Perth (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is a town and former royal burgh in central Scotland. Sitting on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative headquarters of Perth and Kinross council area. Perth was a large burgh prior to 1975, and the county town of the former county of Perthshire.
The name Perth has hence been used for a number of other settlements around the world. The most notable of these is Perth, Western Australia — named such at the wish of Sir George Murray, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, who was born in Perth.
Perth is popularly referred to as The Fair City, although per a redefinition of city status in the United Kingdom, it is no longer officially classed as a city, one of only three towns in the UK to have been declassified as a city.
The name Perth derives from a Pictish word for wood or copse, and links the town to the Picts described by the Romans, who subsequently joined with the Scots to form the kingdom of Alba which later became known as Scotland. During much of the medieval period the town was known colloquially as "St. John's Toun" or "Saint Johnstoun" because the church at the centre of the parish was dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It stands on St. John Street. In addition, the town's original name is still preserved in the town's football club, St. Johnstone.
Finds in and around Perth show that it was occupied by the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who arrived in the area more than 8,000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles followed the introduction of farming from about 4,000 BC, and a remarkably well preserved Bronze age log boat dated to around 1000 BC was found in the mudflats of the River Tay at Carpow to the east of Perth. Carpow was also the site of a Roman legionary fortress
BRIDGES OF PERTH
There are four bridges that cross the River Tay in Perth. The northernmost structure is Smeaton's Bridge (also known as Perth Bridge and, locally, the Old Bridge), completed in 1771 and widened in 1869, which carries the automotive and pedestrian traffic of West Bridge Street (the A85). Eastbound vehicles are not permitted to make a right turn onto Bridgend's Gowrie Street.
Next, some five hundred yards downstream, is Queen's Bridge, which also carries vehicle and pedestrian traffic, this time of South Street and Tay Street. Queen's Bridge was completed in 1960, replacing the old Victoria Bridge (1902–1960), and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October of that year.
The third bridge in the centre of Perth is a railway bridge, carrying trains to and from the railway station, half a mile to the north-west. It was completed in 1863. There is also a pedestrian walkway on its northern side.
Finally, the southernmost crossing of the Tay inside Perth's boundary is Friarton Bridge. It is part of the M90 motorway, and forms part of the east coast road corridor between Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
A fifth bridge is to be added farther upstream (north) from the existing bridges. It is part of the Sustrans Connect2 successful bid for funds from The People's £50 Million Lottery competition. Locals and visitors alike will benefit from this project. When completed cyclists and pedestrians will be able to cross the Tay without the associated risks to safety, health and environment of being close up to other vehicles on Smeaton's Bridge.
Perth's city centre is situated to the east of the banks of the River Tay. The centre has a variety of both independent and major retailers, particularly on the pedestrianised High Street, running from the junction of Tay Street to Atholl and Scott Streets. Perth also boasts many restaurants and bars on the majority of the city-centre streets, with coffee shops being most evident in the area of St. John's Place, The St. John's Shopping Centre, on St. John's Square, which opened in 1987, also adds to the mix, providing forty units to complement any further retail therapy.
The main sheriff court building and City Hall are also located within these boundaries. A new specialist three-floor shopping centre has been set to be finally approved for the troubled City Hall and likely to start building work as soon as possible
ART AND MUSIC
Perth Museum and Art Gallery is the town museum, and is one of the oldest provincial museums in Scotland, located at the top end of George Street, near the River Tay. The Fergusson Gallery, housed in the former waterworks, contains the major collection of the works of the artist J.D. Fergusson.
The New Wave band Fiction Factory had some success with their hit "(Feels Like) Heaven" in 1984. The song, which reached number six in the UK charts, would be their biggest hit, and Perth's biggest to date.
The Perth Festival of the Arts is an annual collection of art, theatre, opera and classical music events in the town. The annual event lasts for a couple of weeks and is usually held in May. In recent years, the festival has broadened its appeal by adding comedy, rock and popular music acts to the bill.
In September 2005, the new 1600-seat Horsecross concert hall opened atop the former Horsecross Market. The state-of-the-art construction cost around £20 million, mostly donated as part of the UK millennium celebrations. It is located near the Kinnoull Street multi-storey car park and it backs up to the Fair Maid's House on Curfew Row.
Perth Theatre was established more than one hundred years ago and is located on the town's pedestrianised High Street. Perth was home to numerous cinemas during the previous century. Some were converted to other uses such as bingo halls but some have eventually disappeared altogether. The only remaining cinema is the Playhouse, on Murray Street, located outside two main bus station stances.
Perth has a number of popular architectural and historical attractions, most notably Scone Palace and St. John's Kirk. It is also the centre of the regimental Black Watch whose base is located on Dunkeld Road, near ASDA, and whose museum is located inside Balhousie Castle. The Castle, of medieval origins, and the seat of the Eviot family, was extensively altered and enlarged in the 19th century, and retains little of its original character.
Two Historic Scotland properties within a short distance of the town are Huntingtower Castle, former seat of the Earls of Gowrie (open all year; entrance charge), and Elcho Castle, former seat of the Wemyss family (open in summer; entrance charge). Both are excellent examples of late medieval Scottish tower-houses, and are popular sites for weddings.
From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
PERTH HOTELS & ACCOMMODATION
SCOTLAND TOURS, TRAVEL & ACTIVITIES
DISCOVER SCOTLAND •
PERTH AND KINROSS •
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