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Kirriemuir, sometimes called Kirrie, is a burgh in Angusmarker, Scotlandmarker. Though its importance as a market town has diminished, its former jute factories (now manufacturing synthetics) echo its past importance in the 19th century as the centre of a home weaving industry.

The Peter Pan Statue in Kirriemuir.


It is well known as the birthplace of Peter Pan creator and Rector of the University of St Andrews, J.M. Barrie, who immortalised this "wee red toonie" as "Thrums" in his popular (pre-Pan) novels Auld Licht Idylls, A Window in Thrums, and The Little Minister. His birthplace still stands on the Brechin Road. "Red" refers to the local reddish sandstone from which the town's older properties are built. The town became a minor Victorian tourism destination in response to Barrie's novels, and his birthplace is now a museum. Kirriemuir is also the birthplace of Bon Scott from AC/DC, where a plaque was unveiled to celebrate the memory of the musician. Actor David Niven claimed Kirriemuir as his birthplace, but was actually born in London. The town is twinned with French town of Volvicmarker, famous for its mineral water. Kerrimuir, a small area in the eastern suburbs of Melbournemarker, Australia, is named after this town.

History

Kirriemuir has a history of accused witches back in the 16th century. Many of the older buildings have a witches stane built in to ward off evil. This is a hard grey stone set into the local red sandstone which the buildings were built of. A pond on the outskirts of town known as the Witch Pool was where the supposed witches were meant to have been drowned but the alleged pool was in fact the mill pond of the 19th Century Meikle Mill. Local amateur historians tend to think this referred to a small mill but the reference is to the fact that the mill contained one of John Meikle's patented chaff separating machines which was based on ideas he picked up in Holland. The adjacent "Court Hillock" was shown, on excavation to make way for a housing development to be nothing more than the spoil heap left from the excavation and cleaning of the pond.

Historic features near Kirriemuir include a carved Pictish stone known as the Eassie Stone, found in a creek-bed near the village of Eassiemarker.

The family estate of Sir Hugh Munro, who created Munro's Tables of Scottish mountains over 3000ft in elevation (and which are now called "munros") is also located near the town, as is Kinnordy House, the seat of the Lyells. The current Lord Lyell is an active member of the House of Lordsmarker and frequently refers to his home town in his speeches to the House.

Culture

The town has a museum of aviation and a camera obscura donated by Barrie on the Hill, which offers views to the south and south-west and of the higher hills to the north. Also on the Hill and offering views from its southern slopes is the town cemetery, where Barrie is buried in a simple grave. There is a silver granite war memorial in the centre of the cemetery, a column surmounted by a kilted soldier looking down across the town and over the broad fields of Strathmore to the Sidlawsmarker.

A statue of Peter Pan stands in the town square in front of the old toll booth. This was one of two commissioned by either the now defunct Angus Milling Company Limited or its associated company Hamlyn Milling Limited. The present whereabouts of the second statue are not known.

Setting

Kirriemuir sits looking south towards Glamismarker and the Sidlaws over Strathmore (one of the most fertile fruit growing areas in Scotland). Its position at the base of the Angus glens makes it an attractive centre for hill-walking on nearby munros, fishing, partridge, pheasant and grouse shooting and deer-stalking. There is also a 18-hole golf course with views north to Glen Clova and Glen Doll.

The town comprises mainly two areas, Northmuir and Southmuir. Websters High School is situated in the Southmuir, while two primary schools are located in the Northmuir and Southmuir, respectively. The Northmuir school was built after Reform Street Primary school further down the hill from it was demolished.

Sport

Kirriemuir is home to the junior football club Kirriemuir Thistle. Kirriemuir also has a wheeled sports area in Martin park

References

  1. Chaney, Lisa, Hide-and-Seek with Angels, St. Martin's Press, 2005.
  2. C. Michael Hogan, Eassie Stone, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham, October 7, 2007



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