Focus on Alyth
05 March 2020
Blairgowrie and Alyth have had close connections for centuries with only five miles separating the two market towns. Something Special Flowers are pleased to offer a delivery service to Alyth on a daily basis with designs created especially for the local Alyth customers. One of our talented team, Meghan spent most of her childhood growing up in Alyth and is proud to call Alyth her home.
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Alyth is located on a burn which bears its name and owes its position to a confluence of drovers' roads used by hill farmers to bring their sheep and cattle down to market. A picturesque 17th century packhorse bridge is among a number of stone bridges crossing the burn in the town. The ruins of the old church, known locally as The Arches, stand in a graveyard in a prominent position at the top of the town. The current church building, completed in 1839 to the design of Edinburgh architect, Thomas Hamilton, dominates the skyline of the town. It is Gothic in style, with Romanesque influences, especially in the windows, and has an unusually high spire. Inside the church is the funerary hatchment of Sir George Ramsay (sixth baronet of Bamff) who was killed in a duel at Musselburgh, in April 1790 - one of the last dueling deaths in Scotland. In the church porch is preserved a late 7th-early 8th century Pictish cross-slab, with a decorated cross on one face and a single Pictish symbol ('double disc and Z-rod') on the other. It was discovered in Alyth in 1887 when ground was being leveled in front of the manse.
The popular Den O' Alyth is a wooded valley lying on the NW edge of the village, straddling the same Alyth Burn that bisects the main urban area and used for mixed recreation.
History and Archeology
To the northeast of the town a hill fort, possibly of Pictish date, stands atop Barry (or 'barrow') Hill. The remains consist of massive collapsed stone ramparts that take advantage of the topography of the Alyth Hill. Local legend connects the fort with King Arthur, and it is claimed that Guinevere, Arthur's queen, was imprisoned here for a very short time.
Another nearby early medieval feature is a Pictish 'Class I' symbol stone in a field on Bruceton Farm somewhat to the east of Alyth. This slab is one of relatively few likely still to be in its original position. It may have marked an ancient burial.
There may have been a Christian presence in this area from early times, since the medieval parish church was dedicated to St. Moluag of Lismore (d. 592), a contemporary of St. Columba. The cross-slab mentioned above also suggests this.