Angus, Scotland

Last updated

Flag of Angus.png
Angus Council (coat of arms).png
Angus in Scotland.svg
Angus within Scotland
Coordinates: 56°40′N2°55′W / 56.667°N 2.917°W / 56.667; -2.917 Coordinates: 56°40′N2°55′W / 56.667°N 2.917°W / 56.667; -2.917
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Lieutenancy area Angus
Admin HQ Forfar
  Body Angus Council
  Control SNP + Ind (council NOC)
  Total842 sq mi (2,182 km2)
  Rank Ranked 10th
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank Ranked 17th
  Density140/sq mi (53/km2)
ONS code S12000041
ISO 3166 code GB-ANS

Angus (Scots : Angus; Scottish Gaelic : Aonghas) is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross. Main industries include agriculture and fishing. Global pharmaceuticals company GSK has a significant presence in Montrose in the north of the county.


Angus was historically a province, and later a sheriffdom and county (known officially as Forfarshire from the 18th century until 1928), bordering Kincardineshire to the north-east, Aberdeenshire to the north and Perthshire to the west; southwards it faced Fife across the Firth of Tay; these remain the borders of Angus, minus Dundee which now forms its own small separate council area. Angus remains a registration county and a lieutenancy area. In 1975 some of its administrative functions were transferred to the council district of the Tayside Region, and in 1995 further reform resulted in the establishment of the unitary Angus Council.



The name "Angus" indicates the territory of the eighth-century Pictish king of that name. [1]


The area that now comprises Angus has been occupied since at least the Neolithic period. Material taken from postholes from an enclosure at Douglasmuir, near Friockheim, about five miles north of Arbroath has been radiocarbon dated to around 3500 BC. The function of the enclosure is unknown, but may have been for agriculture or for ceremonial purposes. [2]

Bronze Age archaeology is to be found in abundance in the area. Examples include the short-cist burials found near West Newbigging, about a mile to the North of the town. These burials included pottery urns, a pair of silver discs and a gold armlet. [3] Iron Age archaeology is also well represented, for example in the souterrain nearby Warddykes cemetery [4] and at West Grange of Conan, [5] as well as the better-known examples at Carlungie and Ardestie.

Medieval history

The county is traditionally associated with the Pictish territory of Circin, which is thought to have encompassed Angus and the Mearns. Bordering it were the kingdoms of (Mar and Buchan) to the North, Fotla (Atholl) to the West, and Fib (Fife) to the South. The most visible remnants of the Pictish age are the numerous sculptured stones that can be found throughout Angus. Of particular note are the collections found at Aberlemno, St Vigeans, Kirriemuir and Monifieth.

Angus is first recorded as one of the provinces of Scotland in 937, when Dubacan, the Mormaer of Angus, is recorded in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba as having died at the Battle of Brunanburh. [6]

Angus is marketed as the birthplace of Scotland. The signing of the Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath Abbey in 1320 marked Scotland's establishment as an independent nation. It is an area of rich history from Pictish times onwards. Notable historic sites in addition to Arbroath Abbey include Glamis Castle, Arbroath Signal Tower museum and the Bell Rock Light House.


Craigowl Hill, highest of the Sidlaws, in southern Angus Craigowl hill.jpg
Craigowl Hill, highest of the Sidlaws, in southern Angus

Angus can be split into three geographic areas. To the north and west, the topography is mountainous. This is the area of the Grampian Mountains, Mounth hills and Five Glens of Angus, which is sparsely populated and where the main industry is hill farming. Glas Maol – the highest point in Angus at 1,068 m (3,504 ft) – can be found here, on the tripoint boundary with Perthshire and Aberdeenshire. To the south and east the topography consists of rolling hills (such as the Sidlaws) bordering the sea; this area is well populated, with the larger towns. In between lies Strathmore (the Great Valley), which is a fertile agricultural area noted for the growing of potatoes, soft fruit and the raising of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

Montrose in the north east of the county is notable for its tidal basin and wildlife. [7] Angus's coast is fairly regular, the most prominent features being the headlands of Scurdie Ness and Buddon Ness. [8] The main bodies of water in the county are Loch Lee, Loch Brandy, Carlochy, Loch Wharral, Den of Ogil Reservoir, Loch of Forfar, Loch Fithie, Rescobie Loch, Balgavies Loch, Crombie Reservoir, Monikie Reservoirs, Long Loch, Lundie Loch, Loch of Kinnordy, Loch of Lintrathen, Backwater Reservoir, Auchintaple Loch, Loch Shandra, and Loch Esk.[ citation needed ]


Population structure

Historical Angus population
[9] [10]

In the 2001 census, the population of Angus was recorded as 108,400. 20.14% were under the age of 16, 63.15% were between 16 and 65 and 18.05% were aged 65 or above.

Of the 16 to 74 age group, 32.84% had no formal qualifications, 27.08% were educated to 'O' Grade/Standard Grade level, 14.38% to Higher level, 7.64% to HND or equivalent level and 18.06% to degree level.

Language in Angus

The most recent available census results (2001) show that Gaelic is spoken by 0.45% of the Angus population. This, similar to other lowland areas, is lower than the national average of 1.16%. [11] These figures are self-reported and are not broken down into levels of fluency.

All people108,400100
Understands spoken Gaelic but cannot speak, read or write it3510.32
Speaks reads and writes Gaelic2380.22
Speaks but neither reads nor writes Gaelic1880.17
Speaks and reads but cannot write Gaelic590.05
Reads but neither speaks not writes Gaelic610.06
Writes but neither speaks nor reads Gaelic130.01
Reads and writes but does not speak Gaelic220.02
Other combination of skills in Gaelic70.01
No knowledge of Gaelic107,46199.13

Meanwhile, the 2011 census found that 38.4% of the population in Angus can speak Scots, above the Scottish average of 30.1%. This puts Angus as the council area with the sixth highest proficiency in Scots, behind only Shetland, Orkney, Moray, Aberdeenshire, and East Ayrshire.

Historically, the dominant language in Angus was Pictish until the sixth to seventh centuries AD when the area became progressively gaelicised, with Pictish extinct by the mid-ninth century. [12] Gaelic/Middle Irish began to retreat from lowland areas in the late-eleventh century and was absent from the Eastern lowlands by the fourteenth century. It was replaced there by Middle Scots, the contemporary local South Northern dialect of Modern Scots, while Gaelic persisted as a majority language in the Highlands and Hebrides until the 19th century. [13] [14]

Angus Council are planning to raise the status of Gaelic in the county by adopting a series of measures, including bilingual road signage, communications, vehicle livery and staffing. [15]


Local government

Angus Council

Comhairle Aonghais
Angus Council logo.svg
Cllr Ronnie Proctor MBE [16] , Conservative [17]
since 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr David Fairweather [18] , Independent [19]
Chief executive
Margo Williamson [20]
Political groups
Administration [21]
  SNP (13)
  Independent (2)
Other parties
  Conservative (7)
  Independent (5)
  Labour (1)
Length of term
Full council elected every 4 years
Single transferable vote
Last election
5 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
The Cross - - 405749.jpg
Forfar Town and County Hall
Map of the area's wards (2017 configuration) Angus UK ward map 2017 (blank).svg
Map of the area's wards (2017 configuration)

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 established a uniform system of county councils in Scotland and realigned the boundaries of many of Scotland's counties. Subsequently, Angus County Council was created in 1890. In May 1975 the county council was abolished and its functions were transferred to Tayside Regional Council: the local area was served by Angus District Council. The county council was based at the County Buildings in Market Street in Forfar. [22]

Angus Council is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland after the two-tier local government council was abolished and Angus was established as one of the replacement single-tier Council Areas in 1996. As of May 2017 there are 28 seats on the council. From the May 2022 elections the seats are held as follows – SNP 13, Independent 7, Conservative 7, Labour 2.


The council's civic head is the Provost of Angus. There have been six Provosts since its establishment in 1996 – Frances Duncan, Bill Middleton, Ruth Leslie-Melville, Helen Oswald and Alex King. On 16 May 2017 Cllr Ronnie Proctor was appointed Provost from the councillors elected in Angus at the 2017 elections. As Angus is a county area the Lord Lieutenant of Angus is separate role.

The council has had four Chief Executives since its formation – Sandy Watson 1996–2006, David Sawers 2006–2011, Richard Stiff 2011–2017 and Margo Williamson 2017 to date. Margo Williamson is the first female Chief Executive since the council was formed. The council's main offices are located at Angus House at Orchardbank in Forfar and at Bruce House in Arbroath while council meetings are held in Forfar Town and County Hall in The Cross. [23]

The boundaries of the present council area are the same as those of the historic county minus the City of Dundee.

The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross.

As of 2018 Angus is divided into 25 community council areas and all apart from Friockheim district have an active council. [24] The areas are: Aberlemno; Auchterhouse; Carnoustie; City of Brechin & District; Ferryden & Craig; Friockheim & District; Glamis; Hillside, Dun, & Logie Pert; Inverarity; Inveresk; Kirriemuir; Kirriemuir Landward East; Kirriemuir Landward West; Letham & District; Lunanhead & District; Monifieth; Monikie & Newbigging; Montrose; Muirhead, Birkhill and Liff; Murroes & Wellbank; Newtyle & Eassie; Royal Burgh of Arbroath; Royal Burgh of Forfar; Strathmartine; and Tealing.

Parliamentary representation

UK Parliament

Angus is represented by three MPs for the UK Parliament.

Scottish Parliament

Angus is represented by two constituency MSPs for the Scottish Parliament.

In addition to the two constituency MSPs, Angus is also represented by seven MSPs for the North East Scotland electoral region.


The Edinburgh-Aberdeen railway line runs along the coast, through Dundee and the towns of Monifieth, Carnoustie, Arbroath and Montrose.

There is a small airport at Dundee, which at present operates flights to London and Belfast. [25]

Towns and villages

c.1854 Angusshire (Forfarshire) Civil Parish map. ANGUSSHIRE (Forfarshire). Civil Parish map.jpg
c.1854 Angusshire (Forfarshire) Civil Parish map.
Montrose Viewofmontrose.jpg



Places of interest

Sister areas


Most common surnames in Angus (Forfarshire) at the time of the United Kingdom Census of 1881: [31]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Forfar</span> County town and administrative centre in Scotland

Forfar is the county town of Angus, Scotland and the administrative centre for Angus Council, with a new multi-million pound office complex located on the outskirts of the town. As of 2021, the town has a population of 16,280.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carnoustie</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Carnoustie is a town and former police burgh in the council area of Angus, Scotland. It is at the mouth of the Barry Burn on the North Sea coast. In the 2011 census, Carnoustie had a population of 11,394, making it the fourth-largest town in Angus. The town was founded in the late 18th century, and grew rapidly throughout the 19th century due to the growth of the local textile industry. It was popular as a tourist resort from the early Victorian era up to the latter half of the 20th century, due to its seaside location, and is best known for the Carnoustie Golf Links course that often hosts the Open Championship.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pictish stone</span> Monuments erected by early Scottish tribes

A Pictish stone is a type of monumental stele, generally carved or incised with symbols or designs. A few have ogham inscriptions. Located in Scotland, mostly north of the Clyde-Forth line and on the Eastern side of the country, these stones are the most visible remaining evidence of the Picts and are thought to date from the 6th to 9th century, a period during which the Picts became Christianized. The earlier stones have no parallels from the rest of the British Isles, but the later forms are variations within a wider Insular tradition of monumental stones such as high crosses. About 350 objects classified as Pictish stones have survived, the earlier examples of which holding by far the greatest number of surviving examples of the mysterious symbols, which have long intrigued scholars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angus (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1997 onwards

Angus is a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first-past-the-post voting system. It is currently represented by Dave Doogan of the Scottish National Party who has been the MP since 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aberlemno</span> Parish and small village in Angus, Scotland

Aberlemno is a parish and small village in the Scottish council area of Angus. It is noted for three large carved Pictish stones dating from the 7th and 8th centuries AD ; the stones can be viewed at any time in spring-autumn, but are covered by wooden boxes in the winter to prevent frost damage. Two stones stand by the B9134 Forfar-Brechin road, the Kirkyard Stone stands in the nearby graveyard of the parish church.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monifieth</span> Town in Angus, Scotland

Monifieth is a town and former police burgh in the council area of Angus, Scotland. It is situated on the north bank of the Firth of Tay on the east coast. In 2016, the population of Monifieth was estimated at 8,110, making it the fifth largest town in Angus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">East Haven, Angus</span> Human settlement in Scotland

East Haven is a fishing village in the council area of Angus, Scotland. It is situated 1.5 miles (2 km) east of Carnoustie and 5 miles (8 km) south west of Arbroath. The closest city, Dundee, is 13 miles (21 km) to the west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Newbigging, Angus</span> Human settlement in Scotland

Newbigging is a village in Angus, Scotland, two miles northeast of Dundee. The name "Newbigging" originally referred to a "new bigging" or "new cottar town" (hamlet). The village is roughly two miles north of Monifieth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eassie Stone</span>

The Eassie Stone is a Class II Pictish stone of about the mid 8th century AD in the village of Eassie, Angus, Scotland. The stone was found in Eassie burn in the late 18th century and now resides in a purpose-built perspex building in the ruined Eassie church.

Milton is a hamlet in Angus, Scotland situated near Glamis. Considerable early history is in the general area including Glamis Castle and the Eassie Stone, a carved Pictish stone dating prior to the Early Middle Ages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Barry</span> Legendary battle in 1010 AD

The Battle of Barry is a legendary battle in which the Scots, purportedly led by Malcolm II, defeated a Danish invasion force in 1010 AD. Its supposed site in Carnoustie, Angus can be seen in early Ordnance Survey maps. The history of the event relies heavily on tradition and it is considered to be apocryphal. The battle was named for the Parish of Barry, rather than the village, and was formerly thought to have taken place at the mouth of the Lochty burn, in the vicinity of the area that is now occupied by Carnoustie High Street. While the battle is not historically authentic, its romantic appeal continues to capture the popular imagination.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glamis Manse Stone</span>

The Glamis Manse Stone, also known as Glamis 2, is a Class II Pictish stone at the village of Glamis, Angus, Scotland. Dating from the 9th century, it is located outside the Manse, close to the parish church. It is inscribed on one side with a Celtic cross and on the other with a variety of Pictish symbols. It is a scheduled monument.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angus South (Scottish Parliament constituency)</span> Constituency of the Scottish Parliament

Angus South is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) covering part of the council area of Angus. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. In addition, it is one of ten constituencies in the North East Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Woodwrae Stone</span>

The Woodwrae Stone is a Class II Pictish Stone that was found in 1819 when the foundations of the old castle at Woodwrae, Angus, Scotland were cleared. It had been reused as a floor slab in the kitchen of the castle. Following its removal from the castle, it was donated to the collection of Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford House. It is now on display at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hunter's Hill Stone</span>

The Hunter's Hill Stone, otherwise known as the Glamis 1 Stone, is a Class II Pictish standing stone at Hunter's Hill to the south east of Glamis village, Angus, Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2022 Angus Council election</span> Election to Angus Council scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022

The 2022 Angus Council election took place on 5 May 2022, the same day as the 31 other Scottish local government elections. Each ward elected three or four councillors using the single transferable vote system, a form of proportional representation used since the 2007 election and according to the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004.


  1. Field, John (1980). Place-names of Great Britain and Ireland. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. p. 24. ISBN   0389201545. OCLC   6964610.
  2. Kendrick, Jill (1995). contributions by Barclay, Gordon J.; Cowie, Trevor G.; Saville, Alan; illustrations by Townshend, Angela; Braby, Alan. "Excavation of a Neolithic enclosure and an Iron Age settlement at Douglasmuir, Angus" (PDF). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 125: 29–67. doi:10.9750/PSAS.125.29.67. S2CID   53586923. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2007.
  3. Jervise, Andrew (1863). "Notice of stone cists and an urn, found near Arbroath, Forfarshire" (PDF). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 5: 100–102. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2007.
  4. Watkins, Trevor (1978). contributions by Barclay, G. "Excavation of a settlement and souterrain at Newmill, near Bankfoot, Perthshire" (PDF). Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 110: 165–208. doi:10.9750/PSAS.110.165.208. S2CID   210268478. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2007.
  5. Jervise, Andrew (1863). "An account of the excavation of the round or "bee-hive" shaped house, and other underground chambers, at West Grange of Conan, Forfarshire". Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. 4: 429–499. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2007.
  6. Woolf, Alex (2007). From Pictland to Alba 789–1070. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 175. ISBN   9780748612345.
  7. "Saltmarshes and estuaries | The Wildlife Trusts". Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  8. Ritchie, Gayle. "Scurdie Ness lighthouse: Saviour of seafarers". The Courier. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  9. "Angus District through time | Population Statistics | Total Population".
  10. "Vision of Britain; 1911 Census: County Report".
  11. "Scotlands Census Results Online (SCROL)", Comparative Population Profile: Angus Council Area Scotland, retrieved 26 June 2013
  12. Forsyth, 1997; Forsyth, 2006[ full citation needed ]
  13. Smout, T.C. (2001). A history of the Scottish people: 1650–1830. Fontana Press. ISBN   978-0-00-686027-3.[ page needed ]
  14. Withers, Charles W. J. (1984). Gaelic in Scotland, 1698-1981: The Geographical History of a Language. Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers. ISBN   978-0-85976-097-3.[ page needed ]
  15. Gaelic Language Plan 2014-2019 (PDF) (Report). Angus Council. 17 September 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  16. "The Provost of Angus". Angus Council. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  17. "Councillor Ronnie Proctor". Angus Council. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  18. "Political make up of the council". Angus Council. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  19. "Councillor David Fairweather". Angus Council.
  20. "Chief Executive". Angus Council. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  21. "Political make up of the council". Angus Council. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  22. Historic Environment Scotland. "County Offices, Market Street, Forfar (LB31610)" . Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  23. "Council Meeting" (PDF). Angus Council. 5 December 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  24. "Find your community council". Angus Council. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  25. Morkis, Stefan. "Dundee Airport to introduce new routes to London City and Belfast".
  26. Wilson, John Marius, Rev. (1854). Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland. Vol. I. A. Fullarton & Co. p. colour image preceding page 671.
  27. "Angus Council: Arbroath Abbey". Archived from the original on 20 February 2014.
  28. "Eassie Stone". The Megalithic Portal.
  29. "Welcome to Glamis Castle".
  30. A Review of Angus Council's "Angus in China" Initiative and "Sister Area" Agreement with Yantai (PDF) (Report). Angus Council. 15 November 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022.
  31. "Most Common Surnames in Angus". 1881.