Places of Historical Interest in Perthshire
The Buildings and Places listed below are those of historical and architectural significance within Perthshire. However, many are private buildings and or commercial business premises. Access and entry to the buildings and the land on which they stand should be checked, and an informed decision made. Further information might be found on tourist websites or via a suitable web search.
St. John's Kirk (Kirk of the Holy Cross of St. John the Baptist) - St. John Street - Upon this site a church has stood since the 12th Century. Perth's other(older) name St. John's toun is derived from this church of St. John. The local football team still retains this name - St. Johnstone FC. In 1126 David I granted the revenues of the church to the Abbey of Dunfermline. The building that can be seen today in Perth dates from the 15th Century onwards; the key feature being the 155 foot tower and octagonal spire - it is also the oldest surviving building in the city. As the Burgh Church, St. John's Kirk was a centre of city life and government. In 1440 it underwent some building work - the choir was reconstructed and the transepts and tower built. More globally the church is known for the sermon that John Knox preached (11 May 1559) attacking the established Catholic Church and idolatory which formed part of the Reformation in Scotland. As a consequence of that speech two monasteries were destroyed, that of the Friars and that of the Carthusians.
Significant repairs and reconstruction work took place in the 1820s (James Gillespie Graham) and in 1889 (Andrew Heiton). In 1926 the church underwent some restoration under the architect Robert Lorimer.
Occasional Guided tours allow visitors to go up the tower and this is more than worth the perspiration required - not only for the views but for the construction and the bells housed near the top.
Further building work in the last few years has experienced some problems with vandalism of the ground gargoyles placed around the site.
Of note is the St. John's Kirk plate: "one of the most outstanding collections of church silver and pewter". It comprises 16 items: communion cups and flagons; a silver parcel-gilt baptismal bath; and, collecting plates made in Dundee, Edinburgh, London and Nuremberg.
Perth Bridge - Perth - This nine-arched 270 metre bridge was designed by John Smeaton in 1772 - who also was responsible for the Forth and Clyde Canal. A key communication link to the town, Perth Bridge was widened in 1869. Of note are the flood level inscriptions under the bridge on the North Inch side. The 1993 floods were only surpassed by that of 1818 - the 2006 river level will hopefully appear on the bridge at some point. At the other side of the bridge lies Bridgend - one time ferry terminal for Perth - now a substantial settlement of 19th century housing.
St. Ninian's Cathedral - North Methven Street - This is an Episcopalian Cathedral (Episcopalian: meaning governed by an overseer - the Greek word episcopos means overseer - usually one of 5 types of bishop) designed by William Butterfield (he also designed the cathedrals in Adelaide and Frederichton) a London architect. Initiated in 1847 it is the first post-reformation cathedral constructed in Britain. Today it is an A listed building and undergoing restoration work Started in 1850 it was not until the end of the century that another London architect - J. L. Pearson - was employed to design the final touches and make some alterations to Butterfield's plans. Worth seeing are the windows - East of the Lady Chapel: manufactured at Powell's Whitechapel glassworks - East Window of the cathedral: Designed by Butterfield and constructed at the Bloomsbury workshop of Alexander Gibbs - nave: made by Burlison and Grylis - and the statue of Bishop George Howard Wilkinson (by George Frampton).
North and South Inch - Perth - these are the two main park areas of Perth - inch coming from the gaelic term for island and meaning a piece of land adjacent to a river. Originally the property of Robert III they were given by him to the Burgh. There are war memorials of note on the North Inch; the Lynedoch Monument to the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry organised by Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch; a plaque to the Cameronian Regiment (disbanded 1968); a memorial to the 51st Highland Division of a Scottish soldier receiving flowers from a small girl who is the symbol of Europe occupied by fascism - the memorial also notes the contribution of the 51st Highland Division (and others) to the defeat of the Afrika Corps at El Alamein - see also entry on Hamish Henderson; Prince Albert statue (1864).The North Inch was the scene of the Battle of the Clans of 1396. Organised by Robert III, the battle was a fight between clan Kay and clan Chattan - each of which offered thirty men for the fight which took place within a timber stockade whilst the king looked on. Victory went to clan Chattan after the last member of clan Kay climbed over the stockade, dived into the Tay and swam away. Walter Scott recounts this event in his story, The Fair Maid of Perth. The North Inch is home to the Douglas memorial garden - commemorating David Douglas the botanist and plant collector. "Near a solitary tree on this part of the inch [North] is site where three witches were burnt after execution, on 21st july, 1623."
Balhousie Castle - Balhousie Road, Perth -This is the Regimental Museum of the Black Watch - Scotland's oldest Highland Regiment. In 1863 the castle went under some restoration and towers, projecting windows and crowstepped gables were added - architect David Smart.
Perth Academy - Rose Terrace, Perth - The original academy building stands in Rose Terrace; a street named after the wife of Thomas Hay Marshall, Provost of Perth from 1770-1808. The school was designed by Robert Reid, the last King's architect in Scotland. He was also responsible for Edinburgh's Charlotte Square and New Town. Amongst the pupils of Perth Academy are included Patrick Geddes. Professor Adam Anderson (Rector of Perth Academy in 1809) is buried in Greyfriars Burial Ground.
Blackfriars Wynd - Perth - In 1437 at a house in this street, James I was murdered.
Albert Close - Perth - Just beside the lade can be found part of the original Perth City Walls.
Pullar House - Kinnoull Street, Perth - The present Pullar House is a council building that the council rents under an extortionate Private Finance Initiative paid for by the people of Perth. Here once stood Pullars of Perth; originally dyers and later drycleaners. See section on Industrial Militancy in Perth prior to the General Strike.
Guard Vennel - Perth - This street gets its name for being the headquarters of Perth Town Guard. General James Wolfe who led the forces that captured Quebec from the French Army in 1759 once stayed at those barracks.
North Church - Mill Street - The actual building on this site is about a century old. However, a church has stood on this spot for some two hundred and fifty years. The church itself has undergone extensive refurbishment. Of note are the Celtic banners (by Liz McCafferty) in the pulpit area and two recently created tapestries.
The William Soutar House - 27 Wilson Street, Craigie - William Soutar lived at this address until his death in 1943. Further information about this great Scottish writer can be found below. The house was built by WIlliam Soutar's father who was a builder and master joiner. Today the house is the home of the Perth Writer-in-Residence and visits to the house can be arranged through her via the A.K. Bell Library - email@example.com. Soutar spent 13 years in the bedroom of this house and it is worth viewing this room (modified by his father with extensions and mirrors to increase his son's field of vision) to see how the poet met his guests and viewed the world around him. There is also a small exhibition to the poet.
William Soutar Information - click here.
The Fair Maid's House - North Port - The oldest secular building in the city, the Fair maid's House dates from the 15th Century. In 1629 the Glovers Incorporation purchased the building. But, it is by the hand of Walter Scott that the Fair Maid's House is known for he immortalised it in popular romantic prose - The Fair Maid's House - published in 1828.
"The novel is set in the late fourteenth century during the reign of Robert III of Scotland. The King's son, the Duke of Rothsay, attempts to abduct Catharine Glover, the 'Fair Maid of Perth', daughter of an honest burgher. He is thwarted by the intervention of Henry Smith or Gow, an armourer and renowned swordsman, who hacks off the hand of Sir John Ramorny, the Duke's Master of Horse. Although backed by Catharine's father Simon, Henry appears too warlike to win the hand of the mild-mannered 'Maid'. Ramorny tries and fails to avenge himself on Henry, then vents his anger on Rothsay, who has dismissed him at his father's behest. Rothsay is lured to the castle of Falkland and murdered; the crime is discovered and Ramorny promptly executed. Meanwhile, a bitter rivalry develops between Henry and Conachar, his Highland apprentice, as both contend for Catharine's affections. Conachar becomes chief of Clan Quhele after the death of his father, and the King demands that the longstanding feud between Clan Quhele and Clan Chattan be resolved by mortal combat between thirty members of each clan. At the last moment one of the representatives of Clan Chattan withdraws and is replaced by Henry who relishes the opportunity of confronting Conachar. At the end of a bloody battle, the two come face to face. Betrayed by his constitutional cowardice, Conachar flees and, overcome with shame, commits suicide. Henry, weary of battle and bloodshed, vows that henceforth he will only fight in Scotland's service, and is finally accepted by Catharine."
The story is so important in Scottish culture that the building itself was altered in 1893 to fit in with the storyline of Scott's novel. In the early 1900s it was rented by a family Greig who used the premises as a sweet shop. Today it is the proposed site of the headquarters and archive building for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.
Kinnoull Aisle and Monument - Dundee Road - The Aisle is home to one of the earliest articles of funery art in Scotland, an intricate stone monument to the 1st Earl of Kinnoull (erected in 1635). The Earl was a courtier, Kings Chancellor, industrialist and politician and the monument reflects all these aspects of his life. The aisle is all that remains of the 16th century kirk that once stood on this site; the church congregation moved to a new church in the 1830s, the present day Kinnoull Parish Church. The graveyard is well worth a visit and inspection. Consisting as it does of many 17th and 18th century tombstones, including that of the ferrymen who worked the River Tay crossing between 1621 and 1772. The graveyard is also the resting place of "Euphemia (Effie) Chalmers Gray (1828 - 1897) the wife of the critic John Ruskin who later left her husband to marry his protégé, the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. This famous Victorian "love triangle" has been dramatised in several plays and an opera.
Effie was born in Perth, Scotland. Her family knew Ruskin's father, who encouraged a match between them. In 1842 Ruskin wrote the fantasy novel The King of the Golden River for Effie. After their marriage they traveled to Venice where Ruskin was researching his book The Stones of Venice. However their different temperaments soon caused problems, with Effie coming to feel oppressed by Ruskin's dogmatic personality. When she met Millais five years later Effie was still a virgin, as Ruskin had persistently put off consummating the marriage. She became close to Millais when he accompanied the couple on a trip to Scotland in order to paint Ruskin's portrait according to the critic's artistic principles. She modeled for Millais' painting The Order of Release, in which she was depicted as the loyal wife of a Scottish rebel who has secured his release from prison. As Millais painted Effie they fell in love. Effie left Ruskin and she filed for an annulment, causing a major public scandal. In 1855, after her marriage to Ruskin was annulled, Effie and John Millais married. During the marriage she bore Millais eight children. She also modeled for a number of his works, notably Peace Concluded (1856), which idealises her as an icon of beauty and fertility.
When Ruskin later became engaged to a teenage girl, Rose la Touche, Rose's concerned mother wrote to Effie, who replied by describing Ruskin as an oppressive husband. There is no reason to doubt Effie's sincerity, but her intervention broke up the engagement, probably contributing to Ruskin's later mental breakdown.
After his marriage, Millais began to paint in a broader style, which Ruskin condemned as a "catastrophe". Marriage had given him a large family to support, and it is claimed that Effie encouraged him to churn out popular works for financial gain and to maintain her busy social life. However, there is no evidence that Effie consciously pressured him to do so. Effie's journal indicates her high regard for her husband's art, and his works are still recognisably Pre-Raphaelite in style several years after his marriage. Whatever the cause, Millais eventually abandoned the Pre-Raphaelite obsession with detail and began to paint in a looser style which produced more paintings for the time and effort. Many were inspired by his family life with Effie, often using his children and grandchildren as models.
For ten years from 1881, Millais and Effie rented Birnam Hall near Murthly Castle; several paintings were produced of scenes in the vicinity.
The annulment barred Effie from some social functions. She was not allowed in the presence of the queen, so if the queen was present at a party then Effie was not invited. Prior to the annulment, she had been socially very active and this really bothered her. Eventually, when Millais was dying, the queen relented, allowing Effie to attend a royal function.
Effie died a few months after her husband. She is buried in Kinnoull churchyard, Perth, which is depicted in Millais's painting The Vale of Rest.
Effie's marriage to Ruskin and her romance with Millais have been dramatised on many occasions:
- The Love of John Ruskin (1912) a silent movie about Ruskin, Effie and Millais.
- The Passion of John Ruskin (1994), a film directed by Alex Chappel, starring Mark McKinney (Ruskin) and Neve Campbell (Effie).
- "Modern Painters" (opera) (1995) an opera about Ruskin, Effie and Millais.The Countess, a play written by Gregory Murphy about the couple.
- The Order of Release A radio play by Robin Brooks about Ruskin, Effie and Millais (1998)
Millais painted 21 large landscapes in Scotland and divided himself annually between London and Perthshire in autumn/winter. Perth Museum and Art Gallery is in possession of two pictures by Millais. In 1931 the museum was gifted the bird skin collection of John Guille Millais (the artist's son). This collection consists of 1350 specimens in eight cabinets. These cabinets appear in a painting by Millais; The Ornithologist, which is housed at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow.
Favourite spots in Perthshire for Millais include Waulkmill ("Flowing to the River" and "Flowing to the Sea") and Brig o'Turk (where Millais painted Ruskin's portrait and fell in love with Effie).
Kinnoull Parish Church - Dundee Road - The most important feature of this 19th century Gothic church (designed by William Burn in 1826) are the stained glass windows. One of these windows is by John Millais and was given to the church in 1870 by George Gray of Bowerswell - the west window - consisting of fourteen individual panels each representational of a New Testament parable. In 1930 refurbishment of the church made it some what more roomy by removing the gallery and replacing pews and pulpit (in Austrian oak). In 2006 further renovation continued and the Millais window is due for reinstating in October of that year.
Forteviot - "A Pictish and Scottish Royal Centre. The Royal centre of Forteviot in Strathearn, Perth shire is one of the famous early medieval sites in Scotland, traditionally regarded as a Royal capital." - Pictish King Unuist son of Uurguist. See Forteviot by Nick Aitchison, Tempus Publications Ltd.
Bowerswell House - Bowerswell Road - Dating from 1847 this Italianate villa with a three storey entrance tower was designed by Andrew Helton Junior. It was home to the Gray family and is connected with the lives of Effie Gray, John Millais and John Ruskin (see section on Kinnoull Aisle and Monument). Since 1946, it has been a retirement home - the conversion to which was funded by the people of Perth as a memorial to World War II. Of note are the prints of artworks by John Millais and photographs of buildings designed by Andrew Helton Junior.
St. Mary's Monastery - Hatton Road - This Gothic style building was constructed between 1868 and 1870 under the direction of Andrew Halton and was the first Catholic Monastery built in Scotland after the Reformation. It initially was part of the Redemptorist Order (founded in naples in 1696) and is latterly St. Mary's Redemptorist Institute of Spirituality - used for retreats and missions. It is about to undergo major repair works.
Methven and Logielamond Parish Church - Church Road, Methven - Built in 1783 this significant two storey rectangular church was commissioned by Mr Smythe of Methven. It had a tower and steeple as well as another aisle added in the 1830s - architect William Mackenzie of Perth.Of note are the Methven Aisle (15th century building) and the ornate Lynedoch Mausoleum - both located in the graveyard. The Mausoleum was designed in 1792-93 by James Playfair as a dedication to Catherine Graham (wife of Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch).
Dalcrue Farm - By Pitcairgreen - Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch purchased the Lydenoch Estate in 1787. His career as a soldier is documented elsewhere on this website.The farmhouse at Dalcrue is in fact designed by an architect (W. H. Playfair), who also designed the 8o foot span bridge that leads up to the farm. To the north another bridge (The Dry Arch) carries a road up to Graham's own residence. very little of this property still remains. Of note is the picturesque Italianate design of the farmhouse interior with large eaves overhanging.
St. Serf's Parish Church - Dunning - It is around this ancient ecclesiastical site that Dunning is built. The square 75 foot Romanesque tower of St. Serf's (topped with crowstepped saddleback roof) dates from the 13th Century - the rest of the church dates from 1808 when remodeling took place. Of note is the 13th Century date within which stands the Dupplin Cross - magnificent Pictish monument. The village of Dunning itself is worth a visit - begin at the fountain in the Tron Square.
Aberdalgie Church and Oliphant Slab – Aberdalgie – This T shaped church was built in 1773. It was altered in 1929 by Lorimer with the addition of a bellcote and a refit to the interior (Austrian Oak). Of note is the Venetian windows and the funerary monument to William Oliphant (died 1329). This monument was recently conserved and consists of Tournai marble carved in the image of William Oliphant at rest. Originally covering the vault of William Oliphant the Franco-Flemish incised slab was moved in 1780 from the north east corner of the graveyard to avoid further weathering.
Strathallan School – Forgandenny – The school was created in 1919 as a result of the expansion of Harry Riley’s Bridge of Allan School’s need for expansion. It is housed within an original property that itself had been remodeled in the 1820s (Freeland House) under the direction of Edward Blore and William Burn.
Abernethy Round Tower – Abernethy – Only two buildings associated with the Irish Celtic Church survive in Scotland. One of which is the 11th century Abernethy Round Tower. Made of coursed red sandstone the 72 foot tower has wall three and a half feet thick. Its original use was that of a belfry from which monks called the local populace to prayer by the ringing of hand bells. Of note are the spectacular views of the Tay Estuary.
Errol Brickworks – Errol – The last remaining 19th century brickworks in Scotland were founded in 1855. With the brickworks at Pitfour, Errol Brickworks supplied the red brick so common in this area of Perthshire.
Museum of Abernethy - School Wynd, Abernethy - The village of Abernethy is an ancient one with settlement dating back to the Picts. Dedicated to this past the Museum of Abernethy (opened by Magnus Magusson in May 2000) houses a collection of artifacts, photographs and oral histories. The museum itself is in an 18th century building that has been preserved to keep some of its original features. Of note is the 3000 year old thirty foot log boat recently excavated from the Carpow Bank on the Tay Estuary - August 2006.
All Saints Episcopal Church - Glencarse - Consecrated in 1878 this church comprises a half-timbered structure with tiled roof. The impetus for the building came from Reverend Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin and some of the funding came from George, 9th Baron of Kinnaird. The land itself was bequeathed by T W Greig of Glencarse House. Of note are the Stained Glass windows - The Good Shepherd - The Sermon on the Mount - by Meyer of Munich.
Tullibole Castle - Crook of Devon - A fine 16th century tower house, Tullibole Castle sits in ground adjacent to Tullibole Cemetery. The tower was built to be free standing . Of note is the 1608 lower eastern range which houses the kitchen and great hall with a large fireplace supported by a stone lintel in excess of eleven feet.
Balvaird Castle - Crook of Devon, Milnathort - This fully conserved L-shaped 15th century tower house underwent substantial development in the following century. With the addition of decorative fittings, courtyard buildings, a pleasure garden and flushing latrines the house became a courtyard palace. The original owners were the Murrays of Balvaird (later the Earls of Mansfield) prior to their move to Scone in 1658. Of note is the L-shaped tower house with an angled spiral staircase - designed to increase space. Having fallen into disrepair the castle was taken over by the predecessor to Historic Scotland in 1974.
Burleigh Castle - Milnathort - The ancient seat of the Balfours is here at Burleigh castle; a 15th/16th century tower house. The keep and gatehouse are 15th century and possess "angle-turrets, vaulted cellar and turnpike stair rising to the hall and top floors." "The south west round tower has skew-putts inscribed with I.B./M.B. 1582 and the red rose of the Balfours."
Kinross House and Gardens – Kinross – Built between 1679 and 1693 by Sir William Bruce, Kinross House was described by Daniel Defoe as “the most beautiful and regular piece of architecture in Scotland.” Of note within the formal garden which stretches down to Loch Leven are the loggia, statues, fountain and the Fish Gate. From the garden Lochleven Castle in which Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned (1567-68) can be seen.
St. Paul’s Scottish Episcopal Church – Although the church was built in 1874 much of its present decorative state came after as a result of the work of the Montgomery family whose family life is portrayed through memorials, plaques and stained glass windows.
Kinross Parish Church – Kinross – Designed by George Angus of Edinburgh in the perpendicular gothic style the church was constructed in 1832. The turret finials on the tower are replicas of those at Kings College Chapel in Cambridge. Similar churches to this one were designed by George Angus for Kincardine and Kingskettle in Fife. In 1902 a small suite of rooms were added to the building and the clock was installed in 1930. Significant refurbishment of the interior took place in 2005.
Tullibardine Chapel – Tullibardine – This rural parish church was founded by the Earls and Dukes of Atholl as St. Mary’s Chapel in the mid-15th century for their own use. It is in good order and much of the original features are intact.
Michael Bruce Museum – The Cobbles, Kinnesswood – The ‘Gentle Poet of Lochleven’, Michael Bruce (1746-67) was born in this weaver’s cottage in March 1746. The museum itself houses exhibits relating to the weaving industry of the past and the writings of Michael Bruce. It is maintained by the Michael Bruce Memorial Trust. See Separate Entry on Michael Bruce - click here.
Castle Huntly - Longforgan - Located above the Carse of Gowrie on a steep rocky outcrop this L-shaped tower dates from the 15th century. Over the following two hundred years it was worked on and developed - major changes were made in 1776 by George Paterson such as crenellation, the addition of two Georgian Regency style wings and changes to the roof to include a round tower and capped corner turrets. Of note are the gardens, doocot, ice house, terraced gardens, avenues, statues and spiky North Gates. Today it is a prison.
Tolbooth Steeple - Queen Street, Coupar Angus - Built in 1762 by public subscription this six-storey steeple with town clock was used as the meeting place for Coupar Angus Town Committee and Courthouse (for Justice of the Peace). The lower part of the building was employed a s a jail. The roof of the steeple is slate arranged in a fish scale style. From the top of the tower magnificent views of the countryside are to be found.
Abbey Church - Queen Street, Coupar Angus - Before this church was built this site housed one of the greatest medieval abbeys in Scotland. In tribute to this past John Carver the architect of the church designed it in the 12th century gothic style. Its' construction took place between 1859 and 1860 and the building is noted for its buttressed aisles, traceried west window and slated spire. Of note is the interior with its hammer-beam roof, remnants of previous church buildings and a font created from the remains of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey column. The graveyard includes a polygon shaped watchtower that was employed in the 19th century as a guard against body-snatchers.
Newton Castle - Newton Street, Blairgowrie - This Z-plan 16th century tower house offers spectacular views over Strathmore. It is laid out as a three-and-a-half storey block between a square stair tower and a circular tower topped by a square plan, crow stepped attic. Of note are the 18th century wood panelling in some rooms. In the 17th century the house suffered as a result of the civil war - sacked both by Cromwell and the Marquis of Montrose. The castle was the birthplace of George Drummond and Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch. See Separate Section on Thomas Graham. The castle was bought by Colonel Allan Macpherson in 1787-88 and it remains in that family's possession today.
Hill Church - Blairgowrie - Situated above both Blairgowrie and the River Ericht this church with its pagoda capped tower helps define the town. Built in 1824, most probably by William Stirling who was also involved in the building of the East Church in Rattray High Street. The interior of the building is employed as a space for the Blairgowrie Players.
Riverside Methodist Church - New Rattray, Blairgowrie - Located on the east side of the River Ericht the Perthshire Old Red Sandstone church built in 1887 by architect David Smart (of Alyth) resembles an English country church with its decorative moulds and stone spire. Of note is the National War Memorial Window - dedicated to the men of the Labour Corps - 2 December 1922. The Labour Corps was headquartered in Blairgowrie in 1917 - some 20,000 men passed through the town. The subscription was made by the men of the Labour Corps and was a sign of recognition note only of those men that served in that unit but also of the church and its welcome of those men.
Atholl Palace Hotel and Museum - Pitlochry - Positioned over Pitlochry and Strathtummel this H-plan chateau was designed by Andrew Helton Jnr and built between 1874 and 1878. It has had various roles - Hydropathic Centre, Temporary School (during WWI) and today a hotel. A museum also exists within the basement of the palace dedicated to the buildings' roles and those who have been involved in it.
Blair Atholl Distillery - Perth Road, Pitlochry - This is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland, dating back to 1798. Today it distills a 12 year old single malt.
David Douglas Pavilion - Explorers Garden, Pitlochry - A recent construction (2002) the pavilion was designed by Gaia Architects of Dunkeld to commemorate the work of David Douglas. See Separate Section on David Douglas. The pavilion roof looks like a folded leaf and is covered with sawn larch shingles. In tribute to the Douglas Fir this tree forms the key timber of the construction.
Moulin Kirk - Moulin - Built in 1830 on a site that dates back to the medieval period the church at Moulin is now a local history centre. The first church at Moulin was founded by St. Colman in AD670. Of note is the graveyard that contains several medieval gravestones including two slabs incised with swords. A fire damaged the church in 1870 and as part of the reconstruction a tower was added. The church closed its doors to worshippers in 1990.
Moulin Brewery - Moulin - Situated in the coach house of an early 18th century inn this brewery is recently opened.
St. Mary's Chapel - Grandtully - This fine pre-Reformation chapel was founded in 1533 by Alexander Stewart of Grandtully as church to Pitcairn. It was a parish church until 1883. Although the outside is quite plain the inside ceiling is magnificent - consisting of very colourful biblical and heraldic panels set in trompe-l'oeil coffers and strapwork which date from around 1636.
The Watermill - Mill Street, Aberfeldy - A former oatmeal mill built in 1826 in a gothic style, the Watermill in Aberfeldy is known as McKerchar and McNaughton's mill. The mill was working until 1983 and underwent extensive restoration in 1988. A further period of neglect was ended when it was converted into a bookshop, coffee bar and art gallery. Faithfully modified many of the original features remain and are displayed. Of note is the 15' cast iron overshot water wheel fed by a lade taking water from Moness Burn.
St. Cuthbert's Old Kirk - Weem - St. Cuthbert, the Bishop of Lindisfarne is commemorated in this 17th century church located at the foot of Weem Hill. St. Cuthbert is rumoured to have lived in a nearby cave below Chapel Rock. It was built in 1609 and became a Mausoleum for the Menzies family in 1839. Of note is the carved Menzies Tomb (c1616), colourful funeral shields and ancient stone cross and tombstones.
Castle Menzies - Weem - The old Palace of Weem that was built in 1488 is part of Castle Menzies although much of it was lost by fire as a result of a clan feud in 1502, and rebuilt as a Z-plan tower with numerous turrets. In 1577 carved dormer windows were added. The castle has been occupied by the Duke of Cumberland and also Prince Charles Edward during the Jacobite uprising. In 1839 the west drawing-room wing was designed by William Burn. Since 1957 it has been the property of the Menzies Clan Society.
House of Menzies - Weem - Originally the home farm of Castle Menzies this 1840s farmstead was converted to a wine-tasting centre, art gallery and restaurant.
Fortingall Kirk - Fortingall - This site has been of religious significance for more than a millennium. In the 7th century the first church was established by the ancient yew tree. The long low sandstone Arts and Craft building at Fortingall that stands today was designed by Dunn and Watson in 1902 in a Scots country style. Of note is the barrel-vaulted roof and fragments of four Pictish cross slabs found nearby. The village of Fortingall itself was remodeled by James M. McLaren in the early part of the 20th century with thatched roofs, crowsteps, hooded dormer windows, brick chimneys and harled exteriors. Next to Fortingall Kirk is the Molteno Memorial Hall built circa 1936.
Scottish Crannog Centre - Kenmore - Here can be found a reconstruction of a 2500 year old defended homestead - a crannog - based on the underwater excavation of Oakbank Crannog at Loch Tay. It was built by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology in 1997. The centre is a museum that house many artifacts from the dig.
Crieff Parish Church (St. Michael's) and St. Andrew's Hall - Strathearn Terrace, Crieff - Built in 1882 this church has several exceptional stained glass windows by Stephen Adam, Alfred Webster, Marjorie Kemp, William Wilson and others. Of note are the font, pulpit, memorial plaques from the former parish church and war memorials. The hall was constructed in 1884 as Crieff North United Presbyterian Church and has since been refurbished for community use. St. Andrew's Hall has stained glass windows by Walter Pritchard and Gordon Webster.
Morrison's Academy - Hill Street, Crieff - This baronial styled school was built in 1860 by architects Peddie and Kinnear. It was funded by the bequest of Thomas Morrison of Muthill who in 1826 died and left his fortune of £26,000 to found an educational institution in Crieff. Today Morrison's Academy is a private school run for profit. Of note is the grand Baronial Memorial Hall remodelled by Scott Morton and Company in 1920.
Glenalmond College - Glenalmond - The College of the Holy Trinity and Undivided Trinity was founded in 1847 as a college for those training for the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church as well as to provide education to the children of that churches faith. The building was designed by John Henderson, who employed a gothic style and modelled the Quadrangle on the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge University. Additions to the college have been designed by Gilbert Scott (Great Hall, 1861), Andrew G Heiton (Gym and Library, 1889-1904) and Basil Spence (Music School, 1960s). Today it is a fee paying school run for profit.
Drummond Gardens - Just outside Crieff - Described as one of the finest formal gardens in Europe "Drummond Gardens were first laid out in the early 17th century by John Drummond, the 2nd Earl of Perth. They were enlarged and redesigned in the 19th century. The gardens you see today were replanted after the Second World War, preserving features such as the old yew hedges and the copper beech trees planted by Queen Victoria to commemorate her visit in 1842." Today the gardens are run as a for profit enterprise. Of note are the beech-lined avenues; the sundial by John Mylne (1630); and the box hedge parterre of the main garden segmented to resemble the cross of St. Andrew.
Innerpeffry Library - 5 miles from Crieff off the B8062 - One of the earliest lending libraries in Scotland is located just outside Crieff. It has operated since 1650 although books are no longer available on loan. Nevertheless, the library is well worth a visit. Of note in the collection of 3800 books (many antiquarian) is The History of Scotland by Raphael Holinshed, several books on Marquis of Montrose, the Atlas Novus of 1638, The History of Foure Footed Beasts by Edward Topsell from 1607 as well as the miniature bible that belonged to James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose. The library itself was founded by David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madertie who lived nearby at Innerpeffray Castle - a ruin today. The present library building was erected in 1762 under the guidance of Robert Hay Drummond, Archbishop of York. The library has been described as "a haven of tranquility nestling beside the River Earn." next to the library is the ancient Collegiate Chapel of St Mary built in 1508 and run by Historic Scotland. Of note are the painted ceiling and the graveyard. The views from the library and chapel are magnificent.The old school house set in the grounds are also worth viewing. The library is open to the public and charges a small fee for visitors.
Tibbermore Church - "Tibbermore parish church dates from 1632 when the heritors (the local lairds) substantially rebuilt the structure on the medieval east-west alignment - a church dedicated to St. mary existed during the late middle ages. On ceasing to be the parish church in 1996 it passed into the care of the Tibbermore Charitable Trust. It was acquired by the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust in 2001. In 1789 James Stobie, architect and surveyor, simplified the building slab by removing an aisle at the east end and stretching the church 10 feet eastwards. Big infilled arches marking the position of the demolished aisle were found on the south wall when the war memorial was erected in 1920. Other changes in 1789 included marking south windows symmetrical and a new door and porch on the west gable. new galleries at each end gave extra seating, and the pews were rearranged to face the pulpit, which now occupied the traditional; Scottish presbyterian position between the central windows. The north aisle (1810) transformed the church into a late T-plan, capable of seating 600. It was built privately to accommodate the cloth-printing workers in the Ruthven Printfield Company, which had set up in 1792. Its raked stone flooring and simple wooden pews are distinctive and unusual survivors.In 1874 the present pulpit and the horseshoe seating in a muscular style with recessed Celtic crosses were installed. the seats in the galleries and the aisle were left alone. the stenciled decoration around the pulpit possible dates from this period also, a rare survival in a Scottish county parish church. In addition to the marble First World War I memorial, stained glass designed by Oscar Paterson to commemorate women who served in the war was inserted in the two central windows in 1920. the earliest monument in the church is a large stone tablet set into the aisle wall, erected in 1631 by James Murray of Tibbermore to his family. The church is of red-brown sandstone with fawn dressed stones, and is presently harled. The pitched roofs are slated. Look for the dates 1632 and 1808 on the bellcote, and note the crowstepped gable giving access to it. The session house adjoins the porch and the west gable. The walled churchyard boasts a fine range of tombstones and mural monuments, mainly dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One of the masonry piers of the east gateway in the churchyard bears the date 1731." - sourced from Scottish Redundant Church Trust leaflet. Tibbermore Church features in the Battle of Tippermuir which took place nearby. Several hundred Covenanters are said to be buried in the graveyard - there is no marking.
Skinnergate - Perth - Originally an important area for tanning of skins and hides the Skinnergate is associated with the leather industries of Perth. The Glovers Incorporation of Perth which still exists today was an enormously powerful economic unit - at its' peak some thirty thousand pairs of gloves were produced annually. Changes in Highland agriculture led to a decline in the leather industry in the 18th century. Skinnergate is also the location of Perth's oldest pub - the Ship Inn which according to the sign outside the pub was established in1665. The name exposes the fact that at that time ships would have gained deep entry into the town and moored at the Tay end of the High Street.
Kirkgate - Perth - At the far end of this old street is a statue of the Fair Maid of Perth - the subject of Walter Scotts's famous novel.
High Street - Perth - Once the main street in Perth, High Street is a slightly curved street that is both the location of commercial properties and numerous flats above shop level. Number 2 High Street are the offices of the local council built in 1899. The building was designed for General Accident before its current usage. Other points of note are the Mercers Townhouse (corner of St. John Street) signed by the arms of the mercers of Aldie and dating from 1790; painted property pediment dated 1699; and the former Council Offices (corner of Tay Street) by Andrew Heiton.
George Street - Perth - This street dates from the 1770s as the conduit for traffic coming along the Watergate to or from the Smeaton (Perth) Bridge built in 1771/2 - this stone bridge replaced earlier wooden constructions (1589 and 1617) that did not survive the Tay's power. Perth Museum and Art Gallery lies at the end of George Street. It is built in the style of the Pantheon in Rome. In 1824 the Rotunda was constructed as a tribute to Lord Provost Thomas Hay Marshall. Now a museum and art gallery, the building previously housed the Museum of the Literary and Antiquarian Society as well as the main library of Perth. The building next door is a former Post Office dating from 1800. On the other side is the new Perth Concert Hall. The Royal George Hotel is also found on this street. It started life as a coaching inn servicing the Highland routes. The title Royal was gained in 1848 when Queen Victoria stayed at the hotel on her way to Balmoral.
Perth City Hall – King Edward Street, Perth - Built in 1911 to replace an earlier building constructed in 1845. Located opposite the Mercat Cross; a memorial to Edward VII raised in 1913 – the Mercat Cross features carvings of the symbols of Perth’s medieval guilds.
North Church – Perth - Built in 1880.
Town Lade - Perth – The lade (originally a wet ditch) dates from the 12th century and takes water from the River Almond 4 miles away. It was employed both as defences for Perth and to power the King’s Mills. “At one time a spur from the lade carried along South Methven Street (where the town’s western wall lay) to Canal Street to allow small boats access to deliver goods from boats on the Tay.” In fact during the construction of St. Paul’s Church in 1807 mooring rings were found. The City Mills date from a later time; the Upper Mill from the 18th century and the Lower Mill from 1805. Today the Upper Mill is a hotel but originally housed 2 wheat mills and a granary. The Lower Mill still houses a large waterwheel.
Hall o’ the Wynd House – Perth – This house built in the 18th Century features a Dutch Gable. Hal is a character from Walter Scott’s Fair Maid of Perth.
St. Paul’s Church – St. Paul’s Square, Perth – This octagonal church dates from 1807 (and at the time was the first new church in Perth for hundreds of years) and is presently in need of restoration; it is subject to a dispute between its owners and the local council. It was built to accommodate the rising population of Perth; St. John’s Kirk being too small for the growing congregation. The last service was held at the church in 1986. The Town lade runs underneath the church.
King James VI Hospital – Hospital Street, Perth – Founded in 1589 the original building was destroyed by Cromwell (the stones being used to create the citadel on the present day South Inch) in 1651, The building that replaced the earlier on dates from 1749; the belfry and cupola of which were donated by the Duke of Atholl in 1764. The cupola was originally part of the House of Nairne (architect William Bruce). Of not is a plaque outside the hospital building that records the existence of the only Carthusian Monastery in Scotland (founded by James I in 1429).
Marshall Place – Perth – Designed by Robert Reid in 1801.
Fergusson Gallery – Marshall Place & Tay Street, Perth – This building was constructed as the pumping station for Perth’s water supply and the waterworks. Since 1973 the building has housed firstly Perth Tourist Information and from 1992 a collection of works by the artist J D Fergusson (1874-1961) – Fergusson Art Gallery; Fergusson a well known colourist is featured elsewhere on this website. Of note is the overall design in the spirit of a Roman temple and the sculpture by Fergusson outside.
James VI Golf Course – Moncrieffe Island, Perth – founded in 1858.
Branklyn Gardens – Perth – Now run by the National Trust (since 1967) these exceptional gardens extend over modest one-and-three-quarter acres. They were started by Dorothy and John Renton in 1922 and now consist of a wide spectrum of plants including blue poppies, rhododendron, alpine plants and many other unusual types.
Perth Sculpture Trail – Rodney Gardens, Norrie-Miller (former President of General Accident Insurance) Park, Bellwood Riverside Park and Moncrieffe Island, Perth – A mile long trail of modern outdoor sculpture.
Queen’s Bridge – Perth – Built in 1960 as a successor to the Victoria Bridge. The name is a derivative of the former title, the Victoria Bridge being named after Queen Victoria.
Tay Street – Perth – Begun in 1880 this street replaced the earlier medieval architecture with mainly public buildings, some of which are now private residences. A recent addition to the street are the flood defence walls built in 1999/2000 with European Community funding. The present Wetherspoon's public house (The Capital Asset) occupies the building that was once the County of Perth Savings Bank.
Bell’s Cherrybank Gardens – Perth – Privately owned the gardens allow paying visitors to view the National heather Collection of 900 varieties. It is intended for this garden to be come part of the new 45 acre Scotland’s Garden development.
Perth Sheriff Court – Tay Street – Perth – Designed by Robert Smirke, this Greek revival building is very impressive.
Greyfriars Burial Ground – Tay Street, Perth – Created in 1580 this cemetery is worth spending time in. The numerous gravestones feature a plethora of signs, carvings and mottos that reveal detail of Perth’s history. The burial ground suffered in 1651 when Oliver Cromwell’s troops used the gravestones as material for a defensive citadel - two to three hundred headstones were taken away, only one survives to any degree; the date 1580 being legible. Of those that remain those of note are the gravestones of Professor Adam Anderson (Rector of Perth Academy in 1809); John Mylne (Master Mason to James VI); and, William Farquhar - Imperialist, Soldier and Founder of the Colony of Singapore.
South Street – Perth – Of note is a plaque identifying the site of the original Perth Grammar School. Amongst the pupils attending the school were Admirable Crichton, and the Jacobite (1745) George Murray. For nine years (1810-19) the building housed Perth Theatre. On a building at the junction of South Street and St. John Street is a plaque detailing information about Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld. In a small close by the Greyfriars public house (a great place for real beer) are several painted symbols of the Guilds of Perth. The Salutation Pub opposite the Greyfriars hosts a plaque saying that it is the oldest established hotel in Scotland. Certainly, it dates from 1699 and once accommodated Bonnie Prince Charlie (1745 Jacobite uprising) during the occupation of Perth.Of note is the 19th Century Venetian window. The hotel itself has two ornate Highland soldiers standing guard above street level.
Watergate – Perth – Not that it is noticeable today, but Watergate was once one of the most important streets in the town during the Medieval period. The Gowrie House (seen of the Gowrie conspiracy involving the Ruthvens and James VI) was on Watergate. This great house and the others along Watergate had gardens that ran down to the Tay – now Tay street and new buildings.
Baxters Vennel – In this vennel (close / vennel - there are a number of quite varied meanings, can be the area in the immediate vicinity of a cathedral or, (Scottish) passageway giving access to a tenement stair, as distinct from a pend which is a covered passageway giving access to an area at the rear of buildings, while a vennel (Venella is Latin for lane) is a passageway between the gables of two buildings which could in effect be a minor street. These are terms for which there are endless regional variations) the bakers of Perth once operated. There is a plaque giving the history of McEwans Department Store – the shop has been trading for some 139 years.
Old Bank of Scotland Building – St. John Street, Perth – Architect David Rhind and constructed 1846-7. Of note are the ornate decorated plaster ceiling. The building is now used for selling household goods. St. John Street itself was originally called Ritten Row (from Routine Row – route to the church) and was developed in the 1800s.
Cleaven Dyke - Perthshire – This sacred ritual site belongs to the Neolithic Period and is dated from around 3500 BC. Comprising a bank with ditches 1.5 miles long, the dyke was probably constructed over a period as both a burial site and (more prominently) a ceremonial site. “Cleaven Dyke was thought to be a Roman defensive structure until excavation revealed that it was in fact a Neolithic Cursus (a ceremonial earthwork), which must have been one of the largest - and most labour intensive - monuments in Scotland at the time of its completion. The dyke runs for one and a half miles through an area that is now planted by coniferous forestry, and is around two metres high and ten metres wide in the best-preserved sections. The dyke also incorporates a central mound. The purpose of cursuses is open to debate, but they can be seen as ritual monuments - perhaps processional route ways - with deep significance to their builders. There have been several outlandish theories put forward over the years - one antiquarian thought that they were race courses, and during the UFO fervour in the 50's and 60's it was proposed that they were landing strips for alien craft, which is to denude the achievements of our ancestors. Cursuses are more associated with Southern England than with Scotland on the whole, but it now seems that may have been more widely dispersed than was thought before. Cleaven Dyke dates back to at least 3500 BC, these structures must have been a huge undertaking and may date through several generations, the tradition continuing over the years. This does say something for the strength of the beliefs held by these early farmers. Map ref: NO 155 409 Directions: The dyke cuts across the A93 between Perth and Blairgowrie."