Folklore of Angus (or Forfarshire) in Scotland

Folkore, legends, history from one corner of Scotland.  See http://angusfolklore.blogspot.co.uk/.

Melgund Castle

Melgund Castle Melgund Castle, near Aberlemno, was for a long time a roofless ruin, but was happily restored in the latter part of the 20th century...
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Phantom Drummer of the Ogilvys

One of the most famous hauntings recorded in Angus also involved one of the most ancient families of the area, the Ogilvys who inhabited the castles...

The Battle of Nechtansmere, 685 A.D.

One of the most famous battles in Angus was not recognised as taking place in Angus until George Chalmers published his book Caledonia in the early...
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The Forfar Witches

The most famous Angus trials were those women put to trial in Forfar in the early 1660s. The trials may have been prompted by an argument between a...

Witches of Brechin

While the records of 17th century witchcraft in Forfar have become the most famous records of a dark period in local history (and have been...

Captain Kidd, Accidental Pirate? Dundonian?

It was the fate of Captain William Kidd (1645-1701) to be mis-remembered after his dishonourable death and slandered in the centuries since as a...

The Slippery World of Superstition

Superstitions are distorting, fluid things, whose meaning cannot often be grasped in the decades after they may have been recorded. Unlike the folk...

The Man With The White Sandshoes

This character is a kind of urban legend, whose supposed activity stretched over many decades in the mid to late 20th century. In summary, he was a...

Do Shining Streams Dream of Radiant Ladies?

The Paphrie Burn in the north of Angus is no-one's idea of a roaring river or an awesome body of water, but someone once thought it was amazing,...

Tales of the Whales (Part One)

One of the most extraordinary recent news items featured the finding of a Dundee whaling vessel near Disko Island in Greenland . The story in the...

The Battle of Dún Nechtain, A Rearguard Action in Defence of Dunnichen

The battle somewhere in Pictland, during which the Picts supposedly threw off the yoke of the over-reaching of the Northumbrians, is a puzzle on...

The Battle of Stracathro and A Chilling Extinction

Stracathro is a quiet place which does not deserve notoriety. Its claim to fame, historically, is the humiliating resignation of King John Balliol...

King Arthur of Angus (and Gowrie)? Constantine, King and Saint

Firstly, I must make it clear that I don't think that King Arthur (whoever he was) personally ruled Angus, or whatever the area was called before it...

Pitalpin - An Actual Battle or A Dundee Myth?

This article details a battle which, very likely, is a fiction. The place-name Pitalpin is now subsumed within the western part of Lochee, itself now...
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The Earliest Legends of Glamis and Glamis Castle

Mention the name Glamis to followers of Scottish ghost stories or folklore and they will probably conjure up memories of the 'Monster of Glamis', the...
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St Drostan the Wanderer

Saints should possibly still be honoured, even in an irreligious age; kept in mind in a different way. There is no patron saint of Angus,but if we...
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The King's Cadger Road - A Fishy Tale

Forfar as a set of the peripatetic Scottish court in the Middle Ages has definitely been under investigated. Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret have...
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Plague and Pestilence Down the Centuries

Early Records One of the most iconic moments in the folk memory of Dundee is the image of the Protestant preacher George Wishart preaching in 1544...
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Peter Goldman - Poet, Doctor, Plague Survivor

Peter Goldman, a 17th century citizen of Dundee, is l;ittle known today, though he should be for two reasons: the prominence of his own life and...
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A Mystery for Sherlock? Conan Doyle's Father and 'Sunnyside'

For those who do not know, Sunnyside is a name which perhaps conjures up a happy, warm place, basking in a content and peaceful location. In fact,...
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Sir John Kirk and the End of Slavery in Zanzibar

There were few places as strange to the intrepid foreigner in the mid 19th century as Zanzibar , even in an age when the whole continent of Africa...
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Up, up and Away! The First British Balloonist

For a pioneer in both flying and literature, James Tytler is sadly neglected figure, but one whose life was sadly inconsistent for all his...
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General Monck's Massacre

Conventional folk memory (if there is such a thing) in Dundee recalls the sack and occupation of the town by General Monck in the middle of the 17th...
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The Dwindling and Extinction of Gaelic in Angus

The date at which Gaelic ceased to be a living, spoken language in Angus is possibly presents more of an enigma than when it started to be spoken in...
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The Murder of Lord Strathmore

The Strathmore family’s affiliation with the deposed House of Stuart brought them great sorrow in the 18 th century and though they avoided the...
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The Dargie Kirk - First Christian Site North of the Tay?

The history of St Peter's Church - the Dargie Kirk - is intimately associated with the subject of a future post, the Goors (or Gows or Ewes ) of...
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Did Defeat in 1922 in Scotland Turn Churchill Tory Again?

It may seem unfair to start an article with a question that the author has no intention of answering, but that's exactly what I'm going to do. The...

The Laird of Balmachie's Wife - A Fairy Story and Other Fairy Traditions

Fairy tales set in Angus are unfortunately quite rare, but I came across the following one recently. This was printed in Folk-Lore and Legends,...