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.