Dunkeld is another of Highland Perthshire’s
jewels, situated on the north bank of the River Tay. The town
has the Cathedral of St. Columba, which is considered to be one
of the most picturesque cathedrals in Europe. The town’s
buildings originate from the late 17th and early 18th centuries,
as Jacobite forces destroyed Dunkeld in 1689.
Dunkeldhas always been held as a place of importance, from the
time it was a stronghold of the Picts giving it the prefix ‘Dun”
meaning defensive structure or fort. The earliest Christian
settlement here was as early as the 6h century. Dunkeld became
the centre of the church in Scotland in the 9th century.
to the town was revolutionised by the building of today’s bridge
over the Tay by Thomas Telford in 1809. It started life as a
toll bridge; the tollhouse can still be seen today on the
south side, or Birnam side of the bridge. The towns prison was in the
foot of the bridge
abutment in Dunked.
Much of the original town around the Market Cross towards the
Cathedral has been preserved and restored by the National Trust
for Scotland. Including The Ell Shop which takes it's name
from the metal measuring tool on the outside wall, which was a
measure for fabric.
Also managed by the
National Trust for Scotland is the Hermitage
Dunkeld. 250 years ago The Duke of Atholl created this
wild tree garden bringing the Douglas Fir and the
European Larch to Britain, some of the original trees still
stand in Dunkeld. It is said that the seeds were fired from
Canons to sow them over large areas. Until recently the fir on the opposite side
of the Braan was the tallest tree in Britain at 64.5
meters. From the recently refurbished Ossian's Hall, watch
the salmon leaping up the falls to go up river to spawn.
The town of Dunkeld has an established historic trail, which is
well worth following, so you can discover and learn more about this
lovely town. The shops are particularly fine, offering a wide
range of choice, away from the multi-national chains, for this
Dunkeld is worth a visit.