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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Rev McAllister And A Religious "Punch Up" In Crieff

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Rev Finlay McAllister
I have written on several occasions  in these  blogs  about churches and in particular church buildings . Crieff has had  over the last  two centuries a host  of  large  and small places of  worship . Some  like  the old Relief Church hidden and inaccessible between Addison Terrace and High Street are sad remnants of different way of life . Of  all the church buildings in Crieff , two I find unique and worthy of preservation .The Catholic  Church in Ford Road is a wee gem having  been built  in 1871 to the design of  Andrew Heaton Jr who believe it or  not  designed Keillour Castle  near Methven some  eight years later . My other  favourite is  the dominant sand stone  edifice  of the old Crieff Free Kirk and latterly designated  the Crieff South and Monzievaird Church . Built in 1881- 82 to the design of JJ Stevenson and Robert Ewan  it is  modelled on nearby  Dunblane Cathedral and is built  from Alloa sandstone  , a richer  coloured and more workable  stone th…

Strathearn Perthshire Past and Present In Pictures

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Barvick Bridge on the south  facing slopes above Crieff . This old  pack bridge saw the " pack man " ( travelling salesman ) with his ponies visit the many isolated habitations  with his goods . 
The boathouse at GlenTurret is  quite striking in its design perched on the edge of the dam built in the late 1950s  to  provide  water  for  the Central Belt's  new  industries  especially  Grangemouth and its petro chemical complexes . Now  owned  by Famous Grouse ( whisky distillers )  it hosts the occasional " soiree " for  privileged guests . 
Cuthberts  was a small grocer's  shop in East High Street Crieff . The shop is  now  run by Mike Sweeney as  a gents hairdressers .Pic  dates back to about early 1900s .

Dewars was a plumber's business also located in  East High Street Crieff. Again the pic  dates to the early 1900s 


This is Scrimgeours Department Store at the corner 
of Comrie Street and West High Street Crieff . Somewhat dominating architecturally it w…

Saint Fillan And His Cures For Sundry Ailments

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Let  me commence  this blog  by an extract  from a superbly informative  book written  by a Presbyterian Minister , one William Marshall DD from Coupar Angus . The book " Historic Scenes of Perthshire"   was  written in 1880 and although perhaps  tainted  by a somewhat myopic  view  of  other Christian faiths , it does contain  some  real gems  and is  superbly researched . 



St Fillans in yester year 

Dunfillan - the hill of Saint Fillan 

The ruins  if the pre Reformation church of Dundurn


"As we approach Loch Earn, we come to a scene consecrated by its connection with the famous St Fillan, who evangelised the country here and in the wilds of Breadalbane, and whose arm did such wonders on the field of Bannockburn. The beautiful hill covered with verdure to the top, and the green of which contrasts so strikingly with the brown and the grey of the adjacent heights, is Dunfillan, the hill of St Fillan. The rock on the top of it was the Saint’s Chair. The spring, now days at th…

Two Years of Our PerthshireCrieffStrathearn Blog

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Happy Second Anniversary to the PerthshireCrieffStrathearn Local History Blog ! Since I started  my “ blog “ back in February 2012 I have logged  up some 100 blogs covering a wide range of local history in the Crieff and Strathearn area  with a  few  from further afield .
This old blogger keeps an eye on who is reading  his scribing which homes in on Strathearn -  our beautiful and fascinating  part of  “Auld Scotia ”.These stories  have attracted  close on 30 000 hits in some twenty four months and what is  quite incredible is the diversity of nationalities logging  in to  see what our past has to reveal . The “ top ten “ countries  are perhaps  somewhat surprising and here they are  with hits to date shown :
1.United Kingdom 13091
2. United States 7528
3.Germany 1521
4. Russia 634
5. France 617
6. Canada 602
7. Australia 429
8. Poland 215
9. China 174
10. Ukraine 138
Apart from the above , the blog  has regular  hits  from such diverse  parts of the globe as the Netherlands , Norway …

Drummond Arms Hotel Crieff And Our Neglected Heritage

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Like most  citizens of Crieff , I am pleased  that the Crieff Community Trust are making  strenuous  efforts  to save  the rapidly deteriorating  Drummond Arms in the centre of the town . The Community Right To Buy legislation is a useful tool  that has been added  to the statute  books and has  already proved successful particularly with the crofting communities and of course nearby Cultybraggan.
The present Drummond Arms  is a comparatively modern building  being Late Victorian having been  designed  by David Rhind  and built between 1872 and 1874 . The building  which predeceased it was The Drummond of Perth which was noted in the post Jacobite era as a popular  social centre for the local gentry of the time . Prior  to this Bonnie Prince Charlie held  a war council in all probability in premises  to the rear of  the Drummond whilst  staying at nearby Ferntower House en route to  the disaster that was Culloden .
The present state of the building is  due  to the total neglect of t…

Cultoquhey - " at the back of a snowdrift "

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Designed by Sir Robert Smirke and built some time after 1816, Cultoquhey has changed little in the past two centuries although, when the estate was broken up and sold in 1955, the house became - and still is - an  hotel. The Cultoquhey estate had since 1429 been owned by the Maxtone family, who added the name Graham in 1860 when they inherited another property owned by a relation of Thomas Graham of Balgowan, later Lord Lynedoch.
Perhaps the most famous Maxtone Graham in recent years has been Joyce Anstruther who married into the family in 1923. A writer, she altered her maiden name of J Anstruther to read Jan Struther, under which name she penned a number of hymns, including 'Lord of All Hopefulness', and the bestseller, 'Mrs Miniver', which was later made into the classic wartime film.
This pencil drawing comes from a large album of sketches which was donated to the Sandeman Library [replaced by the A K Bell Library in 1994], Perth, in around 1944 by Gladys Graham M…

Huntingtower Castle

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Huntingtower Castle




Huntingtower Castle is to be found just west of Perth beside the junction of the A9 and the A85 Crieff road. Its location is unspectacular, and the margins of Perth seem to be growing steadily out towards it. But both the grounds and the castle are beautifully cared for and what you find is a unique time capsule with a wonderful atmosphere.
Huntingtower is medieval in origin but has seen significant redevelopment during its colourful history. Two families, the Ruthvens and the Murrays, made it their home and it also played host to royalty: twice to Mary Queen of Scots and once to her son James VI, who was held against his will there for ten months in 1582 during the episode known as the Ruthven Raid .



The Ruthvens held the lands from the 1100s to 1600. One resident in the early 1500s was Katherine Ruthven who later became Lady Glenorchy. In 1600 James VI's patience with the family finally ran out as a result of yet more plotting against him. As a result they were…

Strange Roman Apparitions in Strathearn

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Ardoch Roman Fort  and more about the Romans
A few years ago photographs were taken of a ruined farm house near the camp which was being renovated . It is a curious fact that when they were developed the form of a legionary  appeared in every one !
Another Roman tale of the para normal was recounted to me by the occupant olf the little cottage at the foot of the path up to Baird’s Monument ( Tom na Chastille ) . Apparently a damp patch appeared on the upper wall of the sitting room despite there being no heavy rain for some time . It appeared  like rising damp but being at ceiling level was obviously not . Investigation failed to reveal any missing slates or evidence of where rain could have got in .When it dried out the unmistakable picture of a Roman soldier could  be made out . Coincidence that it transpired there had been  a Roman camp at Monzievaird ( The Quoigs ) ! Coincidence ?
The late Archie McKerracher the well known and excellent author from Dunblane recounts this strange…