Perth, Scotland

Perth (/ˈpɜːrθ/ (listen); Scottish Gaelic: Peairt [pʰɛrˠʃtʲ])[3][4] is a city in central Scotland, on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire. It had a population of about 47,180 in 2012.[5] Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called St John's Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitantsa reference to its principal church, which was dedicated to St John the Baptist. This name is preserved in the name of the city's football club, St Johnstone F.C. Perth is twinned with Aschaffenburg in the German state of Bavaria and there are several places in the world named after Scotland’s Perth, including Perth in Western Australia, Perth in Tasmania, and Perth in Ontario, Canada.

City and Administrative centre

Above Perth from the northeast. The city's two parks, the North Inch and South Inch, are in view on the right and left, respectively

Coat of arms of Perth
Location within Perth and Kinross
Area17.5 km2 (6.8 sq mi) [1]
Population47,430 (mid-2016 est.)[2]
 Density2,710/km2 (7,000/sq mi)
OS grid referenceNO115235
 Edinburgh32 mi (51 km)
 London363 mi (584 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPERTH
Postcode districtPH1, PH2
Dialling code01738
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
56.397°N 3.437°W / 56.397; -3.437

There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times. It is a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, at a place where the river could be crossed on foot at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied ever since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived there more than 8,000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles date from about 4000 BC, a period that followed the introduction of farming into the area.

In close proximity to Perth is Scone Abbey which formerly housed the Stone of Scone (also known as the Stone of Destiny), and is where the King of Scots was traditionally crowned. This enhanced the early importance of the city. Perth became known as a 'capital' of Scotland due to the frequent residence there of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was given to the city by King William the Lion in the early 12th century. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, engaging in trade with France, the Low Countries, and the Baltic Countries, and importing goods such as Spanish silk and French wine. The Scottish Reformation had a strong impact on the city: the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars were sacked after a sermon given by John Knox in St John's Kirk in 1559. The 1701 Act of Settlement brought about Jacobite uprisings. The city was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions: in 1689, 1715 and 1745. The founding of Perth Academy in 1760 helped to bring major industries to the city, including the production of linen, leather, bleach, and whisky. Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848.

Today, Perth serves as a retail centre for the surrounding area. The city has a thriving culinary scene. It is known for its wide selection of restaurants, and in 2018 was named Scotland's Food Town of 2018 by the Scottish Food Awards.[6] Following the decline of the local whisky industry, the city diversified its economy, building on its long-established presence in the insurance industry to increase its presence in the banking industry.

The city often refers to itself using the promotional nickname, "Gateway to the Highlands", a reference to its location.[7]