PERTHSHIRE

PERTHSHIRE, large county, partly maritime, but chiefly inland, in centre of Scotland. It extends southward from summit-line of Central Grampians to upper amd middle reaches of Forth, and eastward from summit-line of lateral Grampians to boundary with Forfarshire and Fife; it includes a section of 6 1/4 miles by 4 1/2 detached about 2 miles from its main body, lying on upper end of Firth of Forth; and it comprehends the ancient districts of Athole, Breadalbane, Monteith, Strathearn, Strathtay, Stormont, and Gowrie. Its length is 74 miles; its greatest breadth 67 miles; its area 2601 square miles. Its extent of coast is 12 miles on Firth of Tay and 4 on Firth of Forth. Its interior unites the Highlands to the Lowlands, combines or puts into juxtaposition the characteristic features of both, and contains a larger quantity and richer variety of picturesque landscape than any other equal extent of country in the British empire.

The northern and western sections, comprising more than one-half of all the area, are entirely Highland; consist mostly of mountain-ranges, intersected by long glens, radiating towards the centre; and contain Benlawers, Bendarg, Benygloe, Benvrackie, Schichallion, Stobinian, Benvoirlich, Mealgirdy, Benchonzie, Benmore, Benledi, Benvenue, and other alpine summits. The other sections exhibit a large miniature of all the Scottish Lowlands; consist variously of hill-range, strath, valley, undulation, and plain; and include portions of the Sidlaw and Ochil hills, part of Strathmore, all Strathearn, most of Strathallan, part of Carse of Forth, and all of Carse of Gowrie.

The mountains and the uplands are greatly diversified in form and feature; the upland plateaux range from pastoral to wildly weird; the glens, especially towards their outlets, exhibit rich diversity of width, flank, and ornature; and the several proportions of Lowlands range from bold cliffs to gardenesque expanses; and the entire area is threaded and gemmed with beautiful streams and lovely lakes.

The chief rivers are the Tay, winding centrally through both Highlands and Lowlands; the Tummel, the Lyon, the Bran, the Isla, the Almond, and the Earn, running to the Tay; the Garry, running to the Tummel; the Ericht, running to the Isla; the Forth, running mainly along the southern boundary; and the Teith, the Allan, and the Devon, running to the Forth. The chief lakes are Ericht, Rannoch, Garry, and Tummel in the north; Lows, Marlee, and Clunie, in the east; Tay, Earn, and Dochart, in the centre and the west; and Katrine, Achray, Vennachoir, Monteith, Lubnaig, Voil, Ard, and Chon in the south-west.

Coal and ironstone abound in the detached section; red sandstone lies beneath Strathmore and Carse of Gowrie; and fine marble is found in Glentilt. The tillage lands in the carses, in Strathearn, and in other parts, are of prime character; and the pastures for both sheep and black cattle are nearly as various as those of all Scotland. Textile manufacture employs much of the population; and commerce at Perth and through Dundee and Alloa is considerable.

The towns with each more than 3000 inhabitants are Perth, Crieff, and Blairgowrie; with each more than 2000, Auchterarder, Alyth, and Coupar-Angus; with each more than 1000, Dunblane, Doune, Callander, Kincardine, Scone, Comrie, Dunning, Aberfeldy, Muthill, and Lornty; and the villages with each more than 300 amount to 26.

The territory belonged to the Caledonian Horestii and Vecturiones; was included by the Romans in their Vespasiana; continued a capital of Pictavia; and figured much in the public events of the mediaeval and Reformation times. Its chief antiquities are numerous Caledonian stone circles, hill forts, and cairns; vestiges of many watch-towers; the Roman camp of Ardoch, other Roman camps, a Roman road, and the site of the Roman Bertha; the cylindrical tower of Abernethy, and the site of the royal palace of Scone; curious monuments associated with the semi-fabulous King Arthur and the famous Macbeth; Doune Castle, Ruthven Castle, Elcho Castle, and Castle-Campbell; the cathedrals of Dunkeld and Dunblane; the abbeys of Scone, Inchaffray, Culross, and Coupar-Angus; the monasteries of Inchmahome, Strathfillan, Loch Tay, and Elcho; and the collegiate churches of Perth, Methven, and Muthill. Real property of the county in 1880-81, £977,216. Pop. in 1871, 127,768; in 1881, 128,985.

Wilson, Rev. John The Gazetteer of Scotland by Rev. John Wilson, 1882

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