Perth - 'The Prospect of ye Town of Perth'

From his viewpoint on a hill across the River Tay, Slezer presents a panorama of Perth, one of the Highlands' most popular and prosperous 17th-century towns. The main building in view is St John's Church.

Near the harbour wall on the left is a sailing ship, while a coble or ferry boat on the river gives an indication of a local crossing point. Following floods in 1621, there was no bridge across the Tay at Perth until 1772. Boots are moored near the old quay, close to the town at the end of Canal Street.

Along the edges of the farmland in the foreground are rows of long single-storey farm cottages. Two men have been added in the foreground of this view.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Perth


To the Right Honourable William Viscount of Strathallan, Lord Drommond of Cromlix, &c.


The Head Town of the Sheriffdom of Perth, and the Sheriff's Seat where he keeps his Courts. For Dignity it is the second Town in Scotland, and is commonly called St. John's Town, from a Church built there and dedicated to St. John.

It is a pretty Town, placed between Two Greens on the South Bank of Tay. At a full Tide small Vessels may come up to the Town. Of old it had a Bridge of Stone, which was carried away by an Inundation. Here was also a Famous Monastery, founded by King James the I. Anno Dom. 1430 for the Carthusians.

It gives the Title of Earl to the Family of Perth, chief of the Name of Drommond.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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