An ancient lane in the centre of Perth, Skinnergate represents a Mediaeval street which once connected Kirkgate and St. John's Kirk with the Red Brig Port, a gateway through the town wall. The name arises from the skinning and tanning of hides which took place here from the Middle Age until the close of the 18th century to supply the leather-working industry. The Glover Incorporation was one of the most powerful guilds of Perth, representing a membership responsible for curing thousands of skins and producing more than 30,000 pairs of gloves annually at the peak of the industry. Archaeological investigation has found the remains of tanner's pits just beyond the town wall, where space was available for the hides to be soaked for many months. The smell must have been overpowering. The finished gloves were sold from numerous shops on Skinnergate.

Located on the east side of the Skinnergate is the Old Ship Inn which is Perth's oldest public house, dating back to 1665, although the building was reconstructed in 1935. Skinnergate House is a homeless shelter for men, which is operated by the Salvation Army. It was built in 1927 in the Neo-Georgian style for the Perth Model Lodging House Association, funded by whisky baron John Dewar, Lord Forteviot (1856 - 1929).

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