Perth lies just south of the Highland boundary fault which separates the highlands from the lowlands and was once the ancient capital of Scotland near to Scone where the ancient kings of 'Alba' were crowned.
Perth was once a thriving market town as it was a major crossroad in Scotland with roads radiating in all directions; Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Crieff, Stirling and Edinburgh, all of these lie on main 'A' roads leading from Perth. In the past Perth was a major railway junction with lines to all of these cities having two railway stations and a marshalling yard. Perth harbour was frequented by ships from all over the world and Perth even had its own Steam Packet Company - the 'DPL' or Dundee, Perth and London shipping line.
This excellent transport network helped Perth to flourish with some well known names providing employment for the people of the town. Pullars of Perth, Dewar's Whisky, General Accident Insurance MacDonald Frazers Mart and Bell's Whisky, to name but a few.
Much of this employment has gone now but the prosperity of Perth still shows with a pedestrianised town centre and an excellent variety of shops, hotels, eating places and entertainment. Including the famed Perth Rep. Theatre
The leisure needs of the town's folk are also well catered for with the two 'Inches' or public parks, the North Inch and the South Inch, providing large grassy play and sports areas. There are 3 golf courses, probably 7 or 8 bowling clubs, a covered sports arena - the Bell's. There's an ice rink, an excellent swimming centre for the kids, St Johnstone's football stadiun, a pitch and put course - and trout & salmon fishing on the tay and its tributaries.
As Perth is such a historic city, it would be wrong to finish without mention of Perth City museum and art gallery located at the north end of Smeatons old Perth Bridge.
One of the most beautiful walks for miles. 700 foot cliff at top - care required with young children. Approach by crossing Smeaton Bridge, straight on at Bridgend the right turn whence ½ mile to hill walk.
North Inch and River Almond.
Any path upstream to north end of park at river Tay. Follow track upstream to Almond mouth then follow Almond to A9 road whence turn right to Perth. (5 miles)
From Cherrybank, turn left towards Golf club then up via 'Buckie Braes' any route to highest point. Exit to field, turn left to follow golf course perimeter. First exit left then via pitch and put course to town. (5 M).
The RSGS Fair Maid's House Visitor and Education Centre is a geographical delight housed in the oldest secular building in Perth. Visitors can watch the planet from space in the Earth Room, see the continents evolve and learn about the hottest and coldest places on Earth in the Education Room and learn about maps and explorers, or curl up with a book, in the Explorer's Room. Admission is Free (donations are very welcome!)
Open Monday-Friday, 12:30 til 4:00 from April 2 to October 31.
5 miles, Take Edinburgh Rd then Left onto Rhynd road before motorway.
3 miles on Crieff road on right after passing Tesco.
St Johns Kirk
Town Centre, between High St and South St. Historic 15c church.
5 miles on Blairgowrie road. (cross old Bridge, turn left, watch signs)
Black Watch Museum
Balhousie Castle Hay St Perth. Hard to find - ask!
Perth Museum & Art Gallery
George St, Perth. (near Smeaton Bridge)
Bells Cherrybank Centre. (gardens and Scotish Heather Collection)
Glasgow Rd. 2 mile from town centre on left.
Branklyn Garden. Small but impressive collection rare plants
Dundee Rd. ½ mile . Cross river, turn right, garden on left half mile.
North Inch. Tree lined park by Tay. Golf, putting & bowling green.
South Inch. Park near river, Putting, boating, crazy golf, bowls.
Perth Mart Visitor Centre. Highland wildlife show and pets
Crieff Rd, LHS past Tesco
Perth Theatre. Rep theatre with own productions and coffee house.
High Street Perth.
Craigie Hill Cherrybank.
Glasgow Rd. LHS near Cherrybank Inn
King James vi golf club Moncrieff island.
Cross footpath on railway bridge. Tay Street.
North Inch GC.
Until 1956 it was thought that the first settlement at Perth was that of the Romans in 80AD but in that year, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a hut and a dugout canoe 20 feet below street level at the foot of Perth High Street.
The first mention of Perth as a burgh was in a document from the reign of David i when there was probably a simple castle on a mound where the museum now stands. The town lade which brought water to the city mills dates back to at least 1153.
In 1293 Edward laid claim to Scotland and removed the stone of destiny from Scone then 11 years later built Perths first substantial city wall, later re-fortified in 1336 after Bruce had removed the original walls. A supposed portion of the wall survives in a close on the north side of George St.
The city of Perth still has a large number of churches, but prior to the destruction of monasteries which followed John Knox's 1559 sermon in St Johns church there were a number of monasteries in Perth - Whitefriars, Blackfriars and Greyfriars still being represented by street names. The nature of Perths industry and the old trades are reflected in street names - some unfortunately now gon at the hands of self interested local authority decisions; names such as 'Meal Vennel, Skinnergate, Horners Vennel, Glover Street, Cutlog Vennel, Guard Vennel and the like all had something to tell us of the cities origins and trades.
In 1569 Perth received a charter from James vi to provide for the poor a hospital - the King James vi Hospital - within the burgh. This was duly built and then totally destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers who used the stone from the hospital, churches, 140 houses and even gravestones to build his citadel at the north west corner of the south inch. Of this no trace remains. A new King James vi hospital was built 100 years after Cromwell's criminal acts - it still stands restored at the top of South Street.
James vi was a frequent visitor to Perth until in 1600 an attempt as assassination was made in the Gowrie House which stood at the end of South St near the Tay.
In 1809 Gowrie House was demolished to allow the South St to be extended to the Tay where a new bridge was built to replace the older delapidated bridge at the foot of the High St. The 1809 bridge was replaced in the mid 1900s with the present concrete structure.
Perth had always had a great weaving centre and by the mid 1700s many flat areas around Perth were used as 'c'. Bleaching without modern chemicals was almost akin to the brewing process; the cloth was teeped in water with various ashes added, heated and then left to ferment. It was then washed and steeped in milk which also was allowed to ferment. The last part of the process was to lay the cloth out in the fileds to dry in the sun - hence the word 'bleachfields'. John Pullar's the cleaners and dyers came to Perth in 1824 and became a major employer in Perth until the late 20c when the business slowly faded to a handful of dry-cleaning outlets.
Perth was once the headquarters of the 'Black Watch' regiment which was raised originally in Aberfeldy. The Barracks were at Dunkeld Road and were occupied until late 20c. The presence of the army barracks was even edident in the local swimming pool near the barracks where the 'second class' pool was known locally as the 'soldiers pool'.
Although Perth is a historic and important city, very little visible evidence of its past remains. It could be said that the destruction of any building of note began with Cromwell and in modern times was continued by local authorities. - The last remaining interesting 'vennel' - Meal Vennel, which was too narrow for a car and whos buildings almost met overhead was destroyed courtesy of Perth Town Council and a property developer.
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