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Murthly Falls: Paul McLennan
Roman Bridge
Murthly Crossroads
Lingering Autumn: Millais
Peacock Cottage, Gellyburn
Ploughing Teams, Drummondhall
Station Road
Birnam Hill: P McLennan

Murthly History Group

We are researching the history of Murthly - village and parish.

It's a small area, really. Squeezed between the River Tay and Birnam Hill: bounded to the east by Airntully; and to the west by Birnam. Yet so rich in history and folklore.

The village was born, they say, of steam fever and madness. In the early 1800s, Britain was in a frenzy of speculation, and honest investment, when everywhere had to be connected by rail, seemingly all at once. The Perth and Dunkeld Railway opened in 1856 (although there was an attempt as early as 1835) and with its station put Murthly on a timetable; and thus on the only map that mattered.

Then in 1860 the Commissioners in Lunacy settled on a 60 acre site close to the station for Perthshire's new-model Asylum for Pauper Lunatics. Two hundred of them plus staff.

A cobbler across the river in Caputh, Thomas Rodger, sensed an opportunity. He secured a building feu from the laird, Sir William Drummond Stewart, in 1861 and built a cottage and workshop opposite the station.

And so the village began to grow . . .



Murthly Inn with landlady in the doorway The redoubtable Maggie Sutherland c 1905


Murthly takes its name from the Mor-tullach, an early medieval ceremonial mound or hillock. Possibly the later site of Murthly Castle. Fragments of sculptured Pictish stones found around Pittensorn and Gellyburn offer a tantalising prospect of a long forgotten early religious centre.

Our history is mostly contained within the boundaries of Murthly Estate. Famed for centuries for its tree-lined avenues and as one of the best designed landscapes in all Scotland. With miles of attractively wooded paths to explore on foot, bike or horseback.

Please explore this site. We will be adding some old estate maps and farm plans as and when we can digitise them. And the blog - Thornie Tales - is our ever expanding storybook.

And if you want to get out there, feel free to download the guided walks leaflets from the Library.


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