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Angus and Dundee

The Intriguing Town of Forfar

The legendary little Scottish town of Forfar (formerly known as Angus) is almost as old as time itself. Ancient historian Hector Boece who wrote his ‘History of Scotland’ in 1527, described a strong castle at Forfar where kings of different confederate tribes met to decided how best to repel invading Romans. Since it is known that Romans invaded the area four times between 83 AD and 306 AD, there must have already been standing at this time. This shows that there was not only a castle at Forfar as early as 306 AD, but a small village or town which could be found nearby.

Over the years the small town of Forfar slowly grew. During the 9th century it was the object of battle, its Pictish inhabitants suffering a siege at the hands of the King of Scots who later won the battle. During the 11th century King Malcolm Canmore used the castle as a base from which he could concentrate his efforts to repel Danish invaders and he later often held ‘parliament’ here making the area one of importance. Today evidence of a royal residence can be found at Castlehill, situated just north of the town center of Forfar. This sight is marked by a conical tower that was built in 1684. King Malcolm’s wife Queen Margaret also had a castle built on one of the lochs found near Forfar – likely for her own personal use.

In the 17th century, Forfar gained a notorious reputation for burning woman accused of being witches. Today there is a tract of land just north of Forfar which is appropriately named ‘The Witches’ Hollow’. This is the spot where the infamous executions took place and a number of cruel torture devices used at the time can still be found in the Forfar museum which is a part of the town hall. Attractions worth seeing include the Reid Hall, built by Peter Reid of ‘Forfar Rock’ confectionery fame, the Forfar town hall and the Forfar Castle on Castle Hill. There are also a number of interesting and incredibly old buildings which can be easily found after a short walk through the town. So visit Forfar and discover one of Scotland’s oldest towns.