Stonehaven (Steenhive in the Doric dialect of Scots ) is a town on the northeast coast of Scotland. It is the county town of the historic county of Kincardineshire. The nearest city is Aberdeen, 16 miles to the north. It grew around an Iron Age fishing village, which has now developed into the "Auld Toun" ("old town") and expanded far to the south from the harbour.
The town's primary industries are fishing and tourism, with Dunnottar Castle, the local landmark, bringing in a large quota of tourists every year. The castle, perched atop a rocky outcrop, was home to the Keith family, and during the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Scottish Crown Jewels were hidden there. In 1296 King Edward I of England (of Braveheart fame) took the castle only for William Wallace to reclaim it in 1297, burning down the church in the process with the entire English garrison still in it. Later, in 1650, Oliver Cromwell sacked the castle to find the Crown Jewels following an eight month siege (having previously destroyed the English Crown Jewels). However, just before the castle fell, the Crown Jewels were smuggled out by some ladies who took them by boat to a small church just down the coast in the village of Kinneff, where they remained undetected for eleven years. Famous historical visitors include William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.
The Covenanters were imprisoned in Dunnottar Castle, where many died. A memorial to them can be found in Dunnottar Church.
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