This article is about the county in Scotland. For the former constituency, see Perthshire (UK Parliament constituency). For the American town, see Perthshire, Mississippi.

Perthshire within Scotland
  1975 2528 sq. miles (6547 sq. km) (5th)
  Succeeded by Tayside Region
Status Local government county (until 1975)
Land registration county (1996 - )
Chapman code PER

County: Perthshire County Council (1890-1929)
Perth and Kinross County Council (1929-1975)
Modern: Perth and Kinross Council (1996 - )
Lieutenancy: Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross

  HQ Perth (county town and administrative centre)
  Motto Pro Lege et Libertate
('For Law and Liberty')

Coat of arms of the county council

Perthshire (i/pɛrθʃər/; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt), officially the County of Perth, is a registration county in central Scotland. It extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south. It was a local government county from 1890 to 1930.

Perthshire is known as the "big county" and has a wide variety of landscapes, from the rich agricultural straths in the east, to the high mountains of the southern Highlands.

Administrative History

Perthshire was an administrative county between 1890 and 1975, governed by a county council. This Local Government council was superseded in 1930, when a joint Local Government council was formed with the neighbouring small county of Kinross-shire, linking the two.

In 1975 this Local Government council was in turn superseded by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and split between the Local Government Central and Tayside Regions:

The two-tier system introduced in 1975 was superseded by a system of unitary authorities in 1996.

The area of the former council is now divided between the Local Government council areas of Clackmannanshire, Perth and Kinross and Stirling.

The area included in Dundee in 1975 was transferred to Perth and Kinross.


Prior to the 1890s Perthshire's boundaries were irregular: the parishes of Culross and Tulliallan formed an exclave some miles away from the rest of the county, on the boundaries of Clackmannanshire and Fife; while the northern part of the parish of Logie formed an enclave of Stirlingshire within the county.

Following the recommendations of the council boundary commission appointed under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, Culross and Tulliallan were transferred to Fife, and the entire parish of Logie was included in Stirlingshire.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the County of Perth appears to have been granted for use on the colours and standards of the volunteer and militia units of the county raised at the end of the eighteenth century. The Earl of Kinnoull, a native of Perthshire, and commanding officer of the Perthshire Gentlemen and Yeomanry Cavalry, was also Lord Lyon King of Arms at the time, and he presented the arms to the county in 1800. The grant document was discovered in the Lyon Office in 1890, and forwarded to the newly formed Perth County Council.

The shield is very similar to the Scottish royal arms, reflecting that Perthshire was the home county of the House of Dunkeld and contains the former royal capital, Scone. Further royal references are made on the canton, which shows Scone Palace surmounted by the Crown of Scotland. The crest is a Highland soldier, reflecting that the famous Black Watch were formed in the county.[1] The supporters are an eagle and a warhorse, the former from the arms of the city of Perth.


By the 1890s the county contained the following burghs, which were largely outside the county council's jurisdiction:

  • Royal Burgh of Perth (which was styled a city)
  • Burgh of Auchterarder (formed 1894: reinstated as a royal burgh in 1951)
  • Burgh of Aberfeldy (police burgh from 1887)
  • Burgh of Abernethy (burgh of barony from 1458/9, police burgh from 1877)
  • Burgh of Alyth (police burgh 1834)
  • Burgh of Blairgowrie (burgh of barony 1634, police burgh 1833)
  • Burgh of Rattray (police burgh 1873)
  • Burgh of Callander (police burgh 1866)
  • Burgh of Coupar Angus (burgh of barony 1607, police burgh 1852)
  • Burgh of Crieff (burgh of barony 1674, burgh of regality 1687, police burgh 1864)
  • Burgh of Doune (burgh of barony 1611, police burgh 1890)
  • Burgh of Dunblane (burgh of regality of the Bishop of Dunblane 1442, police burgh 1870)

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 divided burghs into two classes from 1930: large burghs, which were to gain extra powers from the county council, and small burghs which lost many of their responsibilities.

Of the twelve burghs in Perthshire, only Perth was made a large burgh. There were ten small burghs: Blairgowrie and Rattray being united into a single burgh. In 1947 Pitlochry was created a small burgh.

Civil parishes

Perthshire and Clackmannanshire. c.1851. Parishes outlined in red

In 1894 parish councils were established for the civil parishes, replacing the previous parochial boards. The parish councils were in turn replaced by district councils in 1930.

Following the boundary changes caused by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, the county contained the following civil parishes:

Towns and villages

Bridge of Earn from Moncreiffe Hill

Perthshire includes the City of Perth and the following other towns and villages (see also Civil Parish list):

Other towns and villages

Some others listed in alphabetical order in the Land Register Counties :[2]

  • Aberargy
  • Aberdalgie
  • Aberruthven
  • Acharn
  • Almondbank
  • Altamount
  • Amulree
  • Ardagie
  • Ardeonaig
  • Ardler
  • Argaty
  • Ashfield
  • Auchinlay
  • Auchmore
  • Auchtoo
  • Auchtugh
  • etc..


In 1930 the landward area of the Local Government councils (the part outside of burgh boundaries) was divided into five districts, replacing the parish councils established in 1894:

Parliamentary constituencies

Following the Act of Union, Perthshire returned members to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708.

1707 - 1885

1885 - 1918

In 1885 seats in the House of Commons were redistributed: Perthshire received three seats.

1918 - 1975

In 1918 there was a further redistribution. Perthshire was combined with Kinross-shire to form a parliamentary county, divided into two constituencies:

These boundaries continued in use until 1983, when new constituencies were formed based on the Local Government regions and districts created in 1975.

Famous places

Notable people



Ben Vrackie: View west to the Lawers range, Schiehallion, lochs Tummel and Rannoch, and very distant Glen Coe peaks

Glens and straths



Most common surnames in Perthshire at the time of the United Kingdom Census of 1881,[4] by order of incidence:

  1. Robertson
  2. Stewart
  3. Campbell
  4. McGregor
  5. McDonald
  6. Cameron
  7. McLaren
  8. Anderson
  9. Smith
  10. Ferguson

See also


  1. Patton, David (1977). Arms of the County Councils of Scotland. Port Charlotte: Argyll Reproductions Ltd.
  2. Registers of Scotland. Publications, leaflets, Land Register Counties.
  3. 1 2 The Parliamentary Constituencies (Scotland) Order 1970 (S.I. 1970 No. 1680)
  4. Most Common Surnames in Perthshire
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Coordinates: 56°30′N 4°00′W / 56.500°N 4.000°W / 56.500; -4.000

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