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Pitlochry History

Pitlochry, which is a corruption of “ Pit-cloich-aire,”
meaning “the place by the sentinel stone,” can lay claim to a respectable antiquity of fully 1700 years, as the name goes back to 208 AD., when the Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus, led his forces across Scotland to the Moray Firth. To protect the flank of his army being attacked, he closed up the valleys that opened out on his line of march by constructing a fort in each, one being on the north bank of the Tummel, on what is now the Recreation Ground. The Picts, from the then important town of Moulin, placed a sentinel beside the boulder stone that is still lying above the Pitlochry Smithy, to keep watch on the fort, hence the origin of the place name.

Pitlochry was originally made up of three small hamlets.
The one to the west, which lay to the south of the sentinel stone, has all disappeared except the two old cottages on the west side of the road branching off to the Golf Course. The cottage in front next the main road was at one time a public house, and is associated with a tragedy. Shortly after the middle of the 18th century, Stewart of Bonskeid and his cousin, Stewart of Sheirglass, when returning from Dunkeld Market, called at this house. A quarrel arose between them, when
Shierglass, drawing his dirk, stabbed Bonskeid who only survived a few minutes. Shierglass made his escape and ultimately found refuge in Holland. Before leaving he concealed himself behind a stone in the Faskally Wood, from which a view of the road could he got, as he believed in the old superstition, that if a murderer could see daylight under the bier of his victim he would escape capture, and in this he was successful. The dirk is still in the possession of one of his descendants.

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