infobox UK place
country = Scotland
population= 13,206 (2001 Census)
constituency_scottish_parliament= North Tayside
postcode_district = DD8
Forfar is a town and former
royal burghof approximately 13,500 people, located in the unitary authorityof Angusin Scotland. It is the administrative centre of Angus and was the capital of the former county of Angus (known as Forfarshireuntil mid-20th century). The town is also the market town for the lowland farms of Strathmore in central Angus.
Hector Boece, Pictish chiefs met at a castleby Forfar Lochto plan how best to repel the Romans who invaded on several occasions between the first and fourth centuries AD. Ultimately the Romans prevailed, only to be displaced in the Early Middle Agesby the Picts. [ [http://www.angusholidays.com/history/fofar_history.htm History of Forfar, Angus] ] The Romans established a major Roman Campat Battledykes, approximately three miles north of Forfar; this camp was analysed to have held 50 to 60 thousand men. [Alan Reid, "The Royal Burghof Forfar: A Local History", 1902, Houlston & sons; 445 pages] From Battledykes northward the Romans established a succession of camps including Stracathro, Raedykesand Normandykes. [ [http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=18037 C. Michael Hogan, "Elsick Mounth", Megalithic Portal, ed Andy Burnham (2007}] ]
A "claimant" to the throne, the daughter of the leader of the
Meic Uilleim, who were descendants of King Duncan II, had her brains dashed out on Forfar market cross in 1215 while still an infant.
The town is located just off the main A90 Perth to
Aberdeenroad which now bypasses the town but once passed through the town. The town had a railwaystation until September 3 1967when it closed as part of the Beeching cuts. It was located on the main line of the Caledonian Railwayfrom Glasgowto Aberdeen, which was the furthest north link in the chain of the West Coast Main Linefrom London. Lines also went to Dundee, Arbroath, Brechinand Kirriemuir. There was a major locomotiveshed here too, which is still standing today but now houses a coach works. Some bridges and cuttings still survive but the site of the goods station, which was also the town's original railway station before the one near the county buildings was built, is now mainly residential properties. There are bus services to Dundee, Arbroath, Kirriemuir, Brechin etc.
The town has a third division football club, Forfar Athletic, who play at Station Park, as well as two junior clubs, Forfar West End and Forfar Albion. Dundee United Reserves also play at Forfar Athletic's ground, Station Park.
Rugby Union is represented in the town by Strathmore Rugby Football Club, who play their home games at Inchmacoble Park, beside Forfar Loch. Strathmore Cricket Club [http://strathmorecc.intheteam.com/modules/page/page.aspx?type=home&mid=12181&pmid=0] , founded in 1862, has played at Lochside Park since 1873. Forfar Loch is home to Forfar Sailing Club [http://forfarsailingclub.org.uk/portal/]
The town has a swimming pool and a separate dedicated leisure centre. It also has an ice rink which was built in the early 1990s and this is home to the local curling club. There are also many bowling clubs, and the Forfar Golf Club [http://www.forfargolfclub.com/] which is situated at Cunninghill to the east of the town. Angus Gliding Club operates at Roundyhill, between Glamis and Kirriemuir.
Forfar has recently seen a major change in its education structure, due to the Forfar-Carnoustie Schools Project.
There are currently three "primary" schools:
*Whitehills Primary School in Service Road.
*Strathmore Primary School in St James' Road.
*Langlands Primary School in Glamis Road. (Currently in Academy St.)
There is one "secondary" school in the town:
*Forfar Academy in Taylor Street, which has a roll of around 1,200 pupils making it one of the largest schools in Angus.
"Previous primary schools in the town included:"
Chapelpark Primary School in Academy Street (formerly the old Forfar Academy). This school was closed in 2007 and pupils were re-located to both Strathmore Primary and Whitehills Primary. However, the building is still in use as a school and was used by Whitehills Primary until their new school was completed in early 2008. It is currently home to Langlands Primary School, until the new school on that site is completed in 2009-2010. It is unknown what will happen to the Chapelpark building after this date, however it is considered to be one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the town. Many locals believe it would make a great library/museum.
Kirkriggs Primary School in St. James' Road, which was closed in 2007. Pupils were originally re-located to Langlands until the new school on this site was completed in early 2008. It has pupils from Chapelpark, Kirkriggs and Wellbrae Primaries and is known as Strathmore Primary School.
Wellbrae Primary School, which closed in 2007. Pupils were sent to Chapelpark Primary School, which is now Whitehills Primary School.
There is a local community hospital in Forfar - the "Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre", which was build on the site of the old Whitehills Hospital building (formerly the hospital for infectious diseases) and opened in Spring 2005.
The new hospital replaced Forfar Infirmary, formerly the town's main hospital and also the old Whitehills Hospital. The Forfar Infirmary site has since been completely demolished, and sold off to developers.
Places of worship
Forfar has three
Church of Scotlandcongregations:
*East and Old Church, originally the parish kirk, with a tall slender spire, with steeple clock overlooking the town centre.
*Lowson Memorial Church, off Montrose Road. This is a grade A listed church in late Scots Gothic style built in 1914 by A Marshall Mackenzie (who also designed
Crathie Kirk). The church contains notable stained glass windows by Douglas Strachan. The church serves the east side of Forfar.
*St Margaret's Church, in the West High Street, originally a Free Kirk.
It had been decided (by a Church of Scotland arbiter) that the East and Old Parish Church would close, and the congregation would be moving to St. Margaret's Church. This is not certain yet as it was brought back for discussion at Angus Presbytery due to a large vote against this decision.
The East & Old Church is built on the site of the original place of worship that some of the monks of Restenneth Priory built hundreds of years before the one today. The adjoining graveyard has famous 'residents' such as botanist George Don, quite a few scholars and a man who blamed the witches of Forfar for poisoning him after ill words were exchanged between them.
The steeple is a focal point of Forfar, visible when entering the town from any direction. Although abutting the East & Old building, it is owned by the 'Town' and is not formally part of the church property; it is all but certain to be retained following any disposition of the church building.
The town also has churches of other denominations, including:
* St John the Evangelist
Scottish Episcopal Church, East High Street, designed by Sir R Rowand Anderson and consecrated in 1881. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later to become Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was confirmed in this church.
*St Fergus Roman Catholic Church.
Other items of interest
The town is home to the renowned Forfar
bridie. There are three principal outlets which produce/retail this local fare: McLarens of Forfar, Saddlers of Forfar and Alex Cameron Fishmonger & Poulterer, all of which are popular with locals and visitors. The Forfar bridie has been featured on many TV programmes. A recipe for the Forfar bridie was also featured in "Maw Broon's Cookbook".
Another feature of the town is the Forfar Loch Country Park, which is popular amongst locals as a walking venue.
Her Majesty The Queen and
Duke of Edinburghvisited the town and surrounding area in 2004 (the first time in around 30 years).
The town lies in
Strathmoreand is situated just off the main A90 roadbetween Perth and Aberdeen, with Dundee(the nearest city) being 13 miles away. It is approximately five miles from Glamis Castle, home to the Bowes-Lyon family and where the late Princess Margaret, younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in 1930.
The town is near to the Angus Glens, including Glen Shee, Glen Clova and Glen Prosen, that are popular with skiers and hill walkers. The area is notable for the beautiful scenery of the mountains and Strathmore.
The town holds many events throughout the year such as the bi-annual Forfar Mara-Fun, which raises money for charity and the annual Forfar Food Festival highlighting some of the local food. There is also a monthly
Agriculture and tourism are some of the town's major industries. It also acts as an administrative centre for
Angus Council, with a new multi-million pound office complex currently on the outskirts of the town.
Forfar is also home to the Strathmore Mineral Water Co., Ltd., a bottled mineral water producer. The company's products are shipped worldwide.
Reference line notes
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/gridref/NO4550?by=centi Photographs of Forfar on the Geograph web site]
* [http://forfar.bravehost.com/ History of the town and photographs]
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