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Innerpeffray Library

The oldest free lending Library in the country, founded about 1680.

Established with a school by David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madertie, brother-in-law of the "Great Marquis of Montrose" the brilliant commander of Charles I in Scotland.

David Drummond left 5000 merks (£277) in his will as an endowment. Title passed to his nephew William Drummond, 2nd Viscount Strathallan, who out of respect and affection for his uncle, vested another 5000 merks " . . as a constant and perpetual stock for the preserving of the said library and maintaining a schoolmaster, and for augmenting the library and building a house . . ". A trust, the Innerpeffray Mortification, was formed to administer the endowment. This Trust, modified over the centuaries, looks after the affairs of the library to this day.

For 70 years the library continued in the loft of the chapel. In 1762 the present library building was completed during the patronage of Robert Hay Drummond, Archbishop of York.

The library includes some 3000 pre-1800 books. It is rich in bibles, the oldest being in French from 1530. Of great sentimental and historic interest in a pocket bible in French dating from 1633 belonging to Montrose and bearing his signature. This he carried into battle.


Collegiate Chapel of St Mary was rebuilt in 1507-8 by the Drummond family. It has the remains of a painted ceiling below the loft which originally held the library, a rare medieval altar and there is a fine lepers squint in the north wall.

Old school buildings, founded circa 1680, were rebuilt in 1847 and adopted by the state in 1889. At that tine there were 27 children attending. It closed in 1947 and the buildings handed back to the care or the Innerpeffray Mortification.

Teas and light refreshments available in the tea room, below the Library, in summer.

All magnificently situated on the bank of the River Earn, on the site of Roman road, with views over Strathearn and to Crieff.

"It is impossible to pass over the venerable beauties of Innerpeffray, fronting Castle Drummond, in the concavity of serpentizing Ern, its castle, the antient seat of the Lords of Maderty, its chapel, public library and school, both established for the good of the community and carrying back the mind to the antient situation and genius of Scotland"

Travels in Northern England and Scotland - Thomas Newte, 1791

Location: situated off the B8602, approximately 5 miles from Crieff and 7 miles from Auchterarder. Follow road signs.

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