MBHSMontrose Basin Heritage Society

The History of Montrose and its Surrounding Parishes


Craig, meaning rock, lies on the south-eastern edge of the Basin and on the south side of the River South Esk. Its full extent before its amalgamation with Dunninald (also known as St Skea), is not known, but the island of Inchbrayoch (Rossie) lay within it. The chapel here, perhaps first established as early as the 7th or 8th century AD, became the parish church. Craig was also an estate centre with its own castle - the current Craig House. Another estate was centred on Rossie, again with its own castle and important water mills. The farm now called West Mains of Rossie apparently had its own castle and water mill.

Further research is needed to check this area to determine its early history. For much of the post medieval period the two estates of Craig and Rossie were held in common. One or other house/castle would form the primary residence and the other would be the dower house (or equivalent).

Rossie came to final prominence with the building of a spectacular mansion house with designed grounds in about 1810 at the then considerable sum of £30,000. But less than a century later the owners had moved out and the house was demolished in the 1950s, having been derelict and roofless for some time.

Another smaller estate, but again with its own castle, was Baldovie, home in the 16th century to the Melville family. This lay closer to the Basin, probably on an earlier Pictish site.

Balgove, allegedly the site of an ancient prison, also lay within the parish.

Other Parishes

Montrose - Ecclesjohn - Dun - Maryton - Dunninald

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