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Location: 56°42’30"N, 2°28’2"W
Population: 10,845  (2001)
Post town: Montrose
Postcode: DD10
Dialling code: 01674
Local Government
Council: Angus

Montrose is a coastal resort town and royal burgh in Angus. It lies 38 miles north-east of Dundee between the mouths of the North and South Esk rivers. It is the northernmost coastal town in Angus and developed at a natural harbour that traded in skins, hides and cured salmon in mediæval times.

The town functions as a port, but the major employer is GlaxoSmithKline. The skyline of Montrose is dominated by the 220 foot steeple designed by James Gillespie Graham and built between 1832 and 1834.

Montrose has long been a centre for international trade and is now a port for the oil and gas industry. It is known for its wide thoroughfare and high street[1] which leads to picturesque closes containing secluded gardens.

Montrose Basin

Montrose Basin

The Montrose Basin Montrose Basin is a two square mile tidal lagoon and a nature reserve of international importance. It is the largest inland salt water basin in Britain and an important habitat for the mute swan.

In Summer, one might see ospreys hunting along the length of the Basin, and kingfishers. The artificial sand-martin bank is a hive of activity all Spring and early Summer. One can watch blue tits and swallows inside their nests, and take in the panoramic vista of the rolling Angus countryside and hills.

In October and November there are 38,000 birds using the basin. In Winter, 20,000 pink-foot geese take up residence on the mudflats, feeding in the nearby fields by day, and returning to the safety of the Basin in the evening. The haunting fluting of their calls are beloved of local people, for whom the sound marks the turning of the seasons. The many feeders attract brightly coloured field and garden birds, and the occasional woodpecker.

A shallow estuary approximately three miles in diameter, the Basin lies where the River South Esk meets the North Sea. During the sixteenth century, local landowners desiring more arable land considered reducing its size, but their plans were never carried forth.[2]

In 1981 the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve was created.[3] The Scottish Wildlife Trust operates a modern, purpose-built wildlife centre at Rossie Braes, which offers good telescopic and televisual views of the area, and of the thousands of migratory birds which pass through the area in all seasons.

Montrose Beach

Montrose Beach

The 3 mile long sandy beach has been awarded a Blue Flag for its eco credentials.[4] The surrounding Traill Pavilion and Seafront Splash! facilities with an arcade, a playground, a café and an ice-cream stall is popular amongst locals and visitors alike. North of the town the River North Esk enters the North Sea across the beach.

The Save our Sands Campaign (SOS) was set up on 26 March 2009[5] to raise awareness amidst concerns over the erosion of Montrose beach, caused by the "one million tonnes of sand, swept by the tide into the harbour...removed from the local area over the past 25 years".[6] In 2006 150,000 tonnes was shipped to Aberdeen to fortify its dwindling beach. This was met with oppostion from Montrose Golf Links who believed that the golf course built on top of the dunes, as the one of the oldest in the world, should be protected.[7] The sand dunes are becoming unstable due to increasing tides which has forced the Montrose Golf Links to consider moving the golf course more inland. However Scottish Natural Heritage opposes the realignment as it could affect a protected coastal site at St Cyrus.[8]

The group have received support from Andrew Cooper, professor of Coastal Studies at University of Ulster.[5]

A film made by local broadcaster Anthony Baxter in January 2009 highlighted the issue and was designed to attract attention for urgent action and put pressure on local politicians. The group are concerned that Angus Council are not acting efficiently to halt the effects of erosion and believe a full study should be carried out. The film won the best short film category in the BFFS Community Cinema Festival in 2009. Since 2009 a team from Dundee University has begun assessing the coastline around Montrose in a two-year study to decide the best way of managing coastal erosion.[6] The film titled "SOS Montrose Dredging" has been posted on YouTube.[9]


Cultural History

Montrose is regarded by some as Angus's culture and sculpture capital,[10] with over 20 statues of note scattered around the town. The statues are a mix of contemporary and classical works, with many from the noted local sculptor, William Lamb, born in Montrose in 1893.

In Montrose from the 1920s to 1940s, local architect George Fairweather’s studio provided a forum for lively debate by an artistic community that included Hugh MacDiarmid, Edwin Muir, William Lamb, Helen Cruickshank and Fionn MacColla.


Montrose at Christmas.
  • Montrose Music Festival
  • Montrose Highland Games: 1st Sunday August
  • 5 November: Bonfire Night charity firework display


The Steeple, Montrose.

Outside links

History and Tourism


Community links


  1. "Montrose High Street". 
  2. [1] Rev. Mr. Alexander Molleson, "Town and Parish of Montrose", The Statistical Accounts of Scotland (1791-99), Vol.5, p26
  3. [2] Angus Council, "Nature Reserve Comes of Age", June 20, 2002
  4. The Links Hotel. Retrieved on 27th August 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dowie, Mark (27 March 2009). "Internet campaign aims to raise awareness of coastal erosion". Press & Journal. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dowie, Mark (31 December 2009). "National Award for Erosion Film". Montrose Review. 
  7. "Beach sand plan may be bunkered". BBC News. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  8. "Historic golf course erosion fear". BBC News. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  9. [3]
  10. "Draft Amendment to the Downtown Enhancement Plan"