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]

Location within Scotland
Location within the United Kingdom
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 56.397°N 3.437°W / 56.397; -3.437
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Council AreaPerth and Kinross
Lieutenancy AreaPerth and Kinross
  Total17.5 km2 (6.8 sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
Area code(s)01738
OS grid referenceNO115235
AirportPerth Airport (PSL)
Railway StationPerth railway station

Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the novel 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.

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 4,000 BC, a period that followed the introduction of farming into the area.

Close to Perth is Scone Abbey, which formerly housed the Stone of Scone (also known as the Stone of Destiny), on which the King of Scots were traditionally crowned. This enhanced the early importance of the city, and 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 fortunately placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848. The city often refers to itself using the promotional nickname "Gateway to the Highlands", a reference to its location.[6]

Today, Perth serves as a retail centre for the surrounding area, and in 2018 the city was named Scotland's Food Town of 2018 by the Scottish Food Awards.[7] 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.

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.