Declaration of Arbroath

In Arbroath for the Independence Rally

Indylive Podcasters Fiona and Marlene on location!

Marlene and I were in Arbroath for the weekend of the All Under One Banner march. We were celebrating 700 (and 2) years since the signing of the declaration of Arbroath.

We headed up on Friday 1st April which was coincidentally the first day of the re-nationalised Scotrail service. How lovely to travel in a train that we own! We arrived in Arbroath right on time – well done nationalised Scotrail.

First, we headed up to the Abbey to have a good look around. Even as a ruin it is a beautiful and imposing building so we shot some film as we wandered around. We were briefly joined by another visitor who had made his way from Fort William for the march. He was a retired bricklayer and he told us that some of the techniques used in building the Abbey had been lost in the mists of time!

Obviously we gave the local Wetherspoons a wide berth and so we ended up at the harbour for a delicious meal at the Old Boatyard Restaurant. In return for a demo of how to eat mussels from a shell, a couple of helpful diners gave us directions to the Declaration of Arbroath statue. And so we decided that was our mission for Saturday morning!

Arbroath Harbour

Saturday 2nd April

Saturday was clear and bright so we headed off to find the statue of the Declaration of Arbroath. It was well worth the effort.

The AUOB march was exciting – the biggest so far this year. Marching through the very places that the Declaration had been written and signed was also exciting! We met up with friends old and new from the Indy community.

As Scots, we are often ignorant of our own history. In this special vlog of our visit, we include footage of the march. We have also added an episode from historian Stuart McHardy’s excellent Radical Scottish History podcast. Now we can all better appreciate the significance of the events we are commemorating. Although, as Mike Russell commented in his speech, there probably were fewer Yes Bikers back in 1320!

Here is the video of our adventures in Arbroath – hope you enjoy it!

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5 comments
  • I was at march with my grandaughter , we travelled up from Edinburgh on Friday and had a fantastic couple o days supportin AUOB for Scotlands Independence ,it was our first time in Arbroath , its a braw wee toon and the weather was great !!!! Saor Alba 💙🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Hi Pete, glad you enjoyed the trip up to Arbroath. Fiona and I loved the place too, small enough to walk round, friendly, and what a history! The Abbey is amazing. Marlene

  • Above the Arch at the Abbey that the March passed through was the chamber in which the Declaration was signed in 1320.
    The statue on what was the Cricket Common has on it the Abbot of Aberbrothock, Sir Bernard de Linton. Sir Bernard was a close friend of Sir Thomas Becket, who was slain for his beliefs. In turn, the denizens of Arbroath adopted the titles as the sons of Saint Tammas and are in some places still called this. After the Stone of Destiny was moved from Westminster Abbey in 1950, things got hot for the patriots who liberated it, and it was decided to place it beside the High Altar in Arbroath Abbey. It was given into the care of Baillie Frank Thornton and other patriots. Subsequently it was taken back to Westminster, until Michael Forsyth, the Scottish Secretary at that time arranged for it to be moved to its present home in Edinburgh.
    There are many doubts about the provenance of the Stone which originally had been stolen by the English from Scone Palace in Perthshire. What had been written about it did not match up to its quite commonplace appearance. The Author has heard quite firm evidence that when Scotland regains its normal state of Independence, that the real stone will reappear. I leave it to the reader to choose which version of the story they want to believe. Rob K.

    • Hi Rob, many thanks for adding these important details to our post – and what a fascinating thought that the original stone could appear!