Methven Through the Ages

The Neolithic Age (the New Stone Age) - 4000BC to 2500BC.....From a field site near Woodhead, flint arrowheads & scrapers were found.

The Bronze Age - 2500BC to 700BC.....Well known locally for its Standing Stones and burial mounds (where cremation took place prior to the ashes being buried, inside an urn).

The Iron Age - 700BC to 500AD.....By now, the Bretons, a Celtic speaking people (the Ancient Britons) who migrated from the Continent into Cornwall, had moved up into Wales - and spoke a mixture of Celtic, Cornish & Welsh (now known as Brythonic).
Over the years, they moved further up the west coast, into Scotland, where, in Perthshire they were known as "Caledones" - who began the practice of building houses/forts, on higher ground e.g. at Dunkeld (Fort of the Caledones) - to keep the Roman armies out.
During this Age, we were invaded by the Romans and - from 78AD to 215AD - we know this as being The Roman Period. Signs of the Roman Army can be seen nearby (the Gask Ridge and Fendoch Signal Posts, plus the Camps at Fendoch and Inchtuthill etc.).

The Pictish & Early Medieval Period - 500AD to 1050.....The Picts were in charge now, and established many forts in the Tayside region, e.g at Forteviot, Abernethy etc. In the 9th century, the Picts & the Scots united, were Gaelic speakers and, by 849, were led by Kenneth MacAlpin, During the 6th century, Christian missionaries were known to have reached Perthshire, and, between 600 & 700, the original castle of Methven was built. It was probably of timber construction on an earth mound with defensive earthworks - and stood in Culdeesland. Also during this period..................
970   Methven appears to be mentioned for the first time, when Colenus (an early Scottish King), is said to have been killed here, by Rohard, the Thane of Methven.
1066 The Battle of Hastings. This was when William the Conqueror became the first Norman King of England. Roger de Mowbray, a Norman, who came to England with William the Conqueror, was granted the Lands of Methven, and the Lands belonged to his family, to 1323. (Although the Mowbray family owned the Lands of Methven, the lands were confiscated by Robert, who bestowed them to his son-in-law Walter, whose son Robert, was Robert the Bruce.
1195 Perhaps not completed until 1205, saw the building of a stone castle, on the site of the present-day Methven Castle.
1247 The Culdee chapel was dedicated by David de Berbham, the R. C. Bishop of St. Andrews.
1297 William Wallace stopped in Methven Wood.
1306 King Robert the Bruce was crowned, at Scone. The same year, he mustered an army (of sorts) and marched them up to Perth, where he challenged the English troops, garrisoned there and led by the Earl of Pembroke, to do battle. The Earl decided against taking up Bruce's challenge that day, but advised Bruce that they could have a battle, on the 20th July (the following day). Bruce then marched his army back to Methven, where - protected in a gorge (The Den?) - they settled down for the night. Later that same night (the 19th), the English troops arrived at Methven, caught Bruce & his army unawares - and routed them.
1314 Bruce defeated William II and his English army at Bannockburn.
1348 The Black Death reached England.
1430 The Lordship of Methven was granted to Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl.
1433 The Collegiate church was founded by Walter Stewart, the Earl of Atholl. This, the first religious establishment here, was a Provostry (a Collegiate Church), founded by Walter Stewart of Atholl - for the salvation of his soul. (He was involved, with others, in the murder of King James I - his own nephew.) (After demolition of this early church, Methven Parish was erected on the site, in 1783.)
1434 John Stewart became the Dean (or Provost) of Methven, and was the first minister of the Collegiate church.
1437 James I was murdered in Perth - and was buried in the Carthusian Monastery, Perth. 1545 The widow of James I died - and was buried beside him. 1485 Henry VII became the first Tudor to be King of England.
1498 Vasco da Gamma reached India - and Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad & South America.
1513 King James IV (Stuart) of Scotland died - at the Battle of Flodden Field.
1517 The Reformation begins - with Martin Luther's protests and actions.
1528 James V (Stuart) created - as the first Lord Methven - Henry Stewart (who was James V's mother's third husband).
1534 Henry VIII (Tudor) is declared the Supreme Head of the English Protestant Church (via the Act of Supremacy).
1540 Queen Margaret (wife of King James IV (Stuart)) died in Methven Castle - and was buried in the Carthusian Monastery, Perth.
1541 John Knox brings the Reformation to Scotland.
1542 Mary (Stuart) becomes Queen of Scotland (to 1567).
1558 Queen Elizabeth I (Tudor) becomes Queen of England (to 1603).
1559 John Knox's sermon in Perth's St.John's Kirk, aroused his congregation - to the extent that they demolished the local Monasteries & set them on fire.
1560 The Reformation in Scotland. The Kirk Sessions - and their place in society (assisting the poor and keeping law and order).
1567 Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned & forced to abdicate - and James VI (Stuart) becomes King of Scotland (to 1603).
1582 The Gregorian Calendar is introduced.
1584 The Lordship of Methven & Balquidder was conferred on Ludowick, Duke of Lennox, whose family owned the Lands of Methven.
1587 Mary Queen of Scots is executed. Sir Francis Drake defeats the Spanish fleet at Cadiz.
1601 Elizabethan Poor Law charges the parishes with providing for the poor.
1601 King James VI of Scotland is admitted into the Masonic Lodge of Scoon and Perth No. 3.
1603 King James VI of Scotland becomes King James I of Great Britain (to 1625).
1605 The Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes and others are arrested, after attempting to blow up the Parliament buildings.
1607 The English Parliament rejects proposals to unite England & Scotland. (See 1707.) 1638 Scottish Presbyterians sign the Solemn League & Covenant.
1643 The English government signs The Solemn League & Covenant, whish is then passed. (This treaty, between England & Scotland, was to secure civil & religious liberty.)
1644 The Battle of Tippermuir - where the Royalists (under the Marquis of Montrose), routed the Covenanters, (under Lord Echo).
1646 The Plague kills many people in Perth.
1653 Oliver Cromwell becomes the Lord Protector of England.
1664 Patrick Smythe of Braco bought the Lands of Methven from the Lennox family.
1665 The Great Plague of London.
1666 The Great Fire of London.
1680 Methven Castle was mostly re-built by the Smythe family.
1681 About this time, some of Methven's earlier houses (thatch over rubble-stone) were built.
1688 William III of Orange arrives in England - and James II flees to France.
1689 The Battle of Killiecrankie (where the Jacobites won - and Bonnie Dundee, was killed).
1690 The Battle of the Boyne (where William of Orange defeated James II and his supporters).
1693 This year, saw the first of the struggles between the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians.
1694 The Presbyterians, with their Moderator, arrived at Methven Church, where they were confronted by the Laid of Balgowan, Busbie, David Smythe (brother of the Laird of Methven), together with a number of parishioners - all standing guard in front of the church door. The Presbyterians retreated.
1707 The Act of Union - (Part 1) - united England & Scotland, as Great Britain.
1714 King George I (Hanover) takes the throne (to 1727).
1715 The first Jacobite Rebellion, where David Smythe joined the Earl of Mar in support of James Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender) - who was proclaimed as King James VIII of Scotland. 1745 The second Jacobite Rebellion, where Bonnie Prince Charlie Stuart (The Young Pretender) attempted to overthrow the Crown - and was subsequently defeated by the English/Government army, at Culloden, in 1746.
1748 Thomas Graham of Balgowan was born. A distinguished military man (1793 - 1815) he was second in command to Wellington from 1810. Created KB in 1812, Baron Lynedoch of Balgowan in 1814, GCB in 1815, and made up to full General in 1821 - he continued to take an active military role, with the 1st Foot (Regiment), and others, to 1834 - before his death in 1843. 1753 The Secession church was consecrated - and known as the "Back-by" church. 1753 John Wilson was the first minister (to 1802) of the "Back-by" church. 1760 Most of the population of Methven were Antiburgher Seceders.
1775 The population of the parish was 1,790 - and money distributed by the Church, to the 36 poor people of the parish, was £1/10/00
1783 The Parish Church was erected on the site of the demolished Collegiate Church. (The
transept of the old building was used for the Smythe family vault.) Main finance was provided by
David Smythe (Lord Methven) and Thomas Graham of Balgowan (Lord Lynedoch). The
Lynedoch vault contains the remains of Lord Lynedoch & his wife.
1783 The Treaty of Paris - this ended the American War of Independence.
1783 Stobie's map of Perthshire showed the Parish of Methven.
1788 The first convicts were transported to Australia.
1793 The population of the parish had reduced to 1,786 - and money distributed by the Church to the 21 poor people of the parish, was £1/03/02.
1793 The main road arrives in Methven - with the construction of the Perth to Crieff turnpike. 1801 The Act of Union - (Part II) - united Great Britain & Ireland, as the United Kingdom. 1805 Admiral Nelson dies, after defeating the French & Spanish fleet at Trafalgar.
1814 Perth's Great Flood caused havoc.
1815 Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.
1816 At this time, many more houses were built in Methven. 1821 The population of Methven parish had increased to 2,904.
1825 The UK Stock Market crashes, causing a widespread Recession.
1826 Major alterations were made (by Mackenzie) to Methven Parish Church - included a spire and clock (from public subscription), plus the Lynedoch Aisle.
1827 John McAdam invented a new type of road surface.
1836 The Poor Law was revised and it became no longer the responsibility of the local Parish Church to provide funds. The Work House system came into operation - and jobs were found for the needy.
1693 to 1840
1840 The Penny Post is introduced.
1843 The Independent Presbyterian Church established - known as the Mansion Neuk Chapel. 1843 The Free Church, built in Culdeesland - was consecrated in 1877. 1847 The new United Presbyterian Church was erected - and consecrated in 1868. (Although built as a Secession Church, the United Presbyterian Church eventually became the Village Community Centre.)
1858 The Railway line to Methven is opened.
1860 The Methven Gas Light Company was formed - and a gas plant built. 1860 Methven Bowling Club was formed (located opposite the Recreation Ground). 1864 The Mansion Neuk Chapel became known as the Mansion Neuk Church of Scotland. 1866 The railway is extended from Methven Junction (Tippermalo) to Crieff & beyond. 1875 Methven's streets were lit with the new gas lamps - and created a job for a "leerie". 1879 The Tay Railway Bridge (at Dundee) was blown down in a gale.
1898 Methven appointed their first "scaffie" - a local woman who did a good job in sweeping up litter and disinfecting the place. (At the end of her shift, she tipped her buckets into Methven Burn.)
1900 Methven's Masonic Lodge Kildrummie No.906, was formed. The Masonic Lodge later bought over the disused United Presbyterian Church and (with the support of local subscribers) converted the building into the present Village Community Centre. 1902 Methven's last thatched roof house was demolished.
1909 The Old Age Pension was introduced into Britain.
1910 King George V (Windsor) takes the throne (to 1936).
1912 The RMS Titanic, en route to New York, strikes an iceberg - and sinks. 1914 World War I started - and did not end until 1918.
1919 The Methven Gas Light Company was bought over, the plant scrapped, and gas was then supplied, piped, from Perth.
1921 The Irish Free State was established, although the IRA continues its opposition to Britain. 1926 The Methven Tennis Club was formed (located beside Methven Bowling Club & the Curling Pond - opposite the Recreation Ground).
1929 By this time - the Union of Churches - divisions had gone, so there was no need for other than the Parish Church. (Eventually - The "Back-by" church became a potato store, the Mansion Neuk church ("Watson's Chapel") became the Village Hall, and the Free church became a hostel for potato workers. The United Presbyterian church, (known as the East church (CofS) in 1929), was sold, became a furniture store, then the Youth Club, and finally, became the Community Centre.)
1929 Until now, Methven's water supply had been drawn from two pump wells, with water taps located throughout the village. Residents were soon to have "mains" water supplied, from the dammed Methven Burn, which formed a reservoir, above North Cassochie Farm, and this water was piped & filtered to a holding tank at Drumbachly.
1930 A new sewage system was introduced to the village.
1934 A large field, to the South East of the village, was purchased, to become the Recreation Ground.
1937 The railway line to Methven was closed. 1939 World War II started - and did not end until 1945.
1939 Much of Methven's gas suppllies & street lamps were being replaced by electricity. (Apparently, due to the War, the project was delayed, and only completed in 1945.) 1950 The last remains of the Old Bell Tree were blown down. (A bell was hung over one of the tree's sturdier branches - and was rung, to call the congregation. The tree had stood in the church yard for hundreds of years.)
1951 The railway line Passenger Service, from Perth to Crieff & beyond is closed.
1952 King George VI (Windsor) dies, and the throne passes to his eldest daughter Elizabeth.
1953 Coronation Year - when Queen Elizabeth II (Windsor) was crowned, in London - and Sir Edmund Hillary & Sherpa Tenzing became the first people to climb Mount Everest.
1960 
1961 The population of Methven Parish had to reduced to 1,530. 1965 The railway line Goods Service to Methven is closed. 1968 US President John F Kennedy was assassinated
1970
1980
1990 PM Margaret Thatcher resigns. (As she introduced the Poll Tax into Scotland, before it started in England, she was never "forgiven" by many Scottish folk.)
1995 Methven Parish was linked with part of the Logiealmond Parish.
1999 
2000 
2001
2010 Several new houses to be built in the village. Land cleared and laying of drains & services started by July.

Have you any Old Memories of Methven?


Any newspaper cuttings, letters, family histories, or what have you? Give it some thought - you might want it to be put on record (before it's too late).