Top: Tay Rail Bridge, Middle: RRS Discovery and City Centre, Bottom left: Magdalen Yard Bandstand, Bottom right: University of Dundee.
Dundee officially the City of Dundee, is the fourth-largest city in Scotland by population. At the 2011 census, it had a population density of 3,298 people per square kilometre, the second highest of any Scottish city. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea. Under the name of Dundee City, it forms one of the 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland.
The town developed into a burgh in medieval times, and expanded rapidly in the 19th century largely due to the jute industry. This, along with its other major industries gave Dundee its epithet as city of "jute, jam and journalism". Dundee's recorded population reached a peak of 182,204 at the 1971 census, but it has since declined to 147,285 according to the 2011 Census.
Today, Dundee is promoted as 'One City, Many Discoveries' 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 in the city harbour. Biomedical and technological industries have arrived since the 1980s, and the city now accounts for 10% of the United Kingdom's digital-entertainment industry. Dundee has two universities—the University of Dundee and the Abertay University. In 2014 Dundee was recognised by the United Nations as the UK's first UNESCO City of Design for its diverse contributions to fields including medical research, comics and video games.
A £1 billion master plan to regenerate and to reconnect the Waterfront to the city centre which started in 2001 is expected to be completed within a 30-year period, with the Dundee Victoria & Albert Museum opening by 2016 at a cost of £45 million.
Dundee is also known for The Dandy, The Beano, Desperate Dan, and Oor Wullie. Visitors wishing to orient themselves should consider taking a walk (or drive) up the Law, Dundee which offers a 360-degree uninterrupted view of Dundee, the Firth of Tay and the Tay Bridge, famously replacing the bridge demolished after the disaster of 1879, and the Tay Road Bridge.
In December 2014; Dundee was named the first city in the United Kingdom to hold theUNESCO City of Design status by the United Nations
The name "Dundee" is made up of two parts: the common Celtic place-name element dun, meaning fort; and a second part that may derive from a Celtic element, cognate with the Gaelic dè, meaning 'fire'.
While earlier evidence for human occupation is abundant, Dundee's success and growth as a seaport town arguably came as a result of William the Lion's charter, granting Dundee to his younger brother, David (later Earl of Huntingdon) in the late 12th century. The situation of the town and its promotion by Earl David as a trading centre led to a period of prosperity and growth. The earldom was passed down to David's descendants, amongst whom was John Balliol. The town became a Royal Burgh on John's coronation as king in 1292. The town and its castle were occupied by English forces for several years during the First War of Independence and recaptured by Robert the Bruce in early 1312. The original Burghal charters were lost during the occupation and subsequently renewed by Bruce in 1327.
The burgh suffered considerably during the conflict known as the Rough Wooing of 1543 to 1550, and was occupied by the English forces ofAndrew Dudley from 1547. In 1548, unable to defend the town against an advancing Scottish force, Dudley ordered that the town be burnt to the ground In 1645, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, Dundee was again besieged, this time by the Royalist Marquess of Montrose. The town was finally destroyed by Parliamentarian forces led by George Monck in 1651. The town played a pivotal role in the establishment of theJacobite cause when John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart standard on the Dundee Law in 1689. The town was held by the Jacobites in the 1715–16 rising, and on 6 January 1716 the Jacobite claimant to the throne, James VIII and III (the Old Pretender), made a public entry into the town. Many in Scotland, including many in Dundee, regarded him as the rightful king.
The economy of mediaeval Dundee centred on the export of raw wool, with the production of finished textiles being a reaction to recession in the 15th century Two government Acts in the mid 18th century had a profound effect on Dundee's industrial success: the textile industry was revolutionised by the introduction of large four-storey mills, stimulated in part by the 1742 Bounty Act which provided a government-funded subsidy on Osnaburg linen produced for export Expansion of the whaling industry was triggered by the second Bounty Act, introduced in 1750 to increase Britain's maritime and naval skill base. Dundee, and Scotland more generally, saw rapid population increase at end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, with the city's population increasing from 12,400 in 1751 to 30,500 in 1821.
The phasing out of the linen export bounty between 1825 and 1832 stimulated demand for cheaper textiles, particularly for cheaper, tough fabrics. The discovery that the dry fibres of jute could be lubricated with whale oil (of which Dundee had a surfeit, following the opening of its gasworks) to allow it to be processed in mechanised mills resulted in the Dundee mills rapidly converting from linen to jute, which sold at a quarter of the price of flax. Interruption of Prussian flax imports during the Crimean War and of cotton during the American Civil War resulted in a period of inflated prosperity for Dundee and the jute industry dominated Dundee throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Unprecedented immigration, notably of Irish workers, led to accelerated urban expansion, and at the height of the industry's success, Dundee supported 62 jute mills, employing some 50,000 workers Cox Brothers, who owned the massive Camperdown Works in Lochee, were one of the largest jute manufacturers in Europe and employed more than 5,000 workers.
The rise of the textile industries brought with it an expansion of supporting industries, notably of the whaling, maritime and shipbuilding industries, and extensive development of the waterfront area started in 1815 to cope with increased demand for port capacity. At its height, 200 ships per year were built there, including Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic research vessel, the RRS Discovery. This ship is now on display at Discovery Point in the city. A significant whaling industry was also based in Dundee, largely existing to supply the jute mills with whale oil. Whaling ceased in 1912 and shipbuilding ceased in 1981.
Dundee sits on the north bank of the Firth of Tay on the eastern, North Sea Coast of Scotland. The city lies 36.1 miles (58 km) NNE of Edinburg and 360.6 miles (580 km) NNW of London. The built-up area occupies a roughly rectangular shape 8.3 miles (13 km) long by 2.5 miles (4 km) wide, aligned in an east to west direction and occupies an area of 60 km2. The town is bisected by a line of hills stretching from Balgay Hill (elevation of 143 m) in the west end of the city, through the Dundee Law (174 m) which occupies the centre of the built up area, to Gallow Hill (83 m), between Baxter Park and the Eastern Cemetery. North of this ridge lies a valley through which cuts the Dighty Water burn, the elevation falling to around 45 m. North of the Dighty valley lie the Sidlaw Hills, the most prominent hill being Craigowl Hill (455 m).
The western and eastern boundaries of the city are marked by two burns that are tributaries of the River Tay. On the western-most boundary of the city, the Lochee burn meets the Fowlis burn, forming the Invergowrie burn, which meets the Tay at Invergowrie basin. The Dighty Water enters Dundee from the village of Strathmartine and marks the boundaries of a number of northern districts of the city, joining the Tay between Barnhill and Monifieth. The Scouring burn in the west end of the city and Dens Burn in the east, both of which played important roles in the industrial development of the city, have now been culverted over.
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 11 June 1947. A fortnight after the 10th anniversary of the plant the 250,000th cash register was produced. By the 1960s, NCR had become the principal employer of the city producing cash registers, and later ATMs, at several of its Dundee plants. The firm 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 30 April 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 declining 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 against 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.
Schools in Dundee have a pupil enrolment of over 20,300. There are 37 primary state schools and nine secondary state schools in the city. Of these, 11 primary and two secondary schools serve the city's Catholic population; the remainder are non-denominational. There is also one specialist school that caters for pupils with learning difficulties aged between five and 18 from Dundee and the surrounding area.
Dundee has one independent school, the High School of Dundee, which was founded in the 13th century by the Abbot and monks of Lindores Abbey. The current building was designed by George Angus in a Greek Revival style and built in 1832–34. Early students included Thomas Thomson and Hector Boece, as well as the brothers James, John and Robert Wedderburn who were the authors of The Gude and Godlie Ballatis, used early in the Scottish Reformation as a vehicle to spread Protestant theology. It was the earliest reformed school in Scotland, having adopted the new religion in 1554. According to Blind Harry's largely apocryphal work The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace, William Wallace was also educated in Dundee.
Dundee is home to two universities and a student population of approximately 17,000.
The University of Dundee became an independent entity in 1967, after around 70 years of being incorporated into the University of St Andrews. It was founded in 1881 by Mary Ann Baxter and her distant cousin John Boyd Baxter as University College, Dundee. it fully merged with the University of St Andrews in 1897 and was reorganised as Queen's College, Dundee in 1954. Significant research in biomedical fields and oncology is carried out in the "College of Life Sciences". The University is also home to one of the UK's top medical schools, based at the city's Ninewells Hospital. The university also incorporates the Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art and Design and the teacher training college.
The Abertay University was founded as Dundee Institute of Technology in 1988. Previously, the buildings formed Bell Street Technical College, a further education college. It was granted university status in 1994 under the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992. The university is noted for its computing and creative technology courses, particularly incomputer games technology. and is where the makers of Grand Theft Auto started out.
Dundee College is the city's umbrella further education college, which was established in 1985 as an institution of higher education and vocational training.
The Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education was established in Dundee in Blackness Road in 2002. It is a research-led institution of higher education which are currently offering programmes accredited by SQA in the study of Islam and muslims, Arabic language and Islamic Economics and Finance. It is an independent institution. It is named after its patron, Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.