Montrose Playhouse | About Montrose
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The former Royal Burgh of Montrose is a small town situated on the north east coast of Scotland between the mouths of the rivers North and South Esk.  It is the northernmost coastal town in Angus and its outskirts border with south Aberdeenshire on the north. The town developed in size and reputation due to its natural, deep harbour which first attracted traders in skins, hides and cured salmon back in medieval times.  


The skyline of Montrose is dominated by the 220-foot steeple designed by James Gillespie Graham and built between 1832 and 1834 which overlooks Montrose High Street – the widest thoroughfare in Scotland.  Many picturesque “closes” branch off from the High Street – some leading to secluded gardens and stunning townhouses. 


Situated to the west of the town is a two mile square tidal lagoon known as the Montrose Basin, which is considered to be a nature reserve of international importance.  It is the largest inland salt water basin in the UK and an important habitat for the mute swan.  Tens of Thousands of pink footed geese flock here every winter and the sight and sound of this is quite something to behold.


Just outside Montrose is the 18th century ‘House of Dun,’ designed by the Scottish architect, William Adam and built in 1730 for David Erskine the 13th Laird of Dun.

Montrose is a town with a wealth of architecture and culture

Having what was already one of the busiest ports on the north east coast, Montrose is about to reap the benefit of a £5.2million quayside redevelopment, strengthening the town’s already important role in the oil and gas industry. The industrial parts of town are home to major players such as GE Oil & Gas, NOV, RGIT and Falck Nutec, however our biggest employer is pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, whose plant was saved from closure in 2006 and who opened a new £44million vaccines facility in August 2017. Proximity to Aberdeen and Dundee coupled with relatively low house prices has always kept the town popular with commuters.

A busy centre for international trade on Scotland's North East coast

Montrose boasts two golf courses, one of which, The Montrose Medal, is the 5th oldest in the world and is also a qualifying course for The Open.  There is also a beautiful 3-mile-long sandy beach which has been awarded a Blue Flag for its Eco-credentials.  The stunning nearby beaches at St Cyrus and Lunan Bay also attract visitors from far and wide.  


The historic Traill Pavilion and modern Seafront Splash facilities feature a playground, café and the most recent addition of a gourmet burger restaurant and are popular amongst locals and visitors alike.  The Visitor Centre on the south shore of the Montrose Basin provides educational activities for all ages.


Montrose is also a popular destination for shooting and salmon fishing breaks on the picturesque rivers and surrounding estates.


Montrose medal course is the 5th oldest golf course in the world

Montrose is widely regarded as the culture and sculpture capital of Angus, with over 20 statues of note scattered around the town. The statues are a mix of contemporary and classical works, with many from the noted local sculptor, William Lamb ARSA. Lamb was born in Montrose in 1893 and was an artist of exceptional talent.  


In Montrose from the 1920s to 1940s, the studio of local architect George Fairweather provided a forum for lively debate among an artistic community that included the author Hugh MacDiarmid, and poets and novelists such as Edwin Muir, Helen Cruickshank and Fionn MacColla. The local weekly newspaper, The Montrose Review, was edited by Hugh MacDiarmid for several years.


More recently, our creative exports include internationally acclaimed film maker Anthony Baxter, creator of the award winning ‘You’ve been Trumped’ and its sequel, ‘You’ve Been Trumped Too,’ and artists James Morrison, Syd Walker whose daughter Kirsten Ritchie Walker has followed in his colourful footsteps.


The town boasts two long running dance schools: The Esk Academy of Dancing and The Gordon School of Dancing, graduates from both of which have gone on to perform in West End shows and even set up their own dance schools in the area and further afield. 


Since 2008, the Montrose Music Festival, or MoFest as it has become affectionately known, has taken place annually at the end of May. It has grown in size and stature each year to become Scotland’s largest free live music festival with over 200 free gigs played over the three days in over 26 venues across the town, including an open air stage on Montrose’s historic High Street.  Many of the bands and performers hail from Montrose and the surrounding areas.


In 2014 the MoFest team took a leap and held a gig on Montrose East Links with rock legends Status Quo playing to a sell-out crowd.  Since then, the East Links has been host to huge industry names: Bryan Adams, Madness, Jools Holland and The Beach Boys.

MoFest is now Scotland's biggest free music festival
High Street 2