Landmarks of Perth and Kinross

Taymouth Castle, Scotland
Taymouth Castle / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Most interesting landmarks of Perth and Kinross

Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Perth and Kinross.

Natural landmarks of Perth and Kinross

  • Falls of Bruar – falls which have formed on a mountain stream, falling down along mountainside. Total height – 60 m. At one place has formed natural arch.
  • Giant sequoia of Cluny House Gardens – enormous Sequioadendron giganteum – 33.5 m tall and with a girth of 11 m. Planted roughly at 1853.
  • Hermitage Douglas Fir – one of the tallest trees in United Kingdom, 64.5 m tall Douglas fir.
  • Praying Hands of Glen Lyon – unusual formation. Two huge standing stones are divided by a split and resemble two hands held together in prayer. It is possible that this stone setting is man made.
  • The Fortingall Yew – the oldest known yew (Taxus baccata). In the 18th century the tree had a girth of 17.2 m. Now two parts remain.

Man made landmarks of Perth and Kinross


Tigh nan Cailleach, Perth and Kinross
Tigh nan Cailleach / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
  • Croft Moraig Stone Circle – stone circle, developed since 3000 BC. Several stones with cupmarks are aligned according to astronomical events.
  • Tigh nan Cailleach (House of the Cailleach) – megalithic structure – a shrine to Celtic Mother Goddess. Most likely it is made after the coming of Christianity by the remaining pagans.
  • Meikle Findowie Circle – double ring stone circle. Outer ring still has six stones of the original nine.
  • The MacBeth Stone – nearly 4 m tall standing stone with cupmarks.

Other archaeological monuments

  • Cleaven Dyke – enormous, 1.5 km long bank with flanking ditches. Made in Neolithic Age in the late 5th – middle 4th millenium BC.
  • Crannogs of Loch Tay – more than 20 man-made defensible islands, now submerged in Loch Tay.

Pictish symbol stones and Celtic crosses

Dunfallandy Cross Stone, Scotland
Dunfallandy Cross Stone / , Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Abernethy Stone – remarkable Pictish symbol stone, made around 600 AD.
  • Apostle’s Stone in Dunkeld Cathedral – stone with many carved sculptures. It is considered that these carvings were created in the 9th century AD and shows Apostles and other symbols related to Christianity.
  • Dunfallandy Cross Stone – magnificent Pictish symbol stone with Pictish symbols in one side and Celtic Cross in the other side.
  • Dupplin Cross – fine, 2.5 m high Celtic cross from the early 9th century AD.
  • Fowlis Wester Stones – pair of Pictish symbol stones – a well made replica and original. Original stone is 3.15 m high, with Pictish symbols on one side and Celtic cross – on another.
  • Meigle Sculpted Stone Museum – one of the richest collections of Pictish symbol stones, contains 27 such stones. Most of the stones come from Meigle town itself and point at a possibility that in the 8th – 10th century this was an important religious center.
  • Rossie Cross Slab – beautiful, intricately carved Pictish symbol stone.

Castles and tower houses

Huntingtower Castle, Scotland
Huntingtower Castle / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Ardblair Castle – old, fortified family house, consists of several parts built in different periods.
  • Ashintully Castle – fortified towerhouse, built in 1583. Site of numerous ghost stories.
  • Balmanno Castle – L-shaped towerhouse, built around 1580. Preserved in excellent condition.
  • Balvaird Castle – fine and extremely well preserved example of late medieval Scottish tower house, built sometimes around 1500. Gatehouse built in 1567. Adorned with sculptures.
  • Blair Castle – well preserved castle. Construction started in 1269 and rebuilt since then several times. Collections of arms, hunting trophies.
  • Castle Huntly – constructed roughly at 1452, now serves as a prison. Legends about haunting.
  • Castle Menzies – well preserved, spectacular castle from the 16th century, seat of Menzies Clan.
  • Cleish Castle – L-shaped towerhouse from the 16th century. Restored sometimes around 1840 and inhabited.
  • Craighall Castle – fortified country house towering above the Ericht Gorge. Built in 1637.
  • Drummond Castle – country house, consists of a fortified tower house from the late 15th century and 17th century mansion, both rebuilt in Victorian times.
  • Elcho Castle – very well preserved Z-plan tower house, built sometimes around 1560. Not inhabited for 200 years.
  • Fingask Castle – manor house built in 1592. Beautiful park.
  • Huntingtower Castle – free standing towerhouse – late medieval castle. Construction started in the 15th century and rebuilt and extended over next centuries. Abandoned in 1767. Contains Renaissance style paintings from the early 16th century on walls and ceiling. Stories about haunting by Lady Greensleeves.
  • Kinnaird Castle – well preserved tower house from around 1450.
  • Loch Leven Castle – castle ruins on a lake island. Built around 1300, fallen in ruins in the 18th century. Consists of a keep and curtain wall with one round tower.
  • Megginch Castle – castle from the 15th century, inhabited by the family of original owners. Four very old yew trees in the garden as well as very old and valuable fruit trees.
  • Newton Castle – inhabited, well preserved castle from the 14th century. Legends about haunting.

Country houses and palaces

  • Dalnaglar Castle – elegant country house built in the 19th century in the site of earlier hunting lodge.
  • Kinross House – country house from the late 17th century, beautiful example of early Neo-Classical architecture.
  • Pitfour Castle – large country house, built in 1784.
  • Scone Palace – palace in late Georgian Gothic style, constructed in 1808, basing on earlier structure from the 16th century. Built in the site of ancient gatherings of the Picts and possible site of early Christian church. Fine collection of interior items. Here was located Stone of Scone (now in Edinburgh Castle) – the crowning stone of early kings of Scotland.
  • Taymouth Castle – large country house built in the site of earlier Balloch Castle. Present country house is built in the early 19th century in Neo-Gothic style. Sumptuous interiors with numerous valuable artworks.

Other landmarks

Abernethy Round Tower
Abernethy Round Tower / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • Abernethy Round Tower – one of the best preserved freestanding circular towers in Scotland. Tower is 22.5 m tall, diameter at the base is 4.57 m. Built around 1100 AD.
  • Drummond Castle Gardens – formal terraced gardens, laid in 1832. Contains a collection of some 50 sculptures from the 17th – 19th centuries.
  • Dunkeld – picturesque, small town – one of the best preserved towns from the 18th century in Scotland. The history of town goes into early Middle Ages with remnants from the 9th century.
  • Dunkeld Cathedral – large church built in Norman and Gothic styles in 1260 – 1501. Partly in ruins.
  • Meikleour Beech Hedges – tallest and longest hedge on earth. Consists of beech trees, planted in 1745. This fine pruned hedge is up to 30 m high and 530 m long, is trimmed once in ten years.
  • Pitlochry – fine Victorian town with numerous beautiful buildings.
  • The Kenmore Hotel – the oldest hotel in Scotland, built in the early 16th century, rebuilt into hotel in 1572.
  • Uamh Tom a’Mhor-fir – site of legends in Mount Schiehallion. According to local legends this is a cave where fairies used to live, there are many diverse stories about the interactions of local people and fairies.

Described landmarks of Perth and Kinross

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The highlights of Perth and Kinross are:

  • Castles. The diversity and number of castles is amazing, even more amazing is the fact that many castles still are owned by the families of original builders and are inhabited.
  • Pictish picture stones and Celtic crosses – Perth and Kinross contain rich collection of these amazing stones, created at the dawn of Christianity.
  • Trees – many of the largest trees in United Kingdom are located in Pert and Kinross.

Featured: The Fortingall Yew

Fortingall Yew in 2008
Fortingall Yew in 2008 / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

In the 18th century, before the decomposition of its main trunk the Fortingall Yew attained incredible size: the circumference of its trunk reached 17.2 m!

But sometimes even record size is not enough and people invent something extra to create a decent legend…

Recommended books

Perth and Kinross: An Illustrated Architectural Guide

The “Fair City” of Perth is the starting point for this much sought after guide in the RIAS/Landmark Trust series. The Gateway to the Highlands, it was second only to Berwick in terms of wealth by 1200 and a meeting place of parliaments and general councils when Scone Palace witnessed the coronations of Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II.

Perth and Kinross: The Big Country

A wide-ranging review of the history, geography, landscape, flora and fauna of Perthshire and Kinross-shire comprising the old counties of Perth and Kinross. Contemporary issues, including the local economy, are also surveyed.

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