South Inch is a large public park in Perth, Scotland. About 31 hectares (77 acres) in size,[1] it is one of two "Inches" in Perth, the other being the larger, 57-hectare North Inch, located half a mile across the city.[2] The Inches were granted to the city, when it was a royal burgh, by King Robert II in 1374.[3] Both Inches were once islands in the River Tay.[4] The two Inches are connected by Tay Street.

South Inch
The South Inch viewed from its western edge, looking north, in 2004. In view is the former boating pond and, in the background, the church of St Leonard's in the Fields, on Marshall Place
South Inch is located in Perth
South Inch
TypeUrban park
LocationPerth, Scotland, United Kingdom
Coordinates56°23′25″N 3°26′00″W / 56.3904°N 3.4332°W / 56.3904; -3.4332
Area31 hectares (77 acres)
Owned byPerth and Kinross Council
Operated byPerth and Kinross Council

The park is bounded by King's Place and Marshall Place (both part of the A989, the latter named for Perth lord provost Thomas Hay Marshall) to the north, Shore Road to the east and South Inch View and South Inch Terrace at its southern extremity. Its western boundary abuts the rear of the homes on St Leonard's Bank, which was laid out by Perth architect William Macdonald Mackenzie in 1828.[5] The north-south running A912 Edinburgh Road, opened around 1760,[6] passes through the park's eastern third. The eastern side of the park is known as the Lesser South Inch.[1]

Two paths diagonally dissect the main part of the park. The start of the path that originates from the northwest corner, at the foot of King Street, is overlooked by a statue of Sir Walter Scott,[7] author of The Fair Maid of Perth in 1828.[8] The statue, a Category C listed monument,[9] is the work of the Cochrane brothers, and was completed in 1845[10] as one of their final works before leaving for Canada.[11] It was accidentally acquired by the city magistrates at the sale of a local sculptor's stock.[12] The part of the statue of Scott's dog, Maida, was stolen in 2020.[13] It was also stolen in 2016.[10]

Craigie Burn enters the inch at its southwestern corner, via a tunnel, after passing beneath the Highland Main Line railway. It then runs along the inch's southern edge before going underground and exiting into the Tay.

The category C listed buildings at 1 and 2 St Leonard's Bank, currently occupied by the Parklands Hotel, overlook the Inch's northwestern corner.


The Transport Cafe occupied the South Inch's now-demolished pavilion in 1972. A car park now occupies the location

In 1651, Oliver Cromwell came to Perth following his victory in the Battle of Dunbar and established a fortified citadel in the northeast corner of the inch, using stone from the Our Lady's Chapel he demolished,[14] one of five occupation forts built to control Scotland.[3]

The inch was formerly used as a bleachfield, as well as for cattle grazing and horse racing, which was first recorded there in 1613.[15] Cattle markets appeared at the inch from 1785.[15]

The Priory of St Leonard, founded in the 13th century,[16] once overlooked the southern end of the Inch from the western side, in the area where St Leonard's Bridge crosses the railway tracks today. It was suppressed in 1429 and its lands and rents were annexed by the Carthusian monastery that had been founded.[16] There was a church dedicated to St Leonard at Perth as early as 1163.[17] Priory Place, beginning at Craigie Cross, recalls the building.

In 1815, Muir & Martin established the South Inch Brewery.[18]

From 1928 to the 1970s, a pavilion stood at the northeastern corner of the inch, at the junction of Marshall Place and the Edinburgh Road, replacing a temporary one that stood beside the later location of the bowling greens.[19][20]



A former boating lake is located in the southwest corner of the inch.

Two bowling greens,[21] the home of the South Inch Bowling Club until 2012,[22] formerly occupied the northwestern corner, just inside the entrance. The property had become a target for vandals.[23] They were torn up before the bowling club folded. The pavilion still remains, and is now a cafe.[24] A similar previous venture was ended after Perth and Kinross Council put out an invitation to tender for the location.[25]

A crazy golf course, putting green and adjacent trampoline park existed up until the late 20th century in the area now occupied by a children's playground.[26]

Community and entertainment

The 2008 Perth Show

The Lesser South inch is the location for the annual Perth Highland Games and Perth Show.[1] A skate park is also in that section.

Perth Farmers' Market takes place on the Lesser South Inch on the first Saturday of every month (except January).[27]

Party at the Park is scheduled to take place at the South Inch over the weekend of 27 and 28 June 2021.[28]



  1. ^ a b c The South Inch, Perth – Perth & Kinross Council
  2. ^ The North Inch, Perth – Perth & Kinross Council
  3. ^ a b Cromwell's Citadel at the Wayback Machine (archived 24 August 2012)
  4. ^ 10 Fascinating Facts About PerthScottish Field, 17 June 2019
  5. ^ William Macdonald MackenzieDictionary of Scottish Architects
  6. ^ Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical, and Historical, Volume 5, Francis Hindes Groome (1884), p. 180
  7. ^ "Sir Walter Scott finally reunited with his beloved Maida"The Courier, 19 August 2017
  8. ^ Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland A Graphic and Accurate Description of Every Place in Scotland (1901)
  10. ^ a b "Mystery surrounds disappearance of Sir Walter Scott’s faithful deerhound"Daily Record, 21 October 2016
  11. ^ Cochrane, John – Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  12. ^ The Tourist's Hand-book to Perth and Neighbourhood (1849), p. 12
  13. ^ "Police hunt as Sir Walter Scott’s faithful hound goes walkies in Perth"The Courier, 6 July 2020
  14. ^ Perth, South Inch, Cromwellian Citadel –
  15. ^ a b South Inch – Scottish Places
  16. ^ a b The Tourist's Hand-book to Perth and Neighbourhood (1849), p. 33
  17. ^ Ecclesiastical Annals of Perth: To the Period of the Reformation, Robert Scott Fittis (1885), p. 277
  18. ^ Leslie's directory for Perth and Kinross (1911)
  19. ^ Pavilion –
  20. ^ Theatres in Perth, Scotland –
  21. ^ South Inch, Perth, Scotland – HazelAgnes48, YouTube, 28 August 2012
  22. ^ "South Inch cafe gets official unveiling"The Courier, 17 May 2016
  23. ^ "‘It is very demoralising’ South Inch Bowling Club picking up the pieces after more vandalism"The Courier, 23 May 2011
  24. ^ "Popular South Inch cafe reopens"The Courier, 15 April 2019
  25. ^ "Owner of South Inch cafe given just two weeks to vacate Pavilion building – as council hand site to new operator"The Courier, 8 March 2019
  26. ^ A visit to the derelict Crazy Golf course at South Inch Park in Perth, Scotland – The Ham and Egger Files, 3 February 2017
  27. ^ Perth Farmers' Market
  28. ^ Party at the Park info and FAQs –