1870  The museum is enriched by a collection of 'fishes,minerals, insects, shells & fossils.

1870  This year's drought plus increased housing obliges the Arbroath Corporation to seek a supplementary water supply.

1870  The University of St Andrews confers on Alexander Brown, Arbroath astronomer & meteorologist, the Degree of Doctor of Laws.

1870s  Kinblethmont House is built on the ruins of an existing Scottish baronial house.


1871  (prior to)  The General Police & Improvement Act of Scotland is adopted.

1871  (Feb 17)  John Anderson Gilruth is born at Auchmithie. As a veterinarian, pathologist, research director & administrator he will work in New Zealand (from 1893) & Australia (from 1908) where Gilruth Plains (Queensland), Gilruth Avenue (Darwin) & the Gilruth Prize of the Australian Veterinary Association will all be named in his honour.

1871  The population is 22,682.

1871  Ann Haggart of Westgate House is the Gatekeeper for Hospitalfield Estate.

1871 (-1877)  The Old Harbour, it's quays rebuilt, is converted to a wet dock, the New Harbour & entrance from the Bar are deepened, the old N.E. corner slipway demolished & a new patent slip formed.

1871  (Sep 25) Nolt Loan water supply (with reservoir & pumping engine) is turned on, supplying 130 street hydrants.

1871 (-72)  St Vigeans Kirk is enlarged & modernised: 17th - early 19th century additions are removed, roofs replaced now following 1485 lines, & a new 2nd north aisle & Apse added. During this time, separate churches are established at Auchmithie & Colliston. The work on the Kirk (plus 1888 discoveries) reveal a stunning collection of sculptured stones dating from the 7th to the 11th centuries.


1872 (May 9) The restored St Vigeans Kirk is re-opened.

1872  The High school passes to the charge of the School Board 'with a rector, 8 under-

masters, accomodation for 613 & giving higher class education to over 300 pupils'.

1872  Mission Meeting House for Ladyloan Free Church opens.

1872 (May 6)  The Arbroath Shipbuilding Cos last vessel, the schooner 'Romala' is launched.  


1873  Elizabeth Allan-Fraser dies. Patrick Allan-Fraser buys the central plot of the newly proposed  Western Cemetery.

1873  Webster's Alma Factory is built.

1873  Arbroath Baptist Church opens in Market Place (opposite the Corn Exchange & above the 21st century shops).


1874  An organ is built in the Public Hall, High Street.

1874  J. Irving is the Arbroath delegate at the first conference of the National Union of Boot & Shoe Operatives in Northampton.


1875  The old S.W. entrance to the inner dock is built up & a new entrance gateway is formed (where present dock gates are).

1875  There are 154 fishing boats operating from the harbour. There are 34 spinning mills & factories, 1,400 looms producing 1m yards of osnaburgs & 450k yards of sailcloth this year.

1875  Ladyloan Church is adorned with two memorial stained-glass windows.

1875  Parkhouse Primary School opens at Lordburn. A Police office will occupy this site from 1992.

1875  St Vigeans Kirk has a 'Harrison' organ installed.

1875  East Free Church is re-built at Brothock Bridge.

1875  (-1880)  Three sailing vessels are built.



1876  Arbirlot School is erected.

1876  'History Of Arbroath To The Present Time' by George Hay is published.

1876  Arbikie Fund is founded.

1876  Doctor David Arrot dies.

1876  (-1878)  Abbey Church is much altered ('though hardly improved') at a cost of £2,000.

1876 approx (-1881)  Shipbuilder J. Rooney operates east of the harbour (now Mackay's site).

They will build a total of six vessels, including the Abertay lightship in 1877.


1877  The new wet dock (outer tidal harbour) of the present harbour is opened. During this phase

of  Harbour reconstruction the foundations of St Mary's (Lady) Chapel, along with some mouldings and part of the adjoining graveyard are revealed but then destroyed in construction work.

1877  (May 17)  Crowds gathering on Keptie Hill hoping to see the distant Dundee Law Hill's bonfire in

celebration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee are disappointed. A heavy mist has descended & they see nothing.

1877  (Nov 19) Arbroath Golf Club is founded, the course designed by Open winner Willie Fernie.



1878  (Mar 9) Arbroath Golf Club's 1st match is played at Elliot.

1878  (Jul) Arbroath FC are founded  following a meeting at the George Hotel, Commerce Street. The team play on

Hospitalfield Estate, opposite the 'Faces', between the sea & the rail line. They win their first official game at

Woodville, beating Our Boys, Dundee 3-0 in a Scottish Cup Tie. The team is: W, Schollay,  J. Devlin,  Cowie

(maybe Edwards), J. MILNE, W. Mill, BRUCE (of course), ALEXANDER, W. Steele, R. Meffan,

D. Salmond & J. Scott. The  scorers are in big capital letters !



1878  The Royal Hotel opens in High Street.

1878 (Aug 5)  St Thomas Roman Catholic School opens at 2 Dishlandtown Street.

1878  Nolt Loan Water Supply begins to be piped to private dwelling houses.

1878  21,187 tons of coal is received into Arbroath's port this year.

1878  The Evangelical Union Church opens.

1878  Abbey Bowling Club is founded.




1879 (Mar 17)  Capt. Patrick Wright Anderson, coal merchant & owner of five schooners including the 'Hawk' which have plied the Baltic trading routes, dies at his home in Marketgate & is buried within the Western Cemetery.

1879  An enlarged edition of David Carnegie's 'Lays & Lyrics from the Factory' is published, containing most of his poems.

1879  Frasers are employing 20 people.

1879  (Nov 13)  St. Margaret's Chapel of Ease (which will later become Arbroath West Kirk) & designed by Mr T S Robertson of Dundee, opens on Keptie Street. The construction cost is approximately 5,000 pounds & the Church's 1st Sunday service takes place on the 16th of that month, St. Margaret's Day.

1879  (Dec 28)  Winds of gale force 10 - 11 demolish the central navigation spans of the Tay Rail Bridge.  A six carriage train and 75 people are lost to the River Tay. The bridge has been the longest yet built worldwide.


1870 - 1879


Before MACKAY'S occupied the area between the Brothock & the harbour, shipbuilders on this site included Chisholm Simpson

& Peters, D Farquhar & Co, The Arbroath Shipbuilding Co &  J Rooney

A' richt, ye can play wae it - but if ye lose it mind, ye'll need to buy anither ane.......



grim scene

on the River Tay

December 29 1879


George Hay's celebrated         history of the town


John Anderson Gilruth (right) born in Auchmithie, with James Malcolm Mason, born in Arbroath. Scotland's loss - Australia & New Zealand's gain


J. Irving is (probably) far right of back row

Mill workers at an Arbroath mill in 1872

Workers at an Arbroath

mill in 1872 - image courtesy of Angus Council

Arbr West Kirk header Visit our website

(right) Arbroath

West Kirk, previously St Margaret's Chapel of Ease

1871 Arbroath Street Index Railway network around Arbroath - Airey's map, 187

Part of Airey's 1875 Railway Map of Scotland showing the network around Arbroath - click for larger image.