1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Crieff
CRIEFF, a police burgh of Perthshire, Scotland, capital of Strathearn, 17¾ m. W. of Perth by the Caledonian railway. Pop. (1901) 5208. Occupying the southern slopes of a hill on the left bank of the Earn, here crossed by a bridge, it practically consists of a main street, with narrower streets branching off at right angles. Its climate is the healthiest in mid-Scotland, the air being pure and dry. Its charter is said to date from 1218, and it was the seat of the courts of the earls of Strathearn till 1747, when heritable jurisdictions were abolished. A Runic sculptured stone, believed to be of the 8th century, and the old town cross stand in High Street, but the great cattle fair, for which Crieff was once famous, was removed to Falkirk in 1770. It was probably in connexion with this market that the “kind gallows of Crieff” acquired their notoriety, for they were mostly used for the execution of Highland cattle-stealers. The principal buildings are the town hall, tolbooth, public library, assembly rooms, mechanics’ institute, Morison’s academy (founded in 1859), and Strathearn House, a hydropathic establishment built on an eminence at the back of the town, and itself sheltered by the Knock of Crieff (911 ft. high). The industries consist of manufactures of cotton, linen, woollens and worsteds, and leather. Drummond Castle, about 3 m. S., is celebrated for its gardens. They cover an area of 10 acres, are laid out in terraces, and illustrate Italian, Dutch and French styles. They were planned by the 2nd earl of Perth (d. 1662), and take rank with the most magnificent in the United Kingdom. The keep of the castle dates from 1490, and much of the original building was demolished in 1689, a few years after its siege by Cromwell. The present structure was erected subsequent to the extinction of the Jacobite rebellion.