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Perth EuroWalk

Point G - Perth Cathedral

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Location: North Methven Street, PH1 5PP

The A listed building, Perth Cathedral, St Ninian’s is an example of Gothic Revival architecture. This was an English revival of the French medieval style.

Perth Cathedral, St Ninian’s – Photo by Jenny Wilson

The architect William Butterfield, also designed All Saints, Margaret Street, London, Keble College, Oxford and the cathedrals of St Paul in Melbourne and St Peter in Adelaide, Australia.

The Cathedral was the first to be built in Britain after the Reformation and was consecrated in 1850. It stands on ground that originally formed part of the Blackfriars Monastery.

The Cathedral features a sculpture of Bishop George Wilkinson by George Frampton:

Bishop Wilkinson Statue – With thanks to Christopher Dingwall of Perth Cathedral for providing this image and the others on this page

The sculptor George Framptom is famed for his well known sculptures including the Edith Cavell Memorial in London, the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens and the St Mungo as Patron of the Arts at the entrance to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. Frampton was born in 1860 in London, where his father was a woodcarver and stonemason. George Frampton began his own working life as a stone carver in 1878, working on the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. From 1887 to 1890 Frampton studied and worked at the studio of Antonin Mercie in Paris, where he also studied painting under Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret and Gustave Courtois. He exhibited at the Venice Biennial and in Brussels.

A window in the cathedral highlights the ministry of women and features St Margaret of Scotland, St Elizabeth of Hungary and St Catherine of Siena:

The dedication on the window and the names of St Margaret of Scotland – St Elizabeth of Hungary and St Catherine of Siena – Photographs thanks to Christopher Dingwall.

Although it had until recently been called the Watson Wemyss window, recent research in the church (in the Farquar Diaries), discovered that the window was actually donated in memory of his mother by R.W. Watson, who later became known as R.W. Seton-Watson. Robert W. Seton-Watson was the grandson of George Seton of Potterhill, Perth, a noted genealogist and herald who published works on St Margaret and on the convent of St Catherine of Siena – which might explain the presence of St Catherine in the right-hand panel. R.W. Seton-Watson was a historian and political activist who played an active role in the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia post World War 1. He published “A History of the Czechs and Slovaks” in 1943, emphasising the history of the two nations within Czechoslovakia. He also published a history of Romania entitled “A History of the Roumanians: From Roman Times to the Completion of Unity”. Some fascinating information about him can be found here and more about how he was held in such high regard by other countries of Europe here: R W Seton-Watson (villagecrier.co.uk). Further reading also here. His sons, Hugh and Christopher, both became historians.

A detailed history of the cathedral can be found at this webpage.

A plan of the cathedral is available here: https://perthcathedral.co.uk/site/assets/files/1667/perth_cathedral_3_fold_update.pdf

Accessibility: Toilets are available, including one for those with disabilities, and a baby changing station. Perth Cathedral has an accessible parking bay and a ramp to allow easier access from the yard, reached via Atholl Street.

For an extra stop on Perth Eurowalk, cross Atholl Street to Melville Street and after about 200 metres you will find another church, St John the Baptist Catholic church. This church is home to a brass and bronze sanctuary lamp crafted in the form of a band of finely wrought Polish eagles. An image can be seen here. The Sanctuary lamp was made as a gift to the church by craftsmen of the tank company of the 1st Corps Recce Group, based in Perth during WW2. A ball suspended from the base bears the inscription “Polonia Semper Fidelis”. Perth continues to have a Polish Community who have made Perth their home.

Walking Route Instructions: To get to our next stop, from the door of Perth Cathedral on North Methven Street, turn right and walk along North Methven Street, which continues into South Methven Street. At the end of South Methven Street, cross at the pedestrian crossing across to the junction of Hospital Street with King Street where you will see our next stop, the white building of the King James VI Hospital.