Towns in Perthshire

The true splendor of towns in Perthshire, villages and surrounding country side, is their relative size, age-old-settlements, together with the magnificent lochs, mountains and glens. Perthshire occupies the center of mainland Scotland with The Trossachs at the south western corner.

Perthshire of old

The old county of Perthshire was divided up into four major districts, with names which remain to the present day. Atholl, which covers the north and west, Gowrie, running fromn the Aberdeenshire and Angus marches in the east including the lower Tay and the Carse. Strathearn which forms the catchment area of the Earn and its tributaries. Menteith in the south-west, lying north of the Forth and west of the Ochils. Another district worth mentioning is Breadalbane , which occupies much of central western Perthshire west of the waterdhed with Argyll. These ancient districts were referred to as Earldoms which date back into the mists of its Gaelic past.

Pictish or Gaelic Influence 

A Perthshire Town
It is worth pointing out how pictish and later the Celtic language became intermingled having both been used side by side. It is generally accepted that about AD 800 was the period when Gaelic was widely spoken but the Pictish language had not yet completly died out.

Here are few examplpes where both languages used a prefix

  • Pett/Pitt/Pit - 'portion' or 'share' This can be seen in places such as Pitcairn, where Dunning is the 'portion of the cairn'.
  • Aber - 'confluence' or 'river mouth'. This can be seen from P-Gaelic Perthshire places such as: Aberuthven on the confluence of the Ruthven, Abernethy on the confluence of the Nethy, Aberfoyle on the confluence of a sluggish stream, Aberfeldy is fairly rare because it contains a personal name peallaidh, that of a Gaelic water-spirit or uruisg, widely (and feared) in local Gaelic tradition as late as the 19th century and who has left a number of names such as Eas Pheallaidh ' Peallaidh's waterfall' in Glen Lyon. The equivalent of aber in Gaelic is the term inbhir, which has become inver in anglicised form. It is possible for both to be found in towns in Perthshire, applied to confluence situations on the same stream. Abernethy and Innernethy are only a mile apart and Abernyte and Innernyte are also in close proximity.
A major indicator of early Gaelic settlements is the term cill ''churh', found in numerous sites throughout north and west Scotland, althgough there are few examples in of towns in Perthshire. Killin is Cill Fhinn in Gaelic. for fionn meaning white or reference to to the saint Fionn. In every case with words beginning with Kil they refer to a place or person related to the 'church'.

For more detailed information, select a town from the list displayed in the right hand column.


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