The earliest recorded history of Collieston is of the arrival of St Ternan - a Columban monk on a mission to convert the local picts to Christianity. There is however evidence that people lived here during much earlier times.

To the south of the village, the extensive dune systems on the Forvie National Nature Reserve cover an older landscape that was shaped by our ancestors. People lived on Forvie as long as 8000 years ago. Over the centuries they struggled to tame the land and embraced Christianity to form the medieval farming community of Forvie. In the fifteenth century Forvie was overwhelmed by a great sandstorm and the villagers moved north to settle in what was to become Collieston.

The village was in the fiefdom of the Earls of Erroll at Old Slains Castle. They were staunch Roman Catholics. For some time following the Reformation, Collieston's religious observance swung between the new Presbyterianism of the reformed kirk and an Episcopalianism that barely troubled to conceal its links to Roman Catholicism. Religious zeal embraced the 17th Century national passion of witch hunting. The parish of Slains is recorded as having dispatched several hundred innocent souls to be burnt at the stake or hanged. Following the collapse of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 Colliestonís parish eased into the communion of the established Church of Scotland ≠ at least on the surface.

Old loyalties died hard and there was resentment at the imposition of rising taxes by the government. This manifested itself over the next hundred years in smuggling on a grand scale. Known euphemistically as Free Trading it involved the whole community including several ministers.

....copyright collieston's century 2003