Detail from the Dupplin Cross (in St Serf's Church).

Detail from the Dupplin Cross (in St Serf’s Church).

This evening, I am posting information on the historic village of Dunning which lies close to the A9 Highway and fourteen miles south-west of Perth.

For a small village with population of about 1000, Dunning can demonstrate a long and complex history, viz:

  • First post Ice Age human habitation probably started about 9000 years ago with first tangible evidence (stone monuments) from the Neolithic period around 4000-2000 BC. There are standing stones located to north and south of village which probably date from the Bronze Age.
  • There is evidence of heavily defended, Iron-Age (700 BC-80 AD) hill forts in the locality.
  • The Romans arrived in AD 80 and constructed several temporary camps in the region including one at Dunning.(The Dunning camp is located in Kincladie Wood, a community managed site of 20 acres which has not been used for agriculture since at least 1750.)
Roman Camp boundary at Dunning, Scotland

Roman Camp boundary at Dunning, Scotland

  • Christianity may have arrived in the 7th century, possibly inspired by the missionary activity of St Serf, after whom the local church is named.
St Serf's Church, Dunning, Scotland

St Serf’s Church, Dunning, Scotland

  • The first King of Scotland, Kenneth MacAlpine (died AD 860) had his power base at nearby Forteviot.
  • A key visitor attraction at Dunning is the Dupplin Cross which is located in the church.This probably dates from the 9th century and may depict King Constantine (c 789-820 AD) on horseback. For about 1100 years this cross stood in a nearby field overlooking the Pictish power base at Forteviot.
Dupplin Cross, St Serf's Church, Dunning

Dupplin Cross, St Serf’s Church, Dunning

  • There is a record of St Serf’s Church in 1219 but it is likely there was an earlier building on the site.
  • Tron Square forms the centre of Dunning and sits at the confluence of narrow streets of medieval origin.
Kirkstyle Inn, Dunning, Scotland

Kirkstyle Inn, Dunning, Scotland

  • One mile to the west of the village is a ┬álarge stone monument dedicated to Maggie Wall who was, apparently, burnt as a witch in 1657. However, there are no records of such an execution in the 17th century and investigation suggests the stonework is of 19th century vintage.
  • Dunning was torched by Jacobite forces in 1716 after the inconclusive Battle of Sheriffmuir┬ánearby.
  • Until the mid 19th century hand weaving was a major industry in the village which at the time had a population of 2200.However, industrialisation and other factors led to the decline of weaving and demise of the once important village.
  • The current Parish church of St Paul (Church of Scotland) dates from 1911.St Serf’s Church ceased to be used for worship in the 1970s.

When touring in the area I endeavour to call in to visit the Dupplin Cross and, occasionally, the Roman Camp. Good meals are available at the Kirkstyle Inn.

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