Day 463 - Innerpeffray Library's Fascinating Story

The latest video from Bruce Fummey of Scottish History Tours explores the fascinating story of Innerpeffray Library near Crieff, the country's very first lending library.


The site of Innerpeffray is steeped in history. There were human settlements nearby dating back nearly 4000 years, but the oldest confirmed settlement at the site was the Roman fort at Strageath, just across the River Earn. A strategic Roman road passes through the site and its path is still visible today.

The land was granted to the Drummond family in gratitude for their support for Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn and remained in the family for centuries. In Tudor times St Mary’s chapel was built by the then Lord Drummond for the family’s personal use. In the seventeenth century, the Drummond family was active in the Civil War on the Royalist side. Surviving despite his Royalist sympathies, towards the end of his years David Drummond made his substantial collection of books available to be used by local people free of any charge and created a fund to pay for their maintenance. This action was unprecedented and created the first public lending library in Scotland.

His descendant, Robert Hay Drummond, commissioned the construction of the present library building and it opened in 1762. The Victorian schoolroom was added in 1846 to replace the first ‘little house’. These buildings are still here today.

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