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Kirriemuir, Peter Pan Statue.jpg
Kirriemuir, Peter Pan Statue
Kirriemuir is located in Angus
Kirriemuir shown within Angus
Population6,061 (est. 2016)
OS grid referenceNO385535
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDD8
Dialling code01575
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56°40′09″N 3°00′18″W / 56.66921°N 3.00510°W / 56.66921; -3.00510Coordinates: 56°40′09″N 3°00′18″W / 56.66921°N 3.00510°W / 56.66921; -3.00510

Kirriemuir, sometimes called Kirrie, is a burgh in Angus, Scotland. Its history reaches back to earliest recorded times, when it seems to have been a major ecclesiastical centre. Later it was identified with witchcraft, and some older houses still feature a "witches stane" to ward off evil. In the 19th century, it was an important centre of the jute trade. The playwright J.M. Barrie was born and buried here, and a statue of Peter Pan stands in the town square.


The history of Kirriemuir extends to the early historical period and it appears to have been a centre of some ecclesiastical importance. The Kirriemuir Sculptured Stones, a series of late Pictish cross slabs, are now on display at the Meffan Institute in Forfar.

Kirriemuir has a history of accused witches back in the 16th century. Many of the older buildings have a witches stane built in to ward off evil. This is a hard grey stone set into the local red sandstone of which they were built. A pond on the outskirts of town, known as the Witch Pool, was where the supposed witches were thought to have been drowned,[citation needed] but in fact it was a mill pond for the 19th-century Meikle Mill. Local amateur historians tend to think this referred to a "mickle" (small — it in fact means large)[1] mill, but the reference is to one of John Meikle's patented chaff-separating machines, based on ideas he picked up in the Netherlands. The adjacent "Court Hillock" was shown, during excavation to make way for a housing development, to be no more than a spoil heap left from the excavation and cleaning of the pond.

Though its importance as a market town has diminished, its former jute factories (now manufacturing synthetics) echo its importance in the 19th century as the centre of a home-based weaving industry.

Historic features near Kirriemuir include a carved Pictish stone known as the Eassie Stone,[2] found in the bed of a burn near the village of Eassie.

Kirriemuir claims the narrowest public footpath in Western Europe; Cat's Close, situated between Grant's Pend and Kirkwynd. It is a mere 40 centimetres (15.75 inches) wide.[citation needed]

The family estate of Sir Hugh Munro, who created Munro's Tables of Scottish mountains over 3000 ft in elevation (which are now called "munros"), is also located near the town, as is Kinnordy House, the seat of the Lyells.


Kirriemuir is represented within Angus Council by the Kirriemuir & Dean ward, from which three councillors are elected. The members elected from this ward are, as of 2012; Ian Gaul (Scottish National Party), Ronnie Proctor (Scottish Conservative and Unionist) and Jeanette Gaul (SNP).[3]


The town once had a museum of aviation and these artifacts are now in the Richard Moss Memorial Collection at the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. There is a camera obscura, which was donated by Barrie, on the Hill and it offers views to the south and south-west and of the higher hills to the north. Also on the Hill and offering views from its southern slopes is the town cemetery, where Barrie is buried in a simple grave. There is a silver granite war memorial in the centre of the cemetery, a column surmounted by a kilted soldier looking down across the town and over the broad fields of Strathmore to the Sidlaws.

The Tayside Police Museum is located in Reform Street, and now has a web site -

Every August, a local music organization holds a music festival called Live In The Den which features local guitar bands. It takes place in The Den, hence the name. In 2011 the festival was not held due to large flooding. [4]


Kirriemuir sits looking south towards Glamis and the Sidlaws over Strathmore (one of the most fertile fruit growing areas in Scotland). Its position at the base of the Angus glens makes it an attractive centre for hill-walking on nearby Munros, fishing, partridge, pheasant and grouse shooting and deer-stalking. There is also an 18-hole golf course with views north to Glen Clova and Glen Doll. The town comprises mainly two areas, Northmuir and Southmuir.


Webster's High School is situated in the Southmuir, while two primary schools are located in the Northmuir and Southmuir respectively. The Northmuir Primary School replaced the Reform Street Primary school, which was in the town centre, and was demolished for the building of the Lyell Court Sheltered Housing complex. Southmuir Primary School moved to new premises in 2002 which were built as part of an extension to Webster's High School. The previous Southmuir Primary School building (formally the original Webster's Seminary) was destroyed by fire on Sunday 29 October 2006 and has since been demolished.


The town has 2 main parks - one of which lies in the Gairie Burn glen and the other at the top of Kirriemuir Hill.

The Den can be split into 2 parts. The east Den lies to the east of Bellies Brae (The Commonty) and the west Den lies to the west of Bellies Brae. This park has a paddling pool, which tends to be cold but warms in the sunshine. The Den can be prone to flooding as it is located in a deep valley and this last happened in December 2012. In the far west Den, there is a large waterfall, often called the Den Waterfall, and the Cuttle Well.

The Hill or Peter Pan Park as it is called by locals, is located in Northmuir. A playpark was built in November 2010 which has a Peter Pan theme. The park is very popular with children.

Smaller parks include Davidson Park in the Southmuir and Martin Park which is off Slade Road.


Kirriemuir is home to the junior football club Kirriemuir Thistle. Kirriemuir also has a wheeled sports area in Martin Park and an all-weather sports pitch at Webster's Leisure Centre adjoining Webster's High School.

Notable people[edit]

  • J.M. Barrie: The creator of Peter Pan and Rector of the University of St Andrews, was born in Kirriemuir. He wrote of this "wee red toonie" as "Thrums" in his popular (pre-Pan) novels Auld Licht Idylls, A Window in Thrums, and The Little Minister. "Red" refers to the local reddish sandstone from which the town's older properties are built. The town became a minor Victorian tourism destination in response to Barrie's novels, and his birthplace on the Brechin road is now a museum owned by the National Trust of Scotland.[5] A statue of Peter Pan stands in the town square in front of the old toll booth. This was one of two commissioned by either the now defunct Angus Milling Company Limited or its associated company Hamlyn Milling Limited.
  • Violet Jacob: The poet and novelist returned widowed from India in 1936, went to live in Kirriemuir, and died there in 1946.[6] returned widowed from India in 1936, went to live in Kirriemuir, and died there in 1946.[7]
  • David Niven: The actor claimed Kirriemuir as his birthplace, but was actually born in London.[8]
  • Bon Scott: The vocalist of AC/DC was born at the maternity hospital in nearby Forfar in 1946 and lived in Kirriemuir until 1952, when his family emigrated to Australia. A plaque has been unveiled in Cumberland Close, Kirriemuir to celebrate the memory of the singer.[9] On 26 January 2016 town officials approved plans for a statue of Scott to be erected in the Bellies Brae car park. This was unveiled by the former AC/DC bass player Mark Evans in April 2016, during the town's annual "Bonfest" event.[10]

Twin towns/sister cities[edit]

Kirriemuir is twinned with the French town of Volvic,[13] famous for its mineral water.

Kerrimuir, a small area in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, is named after this town.


  1. ^ SND: Mickle
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Eassie Stone, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham, 7 October 2007
  3. ^ Election 2012 Results Ward 1 – Kirriemuir & Dean, archived from the original on 7 May 2012, retrieved 9 May 2012
  4. ^ Inglis, Marjory (22 August 2011). "'A complete swamp' — flooding forces cancellation of Kirriemuir music event Live In The Den". The Courier. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Carol Anderson: "Jacob [née Kennedy-Erskine], Violet Augusta Mary Frederica", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK, 2004) Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  7. ^ Carol Anderson: "Jacob [née Kennedy-Erskine], Violet Augusta Mary Frederica", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK, 2004) Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  8. ^ Morley, Sheridan (1985). The Other Side of the Moon. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-340-39643-1.
  9. ^ "Rock tribute to AC/DC star Scott". Crabsody in Blue. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  12. ^ Brown, Graham. "Angus shows way as plans for Victoria Cross memorials unveiled". DC Thomson. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  13. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.