Moncreiffe House

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Moncreiffe House, a mansion in Dunbarny parish, Perthshire, at the southern base of Moncreiffe Hill, on the left side of the river Earn, 1 mile NNE of Bridge-ofEarn, and 3¼ miles SSE of Perth. It is a fine old edifice, built in 1679 from designs by the celebrated architect, Sir William Bruce of Kinross; and its grounds are beautifully wooded, the older trees appearing to have been mostly planted about the time of the erection of the house. There is a grand beech avenue, more than 600 yards long, with a small stone-circle in the middle; and one horse-chestnut, girthing 20½ feet at 1 foot from the ground, is supposed to be the largest of its kind in Scotland, if not indeed in Britain. A roofless chapel (30 x 18 feet), with a N aisle and a small E belfry, stands 300 yards SE of the mansion, thickly embosomed in wood; and since 1357 or earlier has served as the burying-place of the Moncreiffe family. Moncreiffe or Moredun Hill, at the meeting-point of Dunbarny, Rhynd, and East Perth parishes, 3 miles SSE of Perth city, occupies much of the peninsula between the Earn and the Tay, and forms the connecting link between the Ochils and the Sidlaws, except as isolated from them by those two rivers. It chiefly consists of greenstone, displaying on the S side a steep, high precipice of columnar formation; and attains an altitude of 725 feet above sea-level. Its slopes are clothed with manytinted trees, planted mostly during the last hundred years; and its summit and E shoulder command one of the noblest prospects in Britain-pronounced by Pennant 'the glory of Scotland.' The high-road from Edinburgh to Perth passes at a height of 182 feet over its W shoulder, which is pierced by the conjoint tunnel (990 yards long) of the Caledonian and North British railway systems. The Roman legionaries, when they gained the top, cried out 'Behold the Tiber, behold the Field of Mars!' and Queen Victoria, driving from Dupplin Castle to Perth on her first progress to the Highlands (6 Sept. 1842), made a halt to gaze on the sunset-illumined scene. Not far from the flagstaff on the summit is a Pictish hill-fort, whose circular fosse, 16 yards in diameter, is still traceable. From 1248 and earlier the lands of Moncreiffe have been held by the Moncreiffe family; but in 1663 Sir John Moncreiff- represented by Lord Moncreiff of Tulliebole-was forced to sell the estate to his cousin, Thomas Moncreiffe, who in 1685 was created a baronet. Sir Robert Drummond Moncreiffe, present and eighth Bart. (b. 1856; suc. 1879), owns 4673 acres in Perthshire, valued at £6758 per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 48, 1868. See chap. x. of Thomas Hunter's Woods and Estates of Perthshire (Perth, 1883).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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