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Dundee Perfection


Dundee grew up as a small port in the 11th and 12th centuries. Its name may be derived from the words Dun Diagh (Dun's fort). In 1191 King William gave Dundee a charter(see slide show). That was a document granting the townspeople certain rights. It gave them the right to have their own local government and their own court.

By the 14th century Dundee was one of Scotland's most important towns. It may have had a population of 4,000 people. That seems tiny to us but settlements were very small in those days.

Dundee was, of course, a busy port. Large quantities of wine were imported from France and Spain. Grain was also imported into Dundee. The main exports were hides and wool. At first raw wool was exported but by the 15th century wool was woven and dyed in Dundee.

By the 13th century Dundee had an annual fair. In the Middle Ages fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year. People would come from all over Angus, Perthshire and Fife to buy and sell at a Dundee fair.

In the 13th century friars arrived in Dundee. The friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach. The friars in Dundee were Dominicans. They were known as black friars because of their black costumes.

St Mary's Church Furthermore St Mary's Church was built in the 14th century.

In the Middle Ages Dundee had a castle. It was probably built at the end of the 12th century. Little is known about the castle and it is not known exactly when it was demolished. The castle lives on in the name Castle Street.

Dunhope Castle was built in the 13th century for a family who were hereditary constables of Dundee. It was rebuilt in the 16th century.


The population of Dundee rose sharply in the 16th and early 17th centuries. In the early 16th century the population of Dundee was probably about 7,000. It may have reached 11,000 by 1650.

In the 16th century the wool industry in Dundee flourished and large amounts were exported. Goods from Scandinavia and the Baltic such as timber, pitch and hemp were imported into Dundee. There were also many fishermen in the town.

However disaster struck Dundee in 1548 when it was partly burned by the English. However Dundee soon recovered. In 1592 a wall was built around Dundee to protect it from attack.

After 1591 the streets of Dundee were cleaned. However like all towns at that time Dundee suffered from epidemics. There was a severe outbreak of plague in 1607-08.

After the reformation the Queen gave the land that once belonged to the grey friars to the townspeople of Dundee to use as a cemetery. It became known as the Howff (which means meeting place) because the craftsmen held meetings there.

In 1651 the English general, Monck, took Dundee and his troops spent 2 weeks sacking the town. In 1657 he ordered the demolition of the town walls.

Dundee suffered another setback in 1658 when a storm damaged the harbour. In the late 17th century Dundee declined. The old wool industry declined and the population may have fallen.


However in the 18th century Dundee began to revive. This was partly due to a new industry of making linen. Flax was imported into Dundee and the finished product was exported. There was also an important thread making industry in Dundee in the 18th century and a leather industry. Whaling was another important industry in the 18th century. From the end of the 18th century Dundee was also known for making marmalade.

Several new buildings were erected in Dundee in the 18th century. City Hall was built in 1731. St Andrews Church was built in 1772. An infirmary opened in Dundee in 1798.

One famous 18th century Dundonian was Admiral Adam Duncan 1731-1804 who smashed the Dutch the fleet at the battle of Camperdown in 1797.


In 1801 the population of Dundee was 26,000. By the standards of the time it was a large and important town. By 1861 the population had risen to over 90,000. Part of the rise was due to Irish immigration. Many Irish people arrived in the mid 19th century fleeing the potato famine.

The rise in population occurred despite several epidemics. Cholera struck in 1832, 1849, 1853 and 1866. There were also outbreaks of typhus in 1837 and 1847. Like all 19th century towns Dundee was dirty, unsanitary and overcrowded. Those who could afford to moved to new houses in the suburbs.

However in the later 19th century conditions in Dundee improved. Gaslight was introduced into Dundee in 1826. In 1845 a water company was formed to provide Dundee with piped water. However you had to pay to be connected and it was not until the late 19th century that piped water became common.

In the 1870s a network of sewers was created in Dundee. The council also created public parks. The Law opened in 1878. It was followed by Dudhope Park in 1893 and Lochee Park in 1899. The first public baths in Dundee opened in 1891.

From 1876 horse drawn trams ran in the streets of Dundee.

For most of the 19th century the whaling industry in Dundee prospered but it went into a steep decline at the end of the century. In the 19th century shipbuilding became a major industry in Dundee. The linen industry gave way to jute. This fibre was imported from India and was used to make sacks. By the mid 19th century the jute industry in Dundee was booming and employed many people.

Until the 19th century ships were tied up on the banks of the Tay but in 1825 the first wet dock, King William IV dock was built. It was followed by Earl Grey Dock in 1834, Camperdown Dock in 1865 and Victoria Dock in 1875.

One famous 19th century Dundonian was William McGongall (1830-72) who has a claim to be Scotland’s worst poet!


Between 1899 and 1902 the horse drawn trams were replaced by electric ones. Amenities in Dundee continued to improve and Victoria Park opened in 1906.

Furthermore in the 1920s and 1930s Dundee council built the first council houses. After 1945 the council built many more council houses north of the Kingsway ring road.

Unfortunately, like all of Scotland, Dundee suffered severely in the depression of the 1930s. Jute and shipbuilding both suffered. However the marmalade industry was still prosperous and in 1920 D C Thompson began printing comics in Dundee. Prosperity returned to Dundee during World War II when the shipyards worked incessantly. However after 1945 they declined. Shipbuilding in Dundee ended altogether in 1982.

After 1945 Dundee council tried to diversify industry. New industrial estates were built in Dundee. New industries in Dundee in the later 20th century included light engineering. Timex watches came to Dundee in the late 1940s but they closed in 1993. In the 1980s a new Technology Park was built at Dundee. The first units were occupied in 1985. Today tourism is an important industry.

Dundee docks declined in the 20th century. Earl Grey dock closed in 1963, then was filled in.

In the 1960s and 1970s much of the city centre was rebuilt. Overgate was rebuilt in the 1960s.

Kingsway Technical College opened in 1964.

The Tay Road Bridge opened in 1966.

Dundee University became independent in 1967.

Barnhill Shopping Centre opened in 1971.

A new leisure centre opened in 1974.

Also in 1974 Ninewells Hospital opened.

Wellgate Shopping Centre opened in 1978. A new Central Library also opened in 1978.

The Discovery returned to Dundee in 1986. Discovery Point Visitor Centre opened in 1993.

Verdant Works museum of jute working opened in 1996. Dundee Contemporary Arts opened in 1999.


n 2000 the new Overgate Shopping Centre opened. Dundee Ice Arena also opened in 2000.

In the last years of the 20th century the population of Dundee fell slightly. Today the population of Dundee is 143,000.

Dundee (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Dèagh) is the fourth-largest city in Scotland, with a population of 143,090. It is located on the north bank of the River Tay's estuary and so is near the east coast and the North Sea. Dundee is known as the City of Discovery, both in honour of Dundee's history of scientific activities, and of the RRS Discovery, Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic exploration vessel, which was built in Dundee and is now berthed there.

Its history began with the Picts in the Iron Age and during the medieval period was the site of many battles. During the Industrial Revolution the local jute industry caused the city to grow rapidly. In this period Dundee also gained a reputation for its marmalade industry and its journalism, giving Dundee its epithet as the city of "jam, jute and journalism". Dundee's population reached a peak of nearly 200,000 at the start of the 1970s, but it has since declined due to outward migration and a falling birth rate.

The biomedical and technology industries have grown since the 1980s and the city now accounts for 10% of Britain’s digital entertainment industry. The city is also famous for being the home of William McGonagall, who is widely known as the "world's worst poet". The city is home to the Scottish Dance Theatre, who are based in the city's Dundee Repertory Theatre, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which regularly plays in the city's Caird Hall. On 5 March 2004 Dundee was granted Fairtrade City status.

Dundee first became a settlement when the Picts settled the area 3,500 years ago. At the time the area was known by the Pictish name of Alec-tum. The name "Dundee" was later adopted from the Gaelic Dùn Dèagh, meaning "Fort on the Tay". In 1191 CE, the town was awarded a charter making it a royal burgh. This charter was later revoked by Edward I, though it was replaced by a new charter from Robert the Bruce in 1327. Dundee became a walled city in 1545, owing to a period of hostilities known as the rough wooing. In July 1547, much of the city was destroyed by an English naval bombardment. In 1645, during the Scottish civil war, Dundee was again besieged, this time by the Royalist Marquess of Montrose. In 1651 during the Third English Civil War, it was invaded by General Monck, who was the commander of Oliver Cromwell's forces in Scotland. These English Parliamentarians destroyed much of the city and killed many of its inhabitants. Dundee was later the site of an early Jacobite uprising when John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart standard on Dundee Law in support of James VII (James II of England) following his overthrow, earning him the nickname Bonnie Dundee.

The Wishart Arch is the only surviving part of the city walls Dundee greatly expanded in size during the Industrial Revolution mainly because of the jute industry. By the end of the 19th century, a majority of the city's workers were employed in its many jute mills and in related industries. Dundee's location on a major estuary allowed for the easy importation of jute from the Indian subcontinent and of whale oil — needed for the processing of the jute — from the city's large whaling industry. The industry began to decline in the 20th century as it became cheaper to process the cloth on the Indian subcontinent. The city's last jute mill closed in the 1970s.

The original Tay Bridge (from the south) the day after the disaster. The collapsed section can be seen near the northern endIn addition to jute the city is also known for jam and journalism. The "jam" association refers to marmalade, which was purportedly invented in the city by Janet Keiller in 1797 (although in reality, recipes for marmalade have been found dating back to the 1500s). Keiller's marmalade became a famous brand because of its mass production and its worldwide export. However, the industry was never a major employer compared with the jute trade. Marmalade has since become the preserve of larger businesses, but jars of Keiller's marmalade are still widely available. "Journalism" refers to the publishing firm DC Thomson & Co., which was founded in the city in 1905 and remains the largest employer after the health and leisure industries. The firm publishes a variety of newspapers, children's comics and magazines, including The Sunday Post, The Courier, Shout and children's publications, The Beano and The Dandy.

Dundee also developed a major maritime and shipbuilding industry in the 19th Century. 2,000 ships were built in Dundee between 1871 and 1881, including the Antarctic research ship used by Robert Falcon Scott, the RRS Discovery. This ship is now on display at Discovery Point in the city, and the Victorian steel-framed works in which Discovery's engine was built is now home to the city's largest bookstore. The need of the local jute industry for whale oil also supported a large whaling industry. Dundee Island in the Antarctic takes its name from the Dundee whaling expedition, which discovered it in 1892. Whaling ceased in 1912 and shipbuilding ceased in 1981. The estuary was the location of the first Tay rail bridge, built by Thomas Bouch and opened in 1879. At the time it was the longest railway bridge in the world. The bridge fell down in a storm less than a year later under the weight of a train full of passengers in what is known as The Tay Bridge Disaster.


Dundee Law seen from afar Dundee is located at 56°27��″N, 02°58��″W on the north bank of the Firth of Tay and near the North Sea. The city surrounds the basalt plug of an extinct volcano, called Dundee Law or simply The Law (174 metres (571 ft)). Dundee is Scotland's only south-facing city, giving it a contested claim to being the nation's sunniest city.

Dundee lies close to Perth (20 miles) and the southern Highlands to the west. St Andrews (14 miles) and north-east Fife are situated to the south, while the Sidlaw Hills, Angus Glens and the Glamis Castle are located to the north. Two links golf courses, St Andrews and Carnoustie are located nearby. The towns of Invergowrie in Perth and Kinross, Newport on Tay in Fife and Monifieth in Angus are outside of local government control of Dundee but are de facto suburbs of the city, taking its population up to c.170,000.


Natives of Dundee are called Dundonians and are recognisable for their distinctive accent, which most noticeably substitutes the monophthong /e/ in place of the diphthong /ai/. A significant proportion of the population are on low income or receive social security benefits [citation needed] . More than half of the city's council wards are among Scotland's most deprived and fewer than half of the homes in Dundee are owner-occupied. The Whitfield area in particular has the highest rate of child poverty in the UK at 96%. Dundee had the highest rate of abortions in Scotland in 2004 (24.2 per 1000) and the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe in 2003-2004 (1 in 16; the national average is 1 in 23).

Dundee Parish Church, St Mary's is one of two of the city's City Churches Dundee's population increased substantially with the urbanisation of the Industrial Revolution as did other British cities. The most significant influx occurred in the mid-1800s with the arrival of Irish workers fleeing from the Potato Famine and attracted by industrialisation. The city also attracted immigrants from Italy and Poland in the 19th and 20th Centuries, although Dundee did not experience post-World War II immigration on the same scale as other cities. Nevertheless, Dundee still has a sizable ethnic minority population. The city's declining industrial base has caused the population to reduce since the start of the 1970s. A 7.3% drop in population occurred between 1991 to 2001 and a decline of further 14.3% (20,674) is predicted from 2005 to 2011. The number of deaths has exceeded the number of births since 1993, with a drop of 19% in births between 1993 and 2003. There has also been an annual net average emigration of 1,000 from 1998 to 2002. Dundee attracts a large number of students (many Irish), so that students account for 14.2% of the population, the highest proportion of the four Scottish Cities. Dundee has a relatively high percentage of recycling of household waste.

Places of worship

Dundee City Churches

The City Churches, Dundee Parish Church (St Mary's) and the Steeple Church, are the most prominent Church of Scotland buildings in Dundee. The Church of Scotland Presbytery of Dundee currently consists of 45 congregations, although many now share a minister. Robert Murray McCheyne, who was the minister of St Peter's (Free Church of Scotland) from 1838 until his death in 1843, led a significant religious revival in Dundee. There are two cathedrals in the city — St. Paul's (Scottish Episcopal) and St. Andrew's (Roman Catholic).

A Jewish community has existed in the city since the 19th century. The present synagogue was built in the 1970s.

Muslims are served by a large mosque, which opened in 2000.

The city also has a Hindu mandir and Sikh gurdwara.

Government and politics

Main article: Politics of Dundee

Tayside House, the current home of Dundee City CouncilDundee was first made a royal burgh in 1911 and became a unitary council area in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, which gave it a single tier of local government control under the Dundee City Council. The city has two mottos — Dei Donum (Latin: Gift of God) and Prudentia et Candore (With Thought And Purity), although usually only the latter is used for civic purposes. Dundee is represented in both the British House of Commons and in the Scottish Parliament. For elections to the European Parliament, Dundee is within the Scotland constituency.

Local government

Dundee is one of 32 council areas of Scotland, represented by the Dundee City Council, a local authority composed of 29 elected councillors. Previously the city was a county city and later a district of the Tayside region. Council meetings take place in the City Chambers, which opened in 1933 and are located in City Square. The civic head and chair of the council is known as the Lord Provost, a position similar to that of mayor in other cities. The council executive is based in Tayside House on the banks of the River Tay, but the council recently announced plans to demolish it in favour of new premises (Dundee House) on North Lindsay Street. As of 2006 the council is controlled by a minority coalition of Labour and Liberal Democrats of 12 councillors, with the support of the Conservatives who have five. Although the Scottish National Party (SNP) is the largest party on the council, with 11 councillors. Elections to the council are on a four year cycle, the next due on 3 May 2007. Councillors are elected from single-member wards by the first past the post system of election, although this will change for the 2007 election, due to the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004.[29] Eight new multi-member wards will be introduced, each electing three or four councillors by single transferable vote, to produce a form of proportional representation.

Westminster and Holyrood

Dundee City Square. The building at the back of the square is Caird Hall. The building on the right is Dundee City Chambers, where the city council meets For elections to the British House of Commons at Westminster, the city area and portions of the Angus council area are divided in two constituencies. The constituencies of Dundee East and Dundee West are represented by Stewart Hosie (Scottish National Party (SNP)) and James McGovern (Labour), respectively. For elections to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, the city area is divided between three constituencies. The Dundee East (Holyrood) constituency and the Dundee West (Holyrood) constituency are entirely within the city area. The Angus (Holyrood) constituency includes north-eastern and north-western portions of the city area.[30] All three constituencies are within the North East Scotland electoral region. Shona Robison (SNP) is the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Dundee East constituency; Kate Maclean (Labour) is the current MSP for the Dundee West constituency and Andrew Welsh (SNP) is the current MSP for the Angus constituency.

International links

Dundee maintains cultural, economic and educational ties with six twin cities:

- Orleans, France (1946)

- Zadar, Croatia (1959)

- Würzburg, Germany (1962)

- Alexandria, Virginia, USA (1974)

- Nablus, West Bank (1980)

- Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2004)

In addition, the Scottish Episcopalian Diocese of Brechin (centred on St Paul’s Cathedral in Dundee) is twinned with the diocese of Iowa, USA and the diocese of Swaziland.[32]


Cox's Stack, A chimney from the former Camperdown works jute mill. The chimney takes its name from jute baron James Cox who later became Lord Provost of the city Dundee is a regional employment, education and retail centre, with 300,000 persons within 30 minutes drive of the city centre and 630,000 people within one hours drive from the centre. Many people from North East Fife, Angus and Perth and Kinross commute to the city.[33] In 2004-2005 the city itself had an economically active population of 77.4% of the working age population, about 17% of the working age population are full time students. The city sustains about 90,000 jobs in around 4,000 companies. The number of jobs in the city has grown by around 10% since 1996. recent and current investment levels in the city are at a record level. Since 1997 Dundee has been the focus of investment approaching an estimated £1 billion.

Despite this economic growth the proportion of Dundee’s population whose lives are affected by poverty and who can be described as socially excluded is second only to Glasgow in Scotland. Median weekly earnings were £409 in February 2006, an increase of £33% since 1998, on a par with the Scottish median. Unemployment in 2004 was around 4.3%, higher than the Scottish average of 3%, although the city has “closed the gap” since the 1996 when unemployment was 8.6% with the Scottish average at 6.1%. In 2000 the number of unemployed in the city had fallen to below 5,000 for the first time in over 25 years. Average house prices in Dundee have more than doubled since 1990 from an average of £42,475, to £102,025 in 2006. Total house sales in the city have more than trebled since 1990 from £115,915,391 to £376,999,716 in 2004. House prices rose by over 15% between 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 and between 2005 and 2006 prices rose by 16.6%.


The period following World War II was notable for the transformation of the city's economy. While jute still employed one-fifth of the working population, new industries were attracted and encouraged. NCR Corporation selected Dundee as the base of operations for the UK in late 1945, primarily because of the lack of damage the city had sustained in the war, good transport links and high productivity from long hours of sunshine. Production started in the year before the official opening of the plant on June 11, 1947. A fortnight after the 10th anniversary of the plant, the 250,000th cash machine was produced. By the 1960s, NCR had become the principal employer of the city and produced ATMs at several of its Dundee plants. The firm, known to employees and locals as 'the Cash', developed magnetic-strip readers for cash registers and produced early computers. Astral, a Dundee-based firm that manufactured and sold refrigerators and spin dryers was merged into Morphy Richards and rapidly expanded to employ over 1,000 people. The development in Dundee of a Michelin tyre-production facility helped to absorb the unemployment caused by the decline of the jute industry, particularly with the abolition of the jute control by the Board of Trade on April 30, 1969.

Employment in Dundee changed dramatically during the 1980s with the loss of nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs due to closure of the shipyards, cessation of carpet manufacturing and the disappearance of the jute trade. To combat growing unemployment and vulnerable economic conditions, Dundee was declared an Enterprise Zone in January 1984. In 1983, the first Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computers were produced in Dundee by Timex. In the same year the company broke production records, despite a sit-in by workers protesting job cuts and plans to demolish one of the factory buildings to make way for a supermarket. Timex closed its Dundee plant in 1993 following an acrimonious six month industrial dispute. More recently, NCR announced its intention to cease production in the city in 2007, rendering 650 people jobless.

Modern day

As in the rest of Scotland manufacturing industries are being gradually replaced by a modern mixed economy, supported by public and private investment and a skilled or semi-skilled workforce, although 13.5% of the workforce still work in the manufacturing sector, higher than the Scottish and UK average, and more than double that of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The main new growth sectors have been software development and biotechnology along with retail. The city has a small financial, banking and insurance sector, with 11% of the workforce, smaller than the three larger Scottish cities, for example Edinburgh’s banking and finance sector accounts for 33.3% of it’s workforce.

In 2005 32 companies employed 250 or more staff these include limited and private companies NCR Corporation, Michelin, Tesco (although it was announced in March 2003 that they would be closing their distribution centre in the city with the loss of 450 jobs), D. C. Thomson & Co, BT, Client Logic Ltd, Norwich Union, Royal Bank of Scotland, Asda, Strathtay Scottish, Tayside Contracts, Tokheim, Scottish Citylink, W H Brown Construction, C J Lang & Son, Joinery and Timber Creations, HBOS, Debenhams, Travel Dundee, WL Gore and Associates, In Practice Systems, Cyclacel, Pro2Kem, The Wood Group, Simclar, Upstate Life Sciences, Alchemy, Cypex. Major employers in the public sector and non profit sector are NHS Tayside, the University of Dundee, Tayside Police, Dundee College, Tayside Fire Brigade, HM Revenue and Customs, University of Abertay Dundee and Wellcome Trust.

The largest employers in Dundee are the city council and the National Health Service, which make up over 10% of the city's workforce. The biomedical and biotechnology sectors, including start-up biomedical companies arising from university research, employ 1,000 people directly and nearly 2,000 indirectly. Information technology and software for computer games have been important industries in the city for more than twenty years. Rockstar North, developer of Lemmings and the Grand Theft Auto series was founded in Dundee as DMA Design by David Jones; an undergraduate of the University of Abertay Dundee. Dundee is responsible for 10% of Britain’s digital entertainment industry, with an annual turnover of £100 million. Outside of specialised fields of medicine, science and technology, the proportion of Dundonians employed in the manufacturing sector is higher than that found in the larger Scottish cities; nearly 12% of 82,000 workers. Manufacturing income per head in Dundee was £19,700 in 1999, compared to £16,700 in Glasgow. The insolvency rate for businesses in Dundee is lower than other Scottish cities, accounting for only 2.3% of all liquidations in Scotland, compared to 22% and 61.4% for Edinburgh and Glasgow respectively.


The Dundee Tourist information centre has about 115,000 visitors per year, of this about 100,000 are from the rest of the UK and around 15,000 from outside the UK. The number of visitors has been steadily rising over the last ten years, while visitors from outside the UK has more than doubled in that time. Dundee’s hotels also serve as a base for tourism in the popular surrounding rural areas of Angus and Perth and Kinross.


Dundee viewed across the Tay estuary from the southern side. The hill in the background is Dundee law which is situated in approximately the centre of the city. The bridge on the left is the Tay Road Bridge Dundee is served by the A90 road which connects the city to Perth in the west, and Forfar and Aberdeen in the north. The part of the road that is in the city is a dual carriageway and forms the city's main bypass on its north side, known as the Kingsway. To the east, the A92 connects the city to Monifieth and Arbroath. The A92 also connects the city to the county of Fife on the south side of the Tay estuary via a toll bridge, although tolls are only charged for southbound traffic heading into Fife. The main southern route around the city is Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue (the A991), that runs alongside the Tay from a junction with the A90 in the west, to the city centre where it joins the A92 at the bridge.

Dundee has an extensive public bus transport system, with the Seagate Bus Station serving as the city's main terminus. Travel Dundee operates most of the intra-city services, with other more rural services operated by Strathtay Scottish. The city's two railway stations are the main Dundee (Tay Bridge) Station, which is situated near the waterfront and the much smaller Broughty Ferry Station, which is further east in Broughty Ferry. Both are on the same railway line, which serves the east coast of Scotland. Passenger services at Dundee are provided by First Scotrail, Virgin Cross Country and GNER. There are no freight services that serve the city since Dundee lost its Freightliner terminal in the 1980s. A regional airport offers commercial flights to London City Airport 5 times a day. The airport has a 1,400-metre runway capable of serving small aircraft and is located 3 kilometres west of the city centre, adjacent to the Tay river. The nearest major international airports are in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.


McManus Galleries houses a museum and art gallery with a collection of fine and decorative art as well as a natural history collection Dundee is home to Scotland's only full-time repertory ensemble, established in the 1930s. One of its most famous alumni, Hollywood actor Brian Cox is a native of the city. The Dundee Repertory Theatre, built in 1982 is the base for Scottish Dance Theatre. Dundee's principal concert auditorium, the Caird Hall (named after its benefactor, the jute baron James Key Caird) regularly hosts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Various smaller venues host local and international musicians during Dundee's annual Jazz, Guitar and Blues Festivals. An art gallery and an art house cinema are located in Dundee Contemporary Arts, which opened in 1999 in the city's cultural quarter. McManus Galleries is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in Albert Square. It houses a museum and art gallery that exhibits a collection of fine and decorative art and a natural history collection.

Dundee has a strong literary heritage, with several authors either having been born, having lived in or studied in the city. These include A. L. Kennedy, Rosamunde Pilcher, Kate Atkinson, Thomas Dick, Mary Shelley and John Burnside. The Dundee International Book Prize is a biennial competition open to new authors, offering a prize of £10,000 and publication by Polygon Books. Past winners have included Andrew Murray Scott, Claire-Marie Watson and Malcolm Archibald. William McGonagall, regularly cited as the "worlds worst poet", worked and wrote in the city, often giving performances of his work in pubs and bars. Many of his poems are about the city and events therein, such as his work The Tay Bridge Disaster.


Popular music groups such as the 1970s soul-funk outfit Average White Band, the Associates, the band Spare Snare, Danny Wilson and the Indie rock band The View hail from Dundee (click Pic to visit Web Site), all the members of The View were at the city's St Johns RC High School, their debut single went to number 15 in the UK singles chart. Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue and singer-songwriter KT Tunstall are former pupils of the High School of Dundee, although Tunstall is not a native of the city. The Irish indie rock band Snow Patrol was formed by students at the University of Dundee, and Brian Molko; lead singer of Placebo, grew up in the city. In the autumn, Dundee hosts an annual blues festival known as the Dundee Blues Bonanza. In May 2006 BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend music festival was held in the city's Camperdown park. The city has two radio stations — Wave 102 and Tay FM — which broadcast on 102.0 and 102.8 FM respectively. Tay FM also has a sister AM station, Tay AM. Between 2001 and 2002, the city had its own RSL television channel, the Channel Six Dundee, which played music videos and cult children's cartoons.


Dundee has two professional football teams — (Dundee and Dundee United). Their stadia (Dens Park and Tannadice Park) are closer together than any senior pair in world football. Dundee is one of only three British cities to have produced two European Cup semi-finalists (the others being Glasgow and London). Dundee FC was relegated to the First Division in the 2004-05 season, leaving Dundee United as the city's only Scottish Premier League (SPL) team. Dundee and surrounding towns are home to a number of junior football teams. In May 2005, two local teams — Tayport and Lochee United — qualified for the final of the Scottish Junior Cup at Tannadice Park, which was won by Tayport. Dundee is home to the Dundee Texol Stars ice hockey team which plays at Dundee Ice Arena. The team participates in the Scottish National League (SNL) with the Dundee Tigers and the Northern League (NL) and in cup competitions. Dundee is home to Dundee High School Former Pupils rugby club which plays in the First Division of the BT Premier League rugby club. Menzieshill Hockey Club are one of Scotland's premier field hockey teams and regularly represent Scotland in European competitions. The team plays in the European Indoor Cup A Division and has won the Scottish Indoor National League seven times in the last decade. An outdoor concrete skate park was constructed in Dudhope Park with money from the Scottish Executive’s Quality of Life Fund. Opened in 2006, the park was nominated for the Nancy Ovens Award.

Tannadice Park (Dundee United Ground) &



High School (Boys)

Schools in Dundee have a pupil enrollment of over 20,300. There are forty-one primary schools and ten secondary schools in the city. Of these, twelve primary and three secondary schools serve the city's Roman Catholic population; the remainder are non-denominational. Dundee is also home to a school for Muslim girls — the only one of its kind in Scotland. Standards in Dundee's primary schools have shown continuous improvement since 2001, with most meeting or exceeding the national average for rates of improvement. Educational performance at standard and higher grade in secondary schools had been well below the national average in 1997 to 1999, although subsequent figures have shown a significant improvement. Between 2003 to 2005, 85% of pupils achieved access 3 or standard grade, 5–6 in English or Maths and 12% achieving at least 5 higher awards at A–C grades. The average number of graduates who continued on to further or higher education was 56% in the school year 2004/5, 4% higher than the national average of 52%. This was an increase from the period of 1997 to 1999 when the rate had had been well below the national average. The rate of truancy in Dundee schools has improved to 0.2% from previous rates, which had exceeded the national average of 0.8%.

High School (Girls)

Dundee is home to one independent (private) grammar school, the High School of Dundee, which founded in the 13th century by the Abbot and Monks of Lindores. Early students included William Wallace, Hector Boece and James, John and Robert Wedderburn, the authors of The Gude and Godlie Ballatis, one of the most important literary works of the Scottish Reformation. It was the earliest Reformed school in Scotland, having adopted the new religion in 1554.

The most prominent of Dundee's state secondary schools are the Harris Academy and the Morgan Academy. The Harris Academy was founded in 1885 and is the largest state school in the city. Former pupils include MP George Galloway, professional footballer Christian Dailly and the former vice-chairman of Rangers Football Club, Donald Findlay. The Morgan Academy dates back to 1888 when the Dundee Burgh School Board bought Morgan hospital and reopened it as a school. The school and the prior hospital take their names from John Morgan, who bequeathed much of his fortune to establish a residential institution.

St Johns RC High School was refurbished between 2004 and 2006, the new £12.5 million building is one of the most advanced schools in Britain.

Colleges and universities

Dundee University Dundee is home to two universities and a student population of approximately 17,000. The University of Dundee was established in 1967, after 70 years as a college of the University of St Andrews. Significant research in biomedical fields and oncology is carried out in the "College of Life Sciences". The university also incorporates the Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design. In October 2005, the university became the first UNESCO centre in the UK; the centre will be involved in research regarding the management of the world's water resources on behalf of the United Nations.

The University of Abertay Dundee is a new university; created in 1994 under legislation granting the status of university to the Dundee Institute of Technology, which had been founded in 1888. The university has a computer games technology and design department that holds an annual computer game production competition called Dare to Be Digital. The university is also home to the Dundee Business School. In May 2002, University of Abertay Dundee was ranked number one in the United Kingdom for its investment in IT facilities by the Financial Times. In The Times University Ranking tables, the University of Dundee and the University of Abertay Dundee are 44th and 57th in a list of 109 British universities respectively. The University of Dundee was ranked third for social work, seventh for architecture and eighth for biological sciences.

Dundee College is the city's only further education college, which was established in 1985 as an institution of higher education and vocational training. The college is noted for its New Media centre and the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. In a 2005 HMIE inspection, the college's teaching and learning process were rated "very good" in six of the seven subject areas and overall evaluations

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Dundee Facts

Dundee’s current population is approximately 145,000. 200 years ago, Dundee had a population greater than that of Glasgow.

Dr George Alexander Pirie started his investigations at Dundee Royal Infirmary in the late 19th century. He was one of the first doctors to use X-rays in the field of medicine. He began producing X-ray images in 1896.

Dundee bookseller James Chalmers invented the adhesive postage stamp.

Ninewells Hospital – first new teaching hospital to be built in Britain after the Second World War.

James Bowman Lindsay, who lived in Dundee in the early 19th century, demonstrated not only the world’s first visible electric light, but also wireless telegraphy through water. His greatest achievement, however, lay in his prophetic vision of the information society.

In the early 20th century, Preston Watson achieved powered flight, five months before the Wright Brothers.

The Tay Railway Bridge is just over two miles long and still remains the longest in Europe. The section closest to Dundee was completed in 1887, to replace a section that was destroyed in 1879 by a storm.

Dundee maintains a spectacular position on the Tay Estuary and is dominated by a dormant volcano called “The Law”. It is the highest point in Dundee, offering a great view over the city and the surrounding area.

Margaret Fenwick was the first woman trade union leader in Britain – General Secretary of the Jute, Flax & Kindred Textile Operatives’ Union.

Dr Thomas John MacLagan developed aspirin in 1876, whilst working as a Medical Superintendent at Dundee Royal Infirmary.

Sir Robert Watson Watt, the radar pioneer, attained a first-class science degree from University College, Dundee. In 1912 he was appointed an assistant to the Professor of Physics. His studies of thunderstorms during the First World War led him to draw up the world’s first practical radar scheme.

Dundee was the home port of the Antarctic exploration ship RRS Discovery, the historic vessel which took Captain Robert Scott to Antarctica. The Discovery, carefully restored, is now the centrepiece of an award-winning tourist and visitor centre at Dundee’s waterfront.

Dundee was once among the world’s leading whaling ports. The ready availability of whale oil in Dundee led to the establishment of the jute industry in the city in the 1830s. The oil was used to soften the rough jute fibres. Dundee soon became the centre of the world’s jute industry.

Kingsway was the first ring road system in Britain.

Mrs Keiller produced marmalade from a consignment of bitter oranges, whilst, in the 1870s, that glory of British gastronomy – the chip – was first sold by Belgian immigrant Edward De Gernier in the city’s Greenmarket.

At one time there were more millionaires per head in Dundee than anywhere else in Britain.

The Howff burial ground is a historic graveyard given to the people of Dundee by Mary, Queen of Scots. The carved gravestones, which date back to the sixteenth century, feature the signs and symbols of the old craft guilds.

Verdant Works, an award-winning site and former jute mill, tells the story of Dundee’s important jute and textiles history. At one time there were as many as 43,000 people employed in the textiles industry in Dundee.

Sir James Ivory, a famous 18th century mathematician and astronomer, said to have ranked alongside Newton, was the son of Dundee Watchmaker, James Ivory, who made the clock for the steeple of St Andrew’s Church, Cowgate.

Williamina Fleming, born and educated in Dundee, achieved fame as an astronomer at Harvard College Observatory in the USA, where she specialised in developing the uses of photography in astronomical research.

James MacDonald, the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1946 to 1976 was born in Dundee.

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