Blair Atholl

Perth and Kinross

Blair Atholl
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Blair Atholl

A village in highland Perth and Kinross, Blair Atholl lies at the junction of the Tilt and Garry rivers 34 miles (55 km) north of the city of Perth. The village, which has hotels, camping and caravan facilities and a 9-hole golf course, is well situated for walks into the Grampians via Glen Tilt, the Minigaig Pass and Old Struan Path. Tourist attractions include a working corn mill, a country museum and the imposing white-harled Blair Castle which dates from the 13th Century.

The castle, which is the seat of the Murray Dukes of Atholl, has been occupied by armies on no less than four occasions and has suffered siege and destruction. Its architectural appearance has been remodelled to suit changing style and taste down the centuries.

Blair castle has played host to many historic figures including Graham of Claverhouse (1649-89), who occupied the castle in 1689, was killed nearby at the Battle of Killiecrankie and lies buried in the ruined church of St Brides at Old Blair which overlooks the castle. Blair has the distinction of being the last castle in Britain to have been besieged during the second Jacobite Rising (1746).

In the 1870s the present facade of the castle was created when the former Atholl House was remodelled and extended in the Scots-Baronial style by the Edinburgh architect David Bryce (1803-76).

The Duke of Atholl has the distinction of having the only remaining private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders, which holds parades from time to time at the castle.

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