A seat of ancient politics in Perthshire has been revealed for the first time in more than 150 years.
The Stayt, or parliament mound, once sat opposite the community campus on Crieff’s Broich Road.
However, it was destroyed in 1860 when local farmers levelled the land. In doing so they also uncovered two prehistoric burials in stone coffins, known as cists, one with an intact food vessel inside.
The original 11-metre wide mound was home to the court of the Earls of Strathearn, with the first mentioned use dating back to May 1358. The practice ceased with the building of the old Tolbooth in Crieff in 1665.
Now researchers and archaeologists have come together to create a digital image of how the mound, which was surrounded by a wall of earth and stone, would have looked.
The recreation was crafted by Dr Alice Watterson of the University of Dundee, as part of a new Community Campus Archaeology Trail in Crieff.
Ian Hamilton, chairman of Strathearn Archaeological and Historical Society, said: “We have reached an immensely exciting and satisfying stage of the project with the completion of this painting by Dr Alice Watterson.
“When Alice joined us on a site visit it was obvious that she immediately ‘got’ the context of the site with its role in Crieff’s early origins, and Strathearn’s pre-history.”
The painting will feature in one of the two new information panels scheduled for installation at the Strathearn Community Campus in May, as will a photograph of the food vessel, which is now displayed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The painting deliberately portrays the Stayt at an indeterminate period of time, but nearer the late medieval period, before it fell into disuse.
Mr Hamilton added the society still has some funds to raise to finish the project.
“We now have one final task – obtaining the funding for a fifth information panel and map of the trail,” he said.
“So will be applying to the Cash for Crieff Project/Community Choices Fund for a grant of £1,000 to help achieve this.
“We hope those who value the benefit of having such a trail in the town will support our application when the public vote commences on March 4.”