Dundee City


Principal Town: Dundee
Population (1991):
Area (hectares): 5500
Entry Updated: 13-MAY-2012
Local Authority Contact Information

Address: Dundee City Council
21 City Square

Viewed from Fife the City of Dundee rises from the north shore of the River Tay, gradually to the west and east and more abruptly to the north, the buildings terraced row above row till they reach Balgay Hill, the heights of Craigie and Dundee Law. To the north lie the sheltering Sidlaw Hills, to the west the Carse of Gowrie and to the east the residential suburbs of Broughty Ferry and Monifieth.

The whole of the immediate hinterland of Dundee is typical of heavily glaciated country, characterised by gentle undulations, occasional knolls and numerous little streams such as the Dens Burn, Dighty Water, Fithie Burn, Gelly Burn, Lochee Burn and Scouring Burn. The drainage is mainly to the Dighty, which follows in a general west-east direction between morainic deposits before entering the Tay between Broughty Ferry and Barry Links. Riverside peats of Boreal composition covered by estuarine clays, all lying on crags of Old Red Sandstone, form the site on which Dundee was originally built. In recent historical times the waterfront has been straightened by reclamation of alluvial flats from the Tay. The City of Dundee incorporates Denhead, Lochee, Baldovie, Craigie, Broughty Ferry, Downfield and Barnhill.

Settled since ancient times, a fort was constructed by the Picts on Dundee Law. The fort acquired the name Dun Deagh, 'fortress of Daigh', perhaps after some early Pictish warrior. The hinterland of the fort eventually formed a royal demesne that came to be known as the Shire of Dundee by the 12th century when the town achieved the status of a royal burgh. The town subsequently developed as an importing, exporting and distributing centre, trading with mainland Europe while at the same time taking advantage of good coastal communication links with Perth and the abbey of Arbroath as well as important routeways to the monastery of Coupar Angus, the royal palace of Forfar and the cathedral city of Brechin in the agriculturally rich valley of Strathmore. By the 16th century Dundee had developed textile industries in addition to its trade, becoming one of the earliest urban industrial areas in Scotland.

In 1913 the City of Dundee incorporated Broughty Ferry to the east. Formerly in the County of Angus, Dundee was the administrative centre of Tayside Region from 1975 to 1996 when it became a unitary local government authority.

References and Further Reading
Anon (1878) The Municipal History of the Royal Burgh of Dundee. Improved Edition. Winter, Duncan & Co., Dundee
Anon (1959) The History of Dundee. Scottish Advertisers Ltd., Dundee
Eunson, Eric and Bill Early (2002) Old Dundee. Stenlake Publishing Ltd., Catrine, Ayrshire
Gifford, John (2012) The Buildings of Scotland: Dundee and Angus. Yale University Press, New Haven and London
Kay, Billy (ed.) (1995) The Dundee Book: An Anthology of Living in the City. Mainstream, Edinburgh
Lythe, S.G.E. (1938) The origin and development of Dundee: a study in historical geography. Scottish Geographical Magazine Vol. 54, pp. 344-57
McKean, Charles and David Walker (1984) Dundee: An Illustrated Introduction. The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh
RCAHMS (1992) Dundee on Record - Images of the Past. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Edinburgh

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