This week sees the anniversary of one of the most important dates in
Scottish history – the sealing of the famous Declaration of Scottish
Independence, popularly called the Declaration of Arbroath, by the
Scottish nobility, in the presence of Robert I, King of Scots, at
Arbroath Abbey on 6 April 1320. The Declaration, written by Bernard
de Linton, abbot and civil servant, has rung down the centuries and
inspired in its turn the American Declaration of Independence. There
are now moves to give the historic spot of Arbroath Abbey World
Heritage Status and this call has been backed by leading Scottish
historians such as Professor Ted Cowan (see Scottish Quotations).
Arbroath Abbey was founded in 1178 for a group of Tironensian
Benedictine monks from Kelso Abbey by William the Lion, King of
Scots, and was consecrated in 1197 with a dedication to the deceased
Saint Thomas Becket, whom the king had met at the English court. It
was King William’s only personal foundation and he was buried before
the high alter of the church in 1214. The Abbey fell into ruin after
the Reformation and was raided for stones for buildings in Arbroath.
This continued until 1815 when steps were taken to preserve the
remaining ruins. The Abbey is cared for by Historic Scotland and is
open to the public throughout the year (entrance charge).
douse Royal Burgh of Arbroath is known world-wide for its delicacy
and exclusive product - Arbroath Smokies. This week’s delicacy is a
novel and tasty way to enjoy Arbroath’s famous dish.
Arbroath Smokie Pancakes
3 medium eggs; 225g plain flour, sifted; 350ml full fat milk; a
little butter; 300ml double cream; 3 Arbroath smokies
Make the pancake batter by placing the eggs, flour and milk in a
food processor and blending until smooth. Smear the butter in the
pan and fry the pancakes. Then slowly bring the cream to the boil,
season and flake in the smokies. Stir for a couple of minutes,
remove from the heat then spoon the mixture on to the pancakes, roll
them up and enjoy!!