Coordinates: 56°22′32″N 3°50′33″W / 56.37568°N 3.84262°W / 56.37568; -3.84262
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High Street, Crieff with Crieff Town Hall in the centre distance
Crieff is located in Perth and Kinross
Location within Perth and Kinross
Population7,280 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNN863219
• Edinburgh38 mi (61 km)
• London368 mi (592 km)
Community council
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCRIEFF
Postcode districtPH7
Dialling code01764
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56°22′32″N 3°50′33″W / 56.37568°N 3.84262°W / 56.37568; -3.84262

Crieff (/krf/ ; Scottish Gaelic: Craoibh, meaning "tree") is a Scottish market town in Perth and Kinross on the A85 road between Perth and Crianlarich, and the A822 between Greenloaning and Aberfeldy. The A822 joins the A823 to Dunfermline. Crieff has become a hub for tourism, famous for whisky and its history of cattle droving. Attractions include the Caithness Glass Visitor Centre and Glenturret Distillery. The nearby Innerpeffray Library (founded about 1680) is Scotland's oldest lending library. St Mary's Chapel beside it dates from 1508. Both are open to the public: the library is run by a charitable trust; the chapel is in the care of Historic Scotland.


For a number of centuries Highlanders came south to Crieff to sell their black cattle, whose meat and hides were avidly sought by the growing urban populations in Lowland Scotland and the north of England. The town acted as a gathering point for the Michaelmas cattle sale held during the "October Tryst" each year, when the surrounding fields and hillsides would be black with some 30,000 cattle, some from as far away as Caithness and the Outer Hebrides.[3]

Rob Roy MacGregor and his followers visited Crieff in October 1714: they gathered in Crieff for the October Tryst. They marched to Crieff Town Square and, in front of the gathering crowd, they sang Jacobite songs and drank a good many loyal toasts to their uncrowned King James VIII.[4]

In 1716, 350 Highlanders returning from the Battle of Sheriffmuir burned most of Crieff to the ground. In 1731, James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth, laid out the town's central James Square and established a textile industry with a flax factory. In the 1745 rising the Highlanders were itching to fire the town again and were reported as saying "she shoud be a braw toun gin she haed anither sing". But it was saved by the Duke of Perth – a friend and supporter of Prince Charles. In February 1746 the Jacobite army was quartered in and around the town with Prince Charles Edward Stuart holding his final war council in the old Drummond Arms Inn in James Square – located behind the present abandoned hotel building in Hill Street.[5]

By the late 18th century the original hanging tree used by the Earls of Strathearn to discipline people had been replaced by a formal wooden structure in an area called Gallowhaugh – now Gallowhill, at the bottom of Burrell Street. What is now Ford Road was Gallowford Road which led down past the gallows to the crossing point over the River Earn. Sir Walter Scott, visiting Crieff in 1796, saw the gallows as "Gallowsford".[6]

Crieff Town Hall was completed in 1850.[7] In the 19th century, Crieff became a fashionable destination for tourists visiting the Highlands and a country retreat for wealthy businessmen from Edinburgh, Glasgow and beyond. Many such visitors attended the Crieff hydropathic establishment, now the Crieff Hydro, which opened in 1868.[8]

Crieff was once served by Crieff railway station, which linked the town to Perth, Comrie and Gleneagles. The station was opened in 1856 by the Crieff Junction Railway, but closed in 1964 by British Railways as one of the Beeching cuts.[9]

Fame in verse[edit]

Crieff was praised by the poetaster William McGonagall in "Crieff".

"Ye lovers of the picturesque, if ye wish to drown your grief,
Take my advice, and visit the ancient town of Crieff."[10]


Every year the town hosts the Crieff Highland Games, which include music and dancing competitions and feats of strength.[11]


Places of worship[edit]

Crieff Parish Church

Crieff Parish Church (Church of Scotland) in Strathearn Terrace, also known as the East Church, is on the site of a medieval building that was demolished and rebuilt in 1786, when a hoard of gold coins from the reign of Robert the Bruce was found within its walls. The church was again rebuilt in 1827.[13][14]

Crieff West Church (Church of Scotland) was built 1837–1838 on Comrie Road as a chapel of ease to the main parish church.[15][16] It was converted into the St Ninian's Centre in 1958 and used for over 50 years as a lay training and conference venue until its closure in 2001. The building is now occupied by private flats.[17][18]

The South Church, now disused, was built in 1881 as a Free Church of Scotland, modelled on the design of Dunblane Cathedral. It later became known as the South UP Church when it merged with the United Presbyterian Church (Scotland) into the United Free Church of Scotland, before becoming part of the established Church of Scotland.[19]

The Scottish Episcopal Church in Perth Road is a small 1990s building which replaced an older church.[19]

The Roman Catholic Church is represented by St Fillan's Chapel in Ford Road, as part of the Diocese of Dunkeld.[20]


Radio Earn broadcasts from Strathearn and Strathallan.[21]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Crieff Community Council Website". Crieff Community Council. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  3. ^ The beauties of upper Strathearn. Crieff, with six excursions around it. George McCulloch. 1860. p. 59.
  4. ^ Millar, Alexander Hasties (1883). The History of Rob Roy. J. Leng. p. 96.
  5. ^ "The Drummond Arms". Open Plaques. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  6. ^ The beauties of upper Strathearn. Crieff, with six excursions around it. George McCulloch. 1860. p. 66.
  7. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Town Hall, High Street, Crieff (LB23484)". Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  8. ^ Bradley, James; Dupree, Mageurite; Durie, Alastair (1997), "Taking the Water Cure: The Hydropathic Movement in Scotland, 1840–1940" (PDF), Business and Economic History, 26 (2): 426–437, retrieved 17 November 2009
  9. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 71. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  10. ^ McGonagall, William (1899). "Beautiful Crieff". McGonagall Online.
  11. ^ "Platinum Jubilee Crieff Highland Gathering 2022". Event Brite. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  12. ^ Nairn, James S. "The Schoolmaster Day". Moving Image Archive. Anglo Scottish Pictures. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  13. ^ "Criech – Cullicudden". British History Online. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Crieff from The Gazetteer for Scotland". Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  15. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1851). A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland: Comprising the Several Counties, Islands, Cities, Burgh and Market Towns, Parishes, and Principal Villages, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions: Embellished with Engravings of the Seals and Arms of the Different Burghs and Universities. S. Lewis and Company. p. 247. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Crieff from The Gazetteer for Scotland". Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  17. ^ Macdonald, Finlay A. J. (30 April 2017). From Reform to Renewal: Scotland's Kirk Century by Century. Saint Andrew Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-86153-976-5. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  18. ^ Fraser, Liam Jerrold (16 December 2019). "The Scottish ideal: Lay education and training in the Church of Scotland". Theology in Scotland. 26 (2): 57–70. doi:10.15664/tis.v26i2.1921. ISSN 1465-2862. S2CID 213008477.
  19. ^ a b Mayall, Colin (15 June 2010). Crieff and Strathearn Through Time. Amberley Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-4456-2765-6. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  20. ^ "St Fillan's, Crieff". The Catholic Church in Scotland: Diocese of Dunkeld. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  21. ^ Radio Earn – official website
  22. ^ British Film Institute access date 19 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Sunset Song: Classic novel set in the Mearns became the first BBC drama series shot in colour". Press & Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  24. ^ "John Manson Craig". VC Online. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  25. ^ Kaufman, M. H. (February 2008). "Daniel John Cunningham (1850–1909): anatomist and textbook author, whose sons achieved distinction in the Army, Navy and Indian Medical Service". Journal of Medical Biography. 16 (1): 30–5. doi:10.1258/jmb.2006.006058. PMID 18463062. S2CID 7428475.
  26. ^ Scott, Hew; Macdonald, D. F. (Donald Farquhar); Macdonald, Finlay A. J. (23 February 1915). "Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae : the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation". Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd – via Internet Archive.
  27. ^ Crieff at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  28. ^ "New Seekers star Eve Graham looks back 40 years after their greatest hit". Daily Record. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  29. ^ "David Jacks Passes Away". The Californian. Salinas, California. 11 January 1909. p. 1. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  30. ^ Duke, Lynn (19 October 2012). "Denis attributes acting career to his Crieff roots". Daily Record.
  31. ^ Carr, Ellie (19 May 2001). "He is the actor formerly known as Denis Lawson. Now he's more famous as Ewan McGregor's uncle. But he's not bitter". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  32. ^ Barratt, Nick (11 November 2006). "Family Detective". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  33. ^ Bell, Robert (April 1892). "Alexander Murray, F.G.S., F.R.S.C., C.M.G." The Canadian Record of Science. 5: 77 – via Canadiana.
  34. ^ Moncur, James (6 March 2010). "Incredible story of the Dundee United footballer who won an Academy Award". Daily Record. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  35. ^ Rae, Douglas (16 June 1995). "OBITUARY: Neil Paterson". The Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  36. ^ "Perthshire's sports awards nominees named". Perthshire Advertiser. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  37. ^ "William Reid". VC Online. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  38. ^ "Obituary: Brian Stewart, CMG, MI6 director". The Scotsman. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  39. ^ van Praagh, Anna (1 November 2009). "Rory Stewart: A new kind of Tory". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  40. ^ Gossip, Shona (24 May 2010). "Article – Former Black Watch soldier shares his experiences". Press and Journal. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  41. ^ "Sophie Stewart". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  42. ^ MP for Edinburgh East constituency, first elected in 1970, then re-elected in February 1974, October 1974, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2005. He held several ministerial posts during his political career.
  43. ^ "Shiela Stuart". Fidra Books. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  44. ^ "Restaurant review: Hawke & Hunter, Edinburgh". The Scotsman. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  45. ^ Purnell, Gareth (8 March 2008). "Simon Taylor: Sinatra of Scottish rugby hopes his latest return is a happy one". The Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  46. ^ Bardgett, Frank (2010). Scotland's Evangelist – D.P. Thomson. Haddington: Handsel Press. pp. 253–258, 339–350. ISBN 978-1-871828-71-9.
  47. ^ "Thomas Thomson". Retrieved 26 October 2012.

External links[edit]