Lord John Murray House, 15-19 North Port, Perth PH1 5LU   -  

Home Page
About the Society
Joining the Society
Events
Projects

Collections
Education
Expeditions
Grants & Funding
Medals & Awards
Publications
Scottish Geography
Talks & Trips

Contact
Our Team
Regional Centres
Shop

 

Our Visitor and Information Centre
in the Fair Maid's House

In July 2011, RSGS opened an exciting new Visitor and Information Centre in the Fair Maid's House - an historical and architectural gem in the centre of Perth, the geographical heart of Scotland. This is the biggest project the Society has ever been involved in and the Centre is unique in Britain.

The Fair Maid's House will open 12:30-4:00pm, Tueday to Saturday from Tuesday 8th April until October 24th 2014.

What will you find here?
  • See the planet rotate from space
  • See the continents evolve
  • See the oldest rock in Scotland (3 billion years)

  • Learn about deserts
  • Learn about maps
  • Learn about explorers and exploration
3D Sphere
Get the answers to questions like:
  • Where's the latest earthquake?
  • Where's there a volcano erupting?
  • How has water determined where we live?
  • Why do people migrate?
  • Where are the hottest and coldest places in the world?
  • Where are the sixteen countries which produce the raw materials to make your mobile phone?

Volcanic Eruption
We use some of the latest audio-visual technology to bring you up-to-date with the planet.

See objects relating to Scottish exploration in the fantastic ambience of our unique Explorers' Room and explore the world yourself through books, maps and images.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Fair Maid's House

Just click on the white arrows on the image below to navigate through the Visitor Centre


View Larger Map

Visiting

The RSGS Visitor and Information Centre in the Fair Maid's House is open Tuesday - Saturday, 12.30 to 16.00 between 8th April and 24th October 2014.

  • Admission is FREE, but donations will be appreciated. We are a charity which receives no public funds to meet our considerable running costs.
  • We are located in the North Port, behind Perth Concert Hall. Just come along - see our location map.
  • Schools and other groups are most welcome, either at the times indicated above or on other dates throughout the year, by appointment. Please contact us.
  • Have you thought of hiring the rooms in the Fair Maid's House, or the Shackleton Room in our adjacent headquarters building (Lord John Murray House), for meetings and other events?
  • Contact us for more information.

The Fair Maid's House

Fair Maid's House Today After lying unused and unloved for many years, the Society has restored and extended the iconic Fair Maid's House - Perth's oldest secular building, which dates from the 14th Century. The house has remarkable connections with the Glover Incorporation and was their meeting place between 1629 and 1858. It became the stage on which the world-famous Scottish author Sir Walter Scott set his novel The Fair Maid of Perth, telling of the beautiful daughter of Simon Glover, a senior member of the Incorporation.

The Glover Incorporation is one of the ancient guilds of Perth, once regulating the skilled craft of glove-making and looking after the welfare of the craftsmen and their families. Their motto 'Grace and Peace' is carved in the stone outside the Fair Maid's House.
Grace and Peace Motto
The Society embarked on the £750,000 project to revitalise the Fair Maid's House in 2006 and, with the help of its architects Page/Park, have fused ancient and modern to the best possible effect and brought this fine property back into use as a visitor and information centre. It also provides a home for the Society's extensive collections. Within the house you can see a substantial section of Mediaeval Wall, part of the Blackfriar's Monastery where the Scottish King James I was killed in 1437.

You will also see the Glovers' Hall looking much as it did in the 17th Century, with a period fireplace and a haunting Prayer Niche, which is probably much older. Imagine the pious Fair Maid kneeling here in devotion.

The renovation of the Fair Maid's House to create a centre of excellence for geography in Scotland would not have been possible without the generous support of the Scottish Government's Town Centre Regeneration Fund, Perth & Kinross Council, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, Perth Common Good Fund, The Gannochy Trust, The Forteviot Charitable Trust, Thomson Charitable Trust, Jimmie Cairncross Charitable Trust, The Guildry Incorporation of Perth, The Glover Incorporation of Perth, and many RSGS members and supporters. We are grateful to them all for helping us to realise this project.
Fair Maid's House in the Mid 19th C. Architect's View of the New Development Our Collections on View