now it represents a unitary authority.

Short history

Angus, as well as Aberdeenshire, was inhabited by the Picts, on the rise of the first millenium. Historical evidence of their existence can be found all over the place, consisting of large pieces of stone, skillfully carved to depict their most important battles and their victories. The Roman occupancy ended in the 5th century, but it left its marks on the local culture, that is also transparent in the archeological proofs that still stand.

Angus history is entangled with the adventure of the Stone of Destiny, the stone on which the kings of Scotland and England stood on their coronation day. It was believed that this stone was the one on which Jacob laid his head to rest, as shown in the Bible. The stone was brought from Ireland in the 6th century by Fergus I, one of the kings of Scotland.

Among the most important and history rich places to visit in Angus, you will find Arbroath Abbey. Here, on 6 April 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath, or the Declaration of Independence, as it is also called, pleaded eloquently for the liberty of man. Scotland earned the right to self determination, while recognizing Robert the Bruce as king.

Angus is also known for being the home of Glamis Castle, thought to be the seat of Macbeth, as represented in Shakespeare’s famous play. Scottish and even English royal families visited this location, granting it a particular place in history.

The city of Forfar, that now represents the administrative center hosting the Angus Council, also stands for the historic heritage of the region. Back in 1058, the city was the residence of Malcolm III, king of Scotland. The castle existing here was destroyed by Robert the Bruce, at the beginning of the 14th century. It was not the only violent event in the city history, as its tollbooth was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell, during the 17th century. During those troubled times, the ancient charters were burnt, but in 1665, Charles II offered a confirming charter to reward the city’s loyalty towards his father.