Brechin (; gd, Breichin) is a city and former
Royal burgh A royal burgh () was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished by law in 1975, the term is still used by many former royal burghs. Most royal burghs were either created by ...
Angus, Scotland Angus ( sco, Angus; gd, Aonghas) is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross. Main industries include ...
. Traditionally Brechin was described as a city because of its cathedral and its status as the seat of a pre- Reformation
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: * Rome, the capital city of Italy * Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD * Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a let ...
diocese In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided provinces were administratively associa ...
(which continues today as an episcopal seat of the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal(ian) Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion in Scotland. A continuation of the Church of Scotland as intended by King James VI, a ...
), but that status has not been officially recognised in the modern era. Nevertheless, the designation is often used, with examples being the City of Brechin and District Community Council, City of Brechin and Area Partnership, City of Brechin Civic Trust and Brechin City Football Club. Kinnaird Castle is nearby. Brechin is located slightly closer to
Dundee Dundee (; sco, Dundee; gd, Dùn Dè or ) is Scotland's fourth-largest city and the 51st-most-populous built-up area in the United Kingdom. The mid-year population estimate for 2016 was , giving Dundee a population density of 2,478/km2 or ...
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in North East Scotland, and is the third most populous city in the country. Aberdeen is one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas (as Aberdeen City), a ...
and is located on the A90 between the cities. It is the fourth largest settlement of Angus.


In the centre of Brechin is a small museum in the Brechin Town House, and an award-winning tourist attraction, the
Caledonian Railway The Caledonian Railway (CR) was a major Scottish railway company. It was formed in the early 19th century with the objective of forming a link between English railways and Glasgow. It progressively extended its network and reached Edinburgh an ...
. Along with the cathedral and round tower, part of the
chapel A chapel is a Christian place of prayer and worship that is usually relatively small. The term has several meanings. Firstly, smaller spaces inside a church that have their own altar are often called chapels; the Lady chapel is a common typ ...
of Brechin's ''Maison Dieu'' or hospital survives from the Middle Ages; the Maison Dieu was founded before 1267 by William de Brechin. The Maison Dieu chapel is in the care of
Historic Environment Scotland Historic Environment Scotland (HES) ( gd, Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil Alba) is an executive non-departmental public body responsible for investigating, caring for and promoting Scotland's historic environment. HES was formed in 2015 from the me ...
. The Bank Street drill hall was completed in 1879. The Guildry Incorporation of Brechin was formed in 1629 by merchants and traders in the Burgh and in 1666 obtained recognition of its rights under Decree of the Convention of Burghs. The Guildry's historic purposes have been assumed by local government and its current functions are social and civic.


Brechin Cathedral

The town is well known for its cathedral, with eleventh century round tower (
Historic Environment Scotland Historic Environment Scotland (HES) ( gd, Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil Alba) is an executive non-departmental public body responsible for investigating, caring for and promoting Scotland's historic environment. HES was formed in 2015 from the me ...
), one of only two of these
Irish Irish may refer to: Common meanings * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ***Éire, Irish language name for the isle ** Northern Ireland, a constituent un ...
-style monuments surviving in Scotland (the other is at Abernethy, Perthshire). The tower was originally free-standing, but is now incorporated in the framework of the cathedral. The
cathedral A cathedral is a church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominatio ...
has been much altered, but still contains medieval work of the 13th and 14th centuries, notably a handsome western tower and processional door.

Scottish Episcopal Church

In 1695, following the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus , also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or ''Glorious Crossing'' in the Netherlands, is the sequence of events leading to the deposition of King James II and ...
, the town's Episcopalians were driven out of Brechin Cathedral which remained under the control of the Church of Scotland. A meeting house was set up in the High Street with a chapel being built in 1743. Following the
Jacobite rising of 1745 The Jacobite rising of 1745, also known as the Forty-five Rebellion or simply the '45 ( gd, Bliadhna Theàrlaich, , ), was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. It took pl ...
, the chapel's seats and books were destroyed by government forces and the chapel was taken over by a qualified congregation. A new Episcopalian Church, St Andrews Church was built in 1809 and consecrated in June 1811. This was replaced by a new building in 1888. St Andrews Church is part of the Diocese of Brechin and its archives are held by the
University of Dundee , mottoeng = "My soul doth magnify the Lord" , established = 1967 – gained independent university status by Royal Charter1897 – Constituent college of the University of St Andrews1881 – University College , ...


Brechin is represented within Angus Council by the Brechin & Edzell ward, from which three councillors are elected.


Education in Brechin is managed by the Education Department of Angus Council. There is one secondary school in the area; Brechin High School and four feeder primary schools; Andover Primary school, Edzell Primary School, Maisondieu Primary School and Stracathro Primary School.


Brechin City F.C. contest in the Highland Football League at its stadium Glebe Park. Glebe Park is the only senior football ground in Europe which has a hedge along one of its perimeters. Brechin is also home to the junior football club Brechin Victoria who play at Victoria Park.


Brechin was previously served by Brechin railway station, a terminus of several lines. It was closed to passengers in 1952, but has since reopened as part of the Caledonian Railway heritage railway. The single-carriageway bypass of Brechin was dualled and reopened in March 1994, completing the dualling of the newly numbered A90 between Perth and Aberdeen.

Notable people

* Dame Anne Begg, former Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South. * Sir David de Brechin (d. 1320), Lord of Brechin. * Joseph Fairweather Lamb, academic and former Chandos Chair of Physiology at the
University of St Andrews (Aien aristeuein) , motto_lang = grc , mottoeng = Ever to ExcelorEver to be the Best , established = , type = Public research university Ancient university , endowment ...
. *
James McCosh James McCosh (April 1, 1811 – November 16, 1894) was a philosopher of the Scottish School of Common Sense. He was president of Princeton University 1868–88. Biography McCosh was born into a Covenanting family in Ayrshire, ...
Church of Scotland and
Free Church A free church is a Christian denomination that is intrinsically separate from government (as opposed to a state church). A free church does not define government policy, and a free church does not accept church theology or policy definitions fro ...
minister at Brechin. Later president of Princeton University * David Myles, former MP for
Banffshire Banffshire ; sco, Coontie o Banffshire; gd, Siorrachd Bhanbh) is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland. The county town is Banff, although the largest settlement is Buckie to the west. It borders the Moray ...
and public servant. * Robin Orr, composer. *
Robert Watson-Watt Sir Robert Alexander Watson Watt (13 April 1892 – 5 December 1973) was a Scottish pioneer of radio direction finding and radar technology. Watt began his career in radio physics with a job at the Met Office, where he began looking for accur ...
, radar pioneer, born in Brechin.


File:Door to Brechin Round Tower.jpg, Door to Brechin Round Tower File:John the Scot.svg, Coat of arms of Brechin, based on the arms of Henry, Lord of Brechin

See also

Battle of Brechin The Battle of Brechin was fought on 18 May 1452 during the reign of James II of Scotland, about two and a half miles north north east of Brechin. It has been regarded as part of the civil war during his reign between the king and an alliance of ...
* List of places in Angus * Brechin Castle, seat of the
Earls of Dalhousie Earl of Dalhousie, in the County of Midlothian, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, held by the Chief of Clan Ramsay. History The family descends from Sir George Ramsay, who represented Kincardineshire in the Scottish Parliament in 1617. ...
since the late 20th century


External links

Brechin Online
Local Community Website for Brechin.
Brechin Advertiser
- local newspaper
Brechin Town House Museum

Brechin Environment
{{Authority control Towns in Angus, Scotland