Fair Maid's House

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Fair Maid's House
Fair Maid's House, Perth.jpg
The building in 2009
Location21–23 North Port
Perth and Kinross
Coordinates 56°23′54″N3°25′48″W / 56.39824010°N 3.4300659°W / 56.39824010; -3.4300659 Coordinates: 56°23′54″N3°25′48″W / 56.39824010°N 3.4300659°W / 56.39824010; -3.4300659
Built1629(393 years ago) (1629)
Listed Building – Category B
Designated20 May 1965
Reference no.LB39410
Location map Scotland Perth.png
Red pog.svg
Shown in Perth

Fair Maid's House is an historic building in the centre of Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland. Located in North Port, it is a Category B listed building, partly dating from 1475 [1] but mostly from 1629. [2] It is two storeys, built of rubble, with a stair tower and slated roof. The building is most noted for providing part of the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's novel The Fair Maid of Perth (1828).


The Glover Incorporation of Perth bought the premises, and used it for their meeting hall for over 150 years. Their motto, "Grace and Peace", is carved above entrance door. [2]

The building still incorporates medieval parts, but most of its masonry has been renewed, and the interior was re-done between 1893 and 1894 by J. & G. Young architects for its then-owner, solicitor William Japp, of Alyth. [1] (An error in an inscription in the exterior wall of the stair tower resulted in its reading 1393, instead of 1893.) A niche on an outside wall reputedly originally contained a curfew bell. [2] A prayer niche and a fireplace on the first floor most likely date from the 15th century. [1]

The north wall of the building was part of the former Blackfriars Monastery (hence the street was formerly known as Blackfriars Wynd), [3] where King James I of Scotland was murdered in 1437. The wall shows the location of two ancient fireplaces and the original level of the floor. [4]

Between 1965 and 1966, Thomas Love & Sons used the house as a warehouse for its furniture and antiques. [5]

The building was restored and extended, at a cost of £750,000, by Page\Park Architects for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 2010–11, a project that won a commendation in the Scottish Civic Trust Awards 2012. [1]


The house was partly the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's 1828 novel The Fair Maid of Perth , one of his Waverley Novels. The "fair maid" of the title is Catharine Glover. [1] The house is also featured in a verse by the poet William McGonagall. [1] [6]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Graphic and Accurate Description of Every Place in Scotland, Francis Hindes Groome (1901)
  2. 1 2 3 Historic Environment Scotland. "CURFEW ROW FAIR MAID'S HOUSE (LB39410)" . Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  3. Official Guide to Perth and Its Neighbourhood by the Tramway Car Routes – Perth Town Council (1907), p. 22
  4. Historic Environment Scotland. "Perth, 21, 23 North Port, Fair Maid's House (158363)". Canmore . Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  5. "Thomas Love & Sons » Antique Dealers » Antiques Dealers". antiquetrade.leeds.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  6. "William McGonagall's Life and Rhymes, And photographs from Victorian times" – Historic Environment Scotland