Timeline of Perthshire

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  • Drummond Castle and Gardens, Perthshire
    Drummond Castle and Gardens, Perthshire
  • An autumnal scene of Lady Mary's Walk beside the River Earn, Crieff
    Lady Mary's Walk beside the River Earn, Crieff
  • Marshall Place and St Leonard's in the Fields Church, by South Inch, Perth
    Marshall Place
  • The exterior of Perth Museum and Art Gallery in the city of Perth
    Perth Museum and Art Gallery
  • The Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay.
    The Scottish Crannog Centre

Perthshire has witnessed some of the most pivotal events in Scotland’s history. Kings and queens, Roman armies and generals, even poets, have made their mark upon this remarkable region. Discover how Perthshire has evolved through the ages from the time of its earliest inhabitants to the restoration of the ‘Fair City’ of Perth’s civic status during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

800 BC - 43 AD

The region’s Iron Age inhabitants build defensive dwellings on stilts called crannogs in lochs, rivers and estuaries. You can visit an authentically recreated Crannog at the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay.

1st - 11th century

83 - The Romans build ‘Bertha’, a fort located at the confluence of the rivers Tay and Almond about 2 miles from the present-day city centre of Perth.

520 - St Fillan arrives from Ireland and preaches Christianity to the Picts from Dundurn Hill, also known as St Fillan’s Hill.

846 - Kenneth MacAlpine establishes Scone, the first capital of Scotland.

900 - The Battle of the Danes takes place at Luncarty, a few miles north of Perth. The Viking invaders are defeated by the Scots.

1100 - Perth first appears in historic records as the ‘Burgh of Perth’ in documents concerning ecclesiastical matters in the early 1100s.

12th - 15th century

1153 - A lade is constructed allowing the conveyance of water to the town’s mills.

1210 - The River Tay floods and destroys most of the early town. It is eventually rebuilt and is granted the status of a Royal Burgh under a charter by King William I ‘The Lion’.

1231 - A Dominican monastery which eventually becomes known as Blackfriars is founded by Alexander II.

1242 - St John’s Kirk is consecrated.

1296 - Perth is occupied by English troops during Edwards I’s invasion of Scotland.

1297 - The Stone of Destiny is seized by Edward I and placed in Westminster Abbey where it remains for the next 700 years.

1313 - Robert the Bruce liberates Perth from English forces.

1396 - The Battle of the Inch take place between two rival clans, the Chattan Confederations and the Camerons. The infamous clash was organised by Robert III to resolve a dispute between the two feuding factions.

1429 - The one and only Carthusian monastery or Charterhouse in Scotland is founded in Perth by James I.

1452 - Edinburgh replaces Perth as the capital of Scotland.

16th - 17th century

1502 - The first recorded purchase of golf equipment was made by King James IV from a bow-maker in Perth. It is thought that he learned to play golf on the public parklands by the River Tay.

1559 - John Knox gives his fiery sermon denouncing Idolatry at St John’s Kirk which instigates the Scottish Reformation.

1567 - Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned at Lochleven Castle. It is here that she is forced to abdicate before making a dramatic escape the following year.

1569 - King James VI’s Hospital is founded by James VI to service ‘maimed distressed persons, orphans, and fatherless bairns within our burgh of Perth.’

1644 - During the Civil War, Scottish Royalists under James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, defeat the Covenanters at the Battle of Tibbermore and capture Perth.

1651 - Towards the end of the Civil War, Perth is captured by Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentary forces after a brief siege. The last every coronation takes place at Scone Palace with the crowning of Charles II.

1652 - Oliver Cromwell construct a fortress on the South Inch, one of four built after the Battle of Dunbar to subdue Scottish insurrection. Many buildings in the city are demolished to supply the quarry for its construction, including King James VI’s Hospital.

1680 - The Library of Innerpeffray, the oldest public lending library in Scotland, is founded by David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madderty near Crieff.

1689 - Highland clans supporting James VII defeat the troops of King William of Orange during the first Jacobite Uprising. See where a government solider said to have made a death-defying 18 ft jump across the Pass of Killiecrankie to escape Highland rebels at Soldier’s Leap.

18th - 19th century

1715 - James III ‘The Old Pretender’ arrives from France at Peterhead and joins Jacobite forces at Perth.

1725 - Following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, General Wade is granted permission by George II to form six ‘watch’ companies to patrol the Highlands to defend against further revolts. These companies eventually form part of a regiment which becomes known as the Black Watch. Learn more about its history at Balhousie Castle.

1745 - During the following Jacobite Rising, Charles Edward Stuart, who later becomes known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, drills his troops at the North Inch and stays at what is now the Salutation Hotel on South Street. You can visit Castle Menzies where the Prince stayed for a few days on his way to Culloden with his Highland army.

1771 - Smeaton’s Bridge, a new nine-arched stone bridge is build across the Tay, finally replacing the one which was swept away in the floods of 1621.

1786 - Stanley Mills opens on the banks of the River Tay about 6 miles north of Perth. This water-powered cotton mill becomes the hub of the region’s thriving textile industry for the next 200 years.

1787 - Robert Burns pens The Birks o’ Aberfeldie, one of his best loved works, after being inspired by a visit to the Den of Moness.

1812 - During the Napoleonic War, a prison is built in Perth to accommodate French prisoners of war. It later becomes the General Prison for Scotland.

1820 - Perth’s Theatre Royal is built.

1842 - Queen Victoria visits Perth in September.

1847 - The Bank of Scotland opens a branch in Perth.

1848 - Perth’s first railway station opens.

1875 - John Buchan, author of The Thirty-Nine Steps and later Governor General of Canada, is born in Perth.

1883 - St Johnstone Football Club is founded.

20th - 21th century

1900 - The Victoria Bridge is opened. It is eventually replaced by the Queen’s Bridge in 1960.

1972 - The inaugural Perth Festival of the Arts is held.

2005 - Perth Concert Hall opens.

2012 - Perth has its civic status restored in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It becomes Scotland’s seventh city.