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Woodland Park

PondAs the name suggests, there have been both quarries and mills at the Quarrymill Woodland Park site dating back as far as the 14th Century, although most of the known activity originates from much later. The Park itself was donated to the Trust by A K Bell in 1937.  The earliest known records show a letter from Robert King of Scots to the monks of Scone Abbey requesting permission to use stone from their quarries at Kincarrathie and Balcormoc (now Quarrymill) for the Kirk of Perth and the bridges of Perth and the Earn. The letter is dated 4th July 1328, and is the oldest record of activity at the Quarrymill site. The site at Kincarrathie has been filled in. It is also believed that stone from Quarrymill was used to construct Scone Abbey and, later, may have been transported up river to build Stanley Mills. In 1574 a site known as Balchormack is shown to the north of the Annaty Burn and a site referred to as Quarrelmiln is shown slightly closer to the River Tay.

Sandstone extraction and weaving at Quarrymill was well underway by the 18th Century when there were numerous mills spinning cotton, extracting starch from potatoes for use in weaving and the textile industry and grinding bone to use in dyes and fertilisers. The traditional red ‘Perth' sandstone was used widely for buildings and farm walls and can be seen extensively in the surrounding area. There are examples of the sandstone throughout the Woodland Walk, although some can only be seen through the natural plantlife which has been allowed to flourish to enhance the walk itself.

Woodland parkThe Annaty Burn which runs through the Woodland Park has a wealth of history associated with it. The area to the south of the burn and extending to Murrayshall was formerly known as ‘St Ninian's Lands', and place names in that area may indicate a station of the 5th Century missionary. The name Annaty indicates a mother church, or a church which contains relics of the founder. The site of the church may be where diggings in 1942 revealed red sandstone foundations belonging to a small rectangular building, and there were also early hut circles visible here in the 19th Century. However, this theory is not fully substantiated.

According to local legend, in 1296 when it was known that Edward I was going to remove the Stone of Destiny to England, monks from Scone Abbey are reputed to have removed the stone and hidden it in a safe place, and replaced it with a stone that was taken from the Annaty Burn. This may explain why some believe that the Stone of Destiny which rests in Edinburgh Castle is formed from exactly the kind of stone that is found around Quarrymill.

A K Bell purchased the Scone Den in 1933 and directed the Trust to ‘dedicate, equip and maintain it as a place of public resort'. During the intervening years the Trustees have met A K Bell's wishes and the Woodland Park is maintained to high standards and is enjoyed by the residents of Perth and visitors alike to this day.