The North Port

The North Port was the largest of Perth’s medieval suburbs, growing up under the protection of the nearby Dominican Friary or Blackfriars. Before Alexander II gave the land to the friars, it had been the site of a royal castle, perhaps near the present Museum and Art Gallery. The castle was destroyed in the flood of 1209. The Blackfriars were actively developing the suburb from the late 14th century. The main access to the suburb was from Skinnergate, crossing the town wall and ditch at the Red Brig, and entering the open space known as the Horse Cross, presumably a horse market. There was another access from the High Street up Roger’s Close, across the town defences and into Curfew Row.During the 18th century, the North Port suburb became very densely built up, as can be seen on Rutherford’s map of 1774. By the 1930s, the area was actually rather disreputable, and was mostly cleared away to allow the extension of the Museum and Art Gallery.

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