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County of Kinross
- Total
Ranked 33rd
46,485 acres (188 km²)
County town Kinross
Chapman code KRS

Kinross-shire, officially the County of Kinross, was a county of Scotland. Its county town was Kinross. To the north it bordered Perthshire, to the east and south Fife, and to the west Clackmannanshire. Abolished in 1975, it became part of the former Tayside Region. Since 1996 it has been part of Perth and Kinross council area.

The county was dominated by Loch Leven, a large inland loch, with 2 islands and home to an internationally important nature reserve. One of the islands contains a castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was once held prisoner. Much of the land in Kinross–shire is fertile agricultural land and most of the inhabitants were originally employed on the land. The gently-rolling farmland surrounding Loch Leven gives way to steep, more rugged terrain.

The sherrifdom of Kinross was formed in the thirteenth century when the two parishes of Kinross and Orwell were removed from the Fothriff area of Fife. From 1426 the county returned one member to the Parliament of Scotland. Cleish, Portmoak and Tullibole were added by act of parliament in 1685.[1][2]

The county suffered a decline in population in the 19th century as its inhabitants migrated to the city to find work in manufacturing etc. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 had created a joint county council for Perthshire and Kinross. The 1971 census recorded a population of 6,423 in the county.

The county became something of a backwater, as the railways were closed in the postwar years. However, in recent years, construction of the M90 motorway north of the Forth Road Bridge has resulted in the area becoming more prominent. Tourism has increased, with visitors attracted by the unspoiled country villages and gently rolling hills reaching the shores of Loch Leven. The villages of Kinnesswood and Scotlandwell are attractive, and there are ancient standing stones at Orwell.


Burgh of Kinross[]

Kinross-shire contained only one burgh, Kinross. The burgh was originally created a burgh of barony in 1540/1 and became a burgh of regality in 1685. In 1864 it became a police burgh with an elected town council. It continued to exist until 1975.

Civil parishes[]

The civil parishes of Kinross-shire from 1891. The burgh of Kinross is shown in red, Loch Leven in blue.

The county was anciently divided into a number of parishes: Cleish, Orwell (containing the market town of Milnathort), Kinross and Portmoak were entirely in Kinross-shire. The parishes of Arngask, Fossoway and Tulliebole and Forgandenny were partly in Perthshire. From 1845 they were used for local government purposes and governed by parochial boards.

The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 created a boundary commission to ensure that all civil parishes lay within a single county. After the boundary changes the county contained five parishes: Fossoway (No. 1 on map), Orwell (2), Kinross (3), Portmoak (4) and Cleish (5).

From 1894 elected parish councils replaced the parochial boards. These in turn were abolished in 1930, and the powers they had exercised passed to the county council.

Parliamentary constituency[]

Following the Act of Union, Kinross-shire returned members to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1708. Due to the small population of the county, it was never a constituency in its own right.

From 1708 - 1832 Kinross-shire and Clackmannanshire were alternating counties, a member being returned for one county at one parliament and for the other at the next.

The Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1832 merged the two counties into a single parliamentary county of Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire.

In 1918, House of Commons seats were redistributed, and Kinross-shire was combined with part of Perthshire to form the constituency of Kinross and Western Perthshire. This constituency continued in existence until 1983.

Coat of arms[]

The Kinross County Council received a grant of arms from Lord Lyon King of Arms on May 18, 1927. The arms depict Loch Leven Castle on an island (although the blazon simply describes it as a "castle"). The motto adopted was for all time: at the time of the grant the county council was campaigning to retain the separate existence of the county.[3]

When Perth and Kinross District Council was granted arms in 1977, the Kinross-shire arms were placed on an inescutcheon, or small shield, in the centre of the new arms.[4] These arms continue in use by the current Perth and Kinross Council.


  1. ^ Kinross-shire, from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (Love to Know)
  2. ^ [ Text of the 1685 Act from The Annals of Kinross-shire by Dr Ebenezer Henderson (Fossoway and District Community Council]
  3. ^ R.M. urquhart, Scottish Burgh and County Heraldry, London, 1973
  4. ^ R.M. Urquhart, Scottish Civic Heraldry, London, 1979

External links[]

56°15′N 3°25′W / 56.25, -3.417

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kinross-shire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.