Perth, Scotland's newest city, has been granted £650,000 to restore its historic buildings. The money, from Historic Scotland, will support its city status with a grant awarded to Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. The funds will be spread over 3 years, most of which will be spent on repairing historic buildings. Perth has over 360 listed properties including the famous St John's Kirk. The city will decide its priorities, within a strategy agreed with Historic Scotland.
Source: Scotsman 2 July 2012
However, there is one building for which this will be 150 years too late - the now demolished Gowrie Castle. This was one of two castles in Perth the other being Huntingtower now under the care of Historic Scotland.
Huntingtower (originally the Place of Ruthven) had its name changed after the killing of its owner the Earl of Gowrie in 1600 (see following). Huntingtower was in fact 2 separate tower houses of the early 15th century, remodelled in the 16th and joined together in the 17th. Famous for its painted ceilings, plaster work and bats it now provides a popular venue for weddings.
Gowrie has the more interesting history. Dating from 1525 it stood within the town and overlooked the River Tay. It was the scene of the mysterious 'Gowrie Conspiracy' of 1600 (an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap/kill James VI). After the murder of Gowrie it passed into the possession of the town of Perth which in 1746 presented it to William Duke of Cumberland, fresh from Culloden, to keep on the right side of the government. His Grace in turn sold it to the Board of Ordinance which found it prudent to pay him for £5,000 for the privilege.
The BO utilised Gowrie as an artillery depot and barracks and so it served until it fell into disuse in the 19th century. In 1865 the need for new County Buildings and Prison caused its demolition. A plaque marks the site.
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