Perthshire Scotland > Towns > Kinross Guide > About Kinross

Kinross lies on the western shore of Loch Leven. Until 1975, Kinross was the county town of small Kinross-shire. After that date it became part of Perth and Kinross District. So although never part of historic Perthshire it is now administered as part of P&K from Perth.

Loch Leven itself is an important angling centre and is world famous for its unique Loch Leven trout. It is one of Europe's most important wildfowl reserves.

There are seven islands, the largest being St Serfs with it's ruined 9thC priory. Castle Island and it's tower, Loch Leven Castle, are best known for being the prison of Mary Queen of Scots from 1567-8 after the Battle of Carberry. Mary escaped when young William Douglas locked everyone else in the Great Hall and threw the keys of the castle into Loch Leven. Those same keys were found 300 years later! There has been a fortified builing on the island possibly from around 500AD when the area was part of the Pictish Kingdom of Fortrieve. When the castle was rebuilt in 1258, it was already ancient. Robert Bruce used the building as a prison in the 1320s.

In 1726 General Wade improved what had been little more than a rough track passing through Kinross into main military road from Burntisland to Perth. A light coach service began in 1776 from Edinburgh to Perth via Kinross and from 1796, with further improvements to the North Road, stage coaches began the journey. New bridges were built in the early 18thC and by 1825 Kinross was served by one mail and four stage coaches. As a coaching centre, the Green Hotel was built in 1829.  

The 17thC Tolbooth was restored in 1771 by Robert Adam.

Though most of it's recent history, Kinross has been a centre for wool and weaving. The railways arrived in 1858 and closed just over 100 years later. The main north-south M90 motorway bypasses Kinross.

 

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