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Balhousie Castle (Perth)

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North Perth / Scotland

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      07.06.2009 21:52
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      "Balhousie Castle" is a bit of a misnomer here, as the actual attraction is not really the castle itself (although it is quite a picturesque building - a 17th century L-plan tower house which undertook major developments and refurbishment in 19th century).

      Balhousie Castle houses The Regimental Museum of the Black Watch, which is, for some reason, touted as a major tourist attraction in Perth. In reality, it can only be seen as such for those who have a particular interest in military history, emotional connection of the Regiment itself or at least a lot of interest in history in general - although the museum focuses on the Black Watch and doesn't really put it in a particularly wide historical context, possibly for a reason.

      The Black Watch was formed from the loyalist clans as a kind of police force the Highlands in the aftermath of the 1715 Jacobite Uprising. The name of Black Watch refers both to their role and to colours of their tartan.

      For those interested, the museum has a huge number of objects, from medals to some life-sized models displaying uniforms and similar to actual parts of the soldiers' equipment; displayed in seven rooms, each devoted to a different chronological period. There is a wide selection of photos, letters and other memorabilia that give a good account of the regiment's history as well as reality of soldiers' life. It's mostly a fairly traditional museum, and is not likley to be interesting for anybody under the age of 12.

      The admission is free, but donations are asked for. The museum has a shop that sells a selection of souvenirs, memorabilia and gifts. The building is surrounded by pleasant grounds and memorial gardens.

      The museum is located on the edge of the nicest park in Perth, the North Inch on the banks of the Tay. Nearby Bell's Sports Centre has the cheapest parking in town at 30p for 5 hours.

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