Romans in Dunblane
Even before Dunblane was founded in the 7th century it had an exciting history. The Roman army marched through the parish leaving behind the remains of three camps, a signal station, a small fort and traces of the road north. At Ardoch, in Braco, just to the north of Dunblane you can view the massive defences of the best preserved Roman fort in the United Kingdom
The Foundation of Dunblane
Dunblane is one of the oldest settlements in Scotland. St Blane after whom the town is named lived in the late 6th and early 7th centuries and had his base at Kingarth on the Isle of Bute. His precise association with the town is unclear though in the first written recording of the town in the 10th century it is called Dulblaan or Blane’s meadow. If you walk upstream along the river Allan to the edge of the town you will come to Laighhills Playpark round which the river curls. Is this Blane’s meadow?
The Cathedral is built on the site of a much earlier building which may have been constructed as early as the 9th century. The only survival from this earlier building are the first four storeys of the tower. It is Romanesque in style (see its round windows) and probably dates from c 1150 though a case can be made for it being built nearly a century earlier c 1070. It is one of Scotland’s oldest buildings.
Dunblane Old Jail House
Dunblane’s jail and police station was at the top of the high street. It was erected in 1842 on the site of the old town mansion of Viscount Strathallan, and replaced an earlier tolbooth built in 1650 which stood on the east side of the main entrance to the cathedral churchyard. When the adjacent County Buildings were opened in 1844 Dunblane became the court town for West Perthshire until this was removed to Stirling Sheriff Court in 1975. The old jail was demolished in 1963, and the site laid out with present rose garden.