The History

Our History

The Elms Hotel was built in 1869 originally for the mill owning Corsar family. The Elms was a fully operating Hotel until World War II when it was requisitioned by the War Office.

The Elms original architect William Leiper is best known for Templeton’s Carpet Factory in Glasgow and The Elms, Arbroath.

The facade arched porch, and a round corner tower enhances the beauty and heritage of this antiquated manor.

About the elms hotel

Arbroath is a former royal burgh and is home to the famous Arbroath Abbey, where historically in 1320 the Declaration of Arbroath was signed.

This traditional seaside town, with its picturesque harbour is also home to the famous…Arbroath Smokie, Haddock

smoked over wood fires, and considered a delicacy all over the world.

The town recorded history with the founding of Arbroath Abbey in 1178, which probably displaced an earlier monastery at St Vigeans, just over a mile to the north. It is known that a wooden pier had been built at Arbroath by 1194, and the first harbour, known as the Abbot’s Harbour, was built in 1394.

Arbroath History

A medieval ‘ Cry for Freedom ! 

The most famous document in Scotland’s history, a declaration of Scottish independence, has been awarded special status by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

The Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded today as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom.


The tartan commemorates the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath – 6th April 2020 – a letter in Latin submitted to Pope John XXII in 1320. Written on behalf of the earls, barons and nobles, and community of the whole Kingdom of Scotland.

The letter asks the Pope to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king. The 7 colour tartan visibly portrays the artefact itself; light tan with the narrow black stripes represents the document and the literary work; green and red represents the seals and signatories; the white pivot represents the recipient of the letter Pope John XXII; the scarlet pivot represents the Scots of old who died fighting for freedom; the broad black stripe becomes a memorial of remembrance for those who fell on the Scottish battlefields.

The thread counts in the two opposing pivots are created from the two relevant dates: 6th April 1320 and 6th April 2020 – thus the numeracy in the tartan spans seven centuries. 32 threads in the dark red pays tribute to Robert the Bruce who was crowned king at the age of 32; 100 threads span the complete width of the light tan field, representing the famous excerpt from the Declaration of Arbroath “for, as long as a hundred of us remain alive…”

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Arbroath Tartan History

A famous signature Scottish delicacy… Smoked smokies. The original ‘Arbroath Smokie’ hails from Auchmithie, a small fishing village, 3 miles north of Arbroath. Although rumour has it may even originate for Viking raids of the early 11th century.

There are several theories as to the true origin of the Arbroath Smokie. The most popular, where a cottage in Auchmithie while haddocks were hanging to be dried a fire broke out and burned the house to the ground. It was then, the ‘smokies’ were discovered. It does stretch the imagination to accept that anyone would be likely to pick up a cremated fish, and eat it!

Another theory the Arbroathians say The fishwives, smoking the fish on sticks, originally put them onto halved whisky barrels with fires underneath, and the smoke was trapped under layers of coarse sacking, provided by the jute mills in the local area.

The world-famous ‘Arbroath Smokie’ indeed follows a process that is typical of similar smoking processes carried out to this day in Scandinavia, and may itself provide yet another clue to the village’s origin and identity.

Arbroath Smokies

Dewar’s is globally renowned as the worlds most awarded blended scotch whisky. Celebrated & enjoyed around the world.

Established in 1846 Dewar’s whisky distillery, Aberfeldy. Situated in the centre of the scenic Perthshire countryside, nestled at the foot of the Scottish Highlands.

Beautifully balanced single malt whisky at the heart of the Dewar’s blend.

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