This page was last updated on 11 August 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names







Kirriemuir crest Click to view full size image


The Kirriemuir Observer of Friday 3rd April 1931 tells of “Residenter’s gift to the Town Council of Kirriemuir”

"When the Burgh Arms of Kirriemuir was registered last November it was necessary, in order that a distinctive grant of Arms to the burgh might be made, to effect some slight alteration on the Arms of Douglas previously in use in the Burgh. This was carried out by altering the colour of the “chief” or bar across the top of the shield from blue to green.

After this change had been adopted, Mr J. Alexander, Burnbank, wrote the Town Clerk offering to present an enlarged copy of the Burgh Arms, to be hung in the Burgh Court Room.

This copy, which has now been handsomely framed in oak, and presented by Mr. Alexander, is a duplicate of the original in the possession of the Town Clerk. Painted on vellum, as issued from the Court of the Lord Lyon it is of documentary interest, and in order that the public generally may have an opportunity of seeing it arrangements have been made to show it in the shop window of Mr. W. B. Mills, 22 High Street for one week".




The Earl of Angus had such a close relationship with Kirriemuir in 1201 suggesting that he was the patron of the church at Kirriemuir, and that this connection probably extended back into Pictish times when the equivalent of an Earl was a ‘Mormaer’.

The town of Kirriemuir grew up around the church, and the area known as the Roods was probably the first part of the town where conscious town planning occurred in the 12th or 13th centuries.

In 1459 the town was made a Burgh of Barony. This development was associated with the growing power of the House of Douglas who was the Earls of Angus and controlled the barony of Kirriemuir at that time. The rights and privileges of a burgh of barony varied and were different to those of a burgh town. Kirriemuir had no right of foreign trade, but was allowed weekly markets, resident craftsmen, the power to buy and sell, and a market cross. Kirriemuir is the only Burgh of Barony in Angus.




In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kirriemuir like this:

Kirriemuir, market town and par. with ry. sta., Forfarshire--par., 35,600 ac., pop. 6616; town, on Gairie Burn, 5 miles by road and 8½ by rail NW. of Forfar, pop. (including Southmuir), 4390; P.O., T.O., 4 Banks, 1 newspaper. Market-day, Friday. The par. consists of 2 detached sections. The town is a burgh of barony under the Earl of Home; in 1875 it became a burgh under the Police Act. The leading industry is the weaving of brown linen.



The Kirriemuir Community Council arms are a 'regrant' of the arms of the old burgh, done away with like all burghs in 1975, with the burgh motto (Public Register 69/96; 11 October 1988)


Kirriemuir sealThe Common Seal of the Burgh of Kirriemuir


Kirriemuir townhouse


The Douglases were feudal superiors in Angus, and the Townhouse belonged to Sir Alex Douglas-Home when the Town Council acquired it with a view to modernising the town centre.


The Town House of Kirriemuir was erected in 1604, and was a plain building with walls 9' thick. Repairs and alterations were made to it in 1835 and 1862-3. It was been altered to serve as a shop, but the original form is still visible at the rear with plain walls and rounded corners.


Built as a Tolbooth, where it combined functions of court-house and jail, it is said to be the oldest civic building in Angus which is still in daily use. After a lengthy period of disuse, the building was sympathetically restored to house the Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum.






Sources for this article include:

•  Canmore

•  Kirriemuir Heritage Trust

Any contributions will be gratefully accepted






Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022