Alyth, Blairgowrie, and Coupar Angus

Abbey Church – Queen Street, Coupar Angus – Before this church was built this site housed one of the greatest medieval abbeys in Scotland. In tribute to this past John Carver the architect of the church designed it in the 12th century gothic style. Its’ construction took place between 1859 and 1860 and the building is noted for its buttressed aisles, traceried west window and slated spire. Of note is the interior with its hammer-beam roof, remnants of previous church buildings and a font created from the remains of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey column. The graveyard includes a polygon shaped watchtower that was employed in the 19th century as a guard against body-snatchers.

Barry Hillfort – Alyth – This hillfort sits on a crown on Barry Hill overlooking Glen Isla and Strathmore.

Broich Cursus – near Blairgowrie – A neolithic ditched enclosure similar to Cleaven Dyke.

Craighall Castle is a B listed house near Blairgowrie. For the last 500 years (since 1533), it has been in the possession of the Rattray family (it is currently – 2008 – up for sale) and the seat of the Rattray clan chief. The Rattrays can trace their lineage back to William the Conqueror. The house itself is located on a promontory some two hundred feet above the River Ericht. Amongst the guests that have stayed in the property is Walter Scott.

Hill Church – Blairgowrie – Situated above both Blairgowrie and the River Ericht this church with its pagoda capped tower helps define the town. Built in 1824, most probably by William Stirling who was also involved in the building of the East Church in Rattray High Street. The interior of the building is employed as a space for the Blairgowrie Players.

Newton Castle – Newton Street, Blairgowrie – This Z-plan 16th century tower house offers spectacular views over Strathmore. It is laid out as a three-and-a-half storey block between a square stair tower and a circular tower topped by a square plan, crow stepped attic. Of note are the 18th century wood panelling in some rooms. In the 17th century the house suffered as a result of the civil war – sacked both by Cromwell and the Marquis of Montrose. The castle was the birthplace of George Drummond and Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch. See Separate Section on Thomas Graham. The castle was bought by Colonel Allan Macpherson in 1787-88 and it remains in that family’s possession today.

Riverside Methodist Church – New Rattray, Blairgowrie – Located on the east side of the River Ericht the Perthshire Old Red Sandstone church built in 1887 by architect David Smart (of Alyth) resembles an English country church with its decorative moulds and stone spire. Of note is the National War Memorial Window – dedicated to the men of the Labour Corps – 2 December 1922. The Labour Corps was headquartered in Blairgowrie in 1917 – some 20,000 men passed through the town. The subscription was made by the men of the Labour Corps and was a sign of recognition note only of those men that served in that unit but also of the church and its welcome of those men.

Tolbooth Steeple – Queen Street, Coupar Angus – Built in 1762 by public subscription this six-storey steeple with town clock was used as the meeting place for Coupar Angus Town Committee and Courthouse (for Justice of the Peace). The lower part of the building was employed a s a jail. The roof of the steeple is slate arranged in a fish scale style. From the top of the tower magnificent views of the countryside are to be found.