Methven An Introduction
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Methven An Introduction
Notables, Roads and Churches
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Village, Parish & People

Methven. The earliest settlers appear to have been Neolithic (the New Stone Age), as articles (arrowheads & scrapers), from this period, have been unearthed in local fields - and a whorl stone, from Pictish times, was found in Culdeesland Wood. The fact that, at the Winter Solstice, the sun appears directly over West Lomond Hill, might have been of some significance to earlier dwellers. In a map of 1637, the village is spelled "Meffen", perhaps from the early Brythonic (a mixture of Celtic, Cornish & Welsh), where "medd + faen" = middle + stone, referring to a boundary or marker stone. In a map of 1783, and in later maps, the village is spelled "Methven", perhaps from the later Scottish Gaelic, where "meadhan" = middle. Various translations exist, Methven being either in "the middle of Strathmore", "between Strathord and Strathearn", "between Perth & Crieff", etc etc etc. (Take your pick.)

The Village, Parish & People. Methven's early parish started (in the NW), on the banks of the River Almond, near Tulchan. It followed the river, eastwards, included the Lynedoch (Lednock) Estate, and continued past Dalcrue, Cromwellpark and Almondbank - to the Pow Water (in the E). The boundary then travelled westwards, passing Tippermallo, Bachilton, Balgowan & Newrow, to Burnbrae (in the SW). It then returned in an easterly direction, via Forebrae & Craigend, on (NE) via Linfield & Cassochie, then (NW) to The Cairnies, and finally (N) to the River Almond again. The parish was some 5 miles long by 4 miles wide. The majority of work was of an agricultural nature (farming & raising sheep & cattle), and most of the people from Methven and its parish, were engaged in agricultural work. There were, however, a good number of hand-loom weavers locally, together with a number of other tradesmen, cobblers, blacksmiths, saddlers and etc. With all this farming in the parish, by the 1790's, there were five corn mills, a lint mill, a barley mill, a waulk mill and four threshing mills. Of the many weavers employed, mostly from home, weaving of linens was most popular, whilst other villagers worked in the two paper mills nearby (which were owned by the printers Messrs Morison & Lindsay, of Perth). By the 1870's, many of the weavers were seeking alternative employment and by 1885, the last of them was forced out of business by the new power looms & businesses which were being set up in Almondbanbk & Perth. Thankfully, the slate quarries at Logiealmond - and the nearby sawmills - gave additional employment over a long number of years to local people, as well as to others from outside of the parish.

Methven's shops & markets were always busy. Shopping in the village was brisk, where we had two butchers - offering beef for the first time - in 1788. When a Trade Directory was issued in 1837, Methven boasted two bakers (John Robertson & John Taylor), four blacksmiths (Robert Dufferd, Thomas Millar, David Murrie & John Scrimzeur), three shoemakers (William Ramsay, George Stewart & Alexander Taylor), three cart & wheelwrights (William McLaren, Alexander Scrimzeur & John Speedy), three grocers (John Fisher, David Simpson & David Sword), seven Inn-keepers (James Allan, Archibald McGregor, David Robertson, George Speedy, Alexander Stewart, Lawrence Taylor & (at the Star Inn) Mrs. Young), two masons & builders (George Murrie & Lawrence Taylor), five tailors (Peter Gray, John McKenzie, Alexander Roger, Peter Sinclair & David Young). Robert Donaldson, the local carrier, appeared in Methven twice a week - and coaches (horse drawn) passed through Methven (twice daily, Mondays to Saturdays), on their routes between Perth and Glasgow. In the early 1900's, Methven had five cobblers, a saddler, 6 grocers & general merchants, a butcher, two bakers, (no candlestick makers), two tailors - and thirteen inns. (Of the two inns remaining today, the Methven Arms is operated on the Gothenburg System (hence its nick-name "The Goth"), where all profits remaining (after a small percentage has been allowed on its capital) go to local charities.)
Village, Parish & People

Changes over the years means that today (2010), in this Modern Age, Methven now has two grocers & general merchants, a Post Office, two inns, an Indian restaurant, a Chinese take¬away & chip shop, a tea room and a hardware (& garden supplies) shop, as well as a doctor's surgery, a school and two homes for the elderly. (Never mind the fact that we all have mains water, gas & electricity, and mains drainage, together with radios, TV's and computers, cars, a bus service and sports facilities. Even the "scaffie" has been replaced, by a weekly Refuse Collection Service, which doesn't end up in Methven Burn.)