Coordinates: 56°11′02″N 3°58′03″W / 56.183827°N 3.967410°W / 56.183827; -3.967410

Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Bhlàthain
Dunblane is located in Stirling

 Dunblane shown within the Stirling council area
Population 7,911 (2001)
OS grid reference NN779007
Parish Dunblane and Lecropt
Council area Stirling
Lieutenancy area Stirling and Falkirk
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNBLANE
Postcode district FK15
Dialling code 01786
Police Central Scotland
Fire Central Scotland
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Stirling
Scottish Parliament Clackmannanshire and Dunblane
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Dunblane (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Bhlàthain) is a small cathedral city and former burgh north of Stirling in the Stirling council area of Scotland. The town is situated off the A9 road, on the way north to Perth. Its main landmark is Dunblane Cathedral and the Allan Water runs through the town centre, with the Cathedral and the High Street on the east side. Dunblane had a population of 7,911 at the 2001 census,[1] although this was estimated to have grown to 8,840 by 2006.[2] The civil parish of Dunblane and Lecropt had a population of 8,863 in 2001.[3]

The town is served by Dunblane railway station.



A map of Dunblane from 1945

The name Dunblane means 'fort of Blane'. This early saint (Old Irish Bláán) flourished probably in the late 6th century. His main seat was Kingarth on the Isle of Bute. He or his followers may have founded a church at Dunblane, or the cult of Bláán may have come there with settlers from what is now Argyll in later centuries. The earliest evidence for Christianity on the site are two cross-slabs of the 10th to 11th centuries preserved in the cathedral. Incorporated into the later medieval building, but originally free-standing, is an 11th-century bell-tower, whose height was increased in the 15th century. The nave and aisleless choir are 13th century. Dunblane did not have a rich or extensive medieval diocese (37 parishes), and the cathedral is relatively modest in scale, but its refined architecture is much admired, as is its setting overlooking the valley of the Allan Water. After the Reformation, the nave was abandoned and soon became roofless and used for burials. The choir was retained as the parish church. The nave was re-roofed and the Cathedral provided with new furnishings by Robert Rowand Anderson between 1889 and 1893. During the boom years of the Hydropathy movement in the 19th century, Dunblane was the location of a successful hydropathic establishment (see photo below).[4][5]

Dunblane is split into two Church of Scotland parishes: the Cathedral and St Blanes Church. Dunblane Cathedral is remarkable in having retained more of its late-medieval choir stalls than any other Scottish church building (except King's College Chapel, Aberdeen). Further fragments of medieval woodwork from the Cathedral are displayed in the town's museum. Though still used as a parish church, the building is in the care of Historic Scotland. To the south of the cathedral are some stone vaults of medieval origin, which are the only remaining fragment of the bishop's palace.

The town was a royal burgh and part of Perthshire until the 1975 abolition of Scottish counties. Dunblane refers to itself as a city, due to the presence of Dunblane Cathedral. However this status was never officially recognised.[6][7]

Dunblane Centre

In September 2004 the Dunblane Centre[8] opened.[8] This purpose-built youth, family, arts, sports and meeting facility was built using money from a consolidation of several funds which were created in the aftermath of the 1996 tragedy.

It is now entirely self funding and is run by charity the Dunblane Youth and Sports Centre Trust (Charity No. SC027397),[9] with a board of trustees from the community (Steve Birnie, Chris Finnerty, Nora Gilfillan, Sue Lockwood, Stewart Prodger and David Spooner.


Dunblane has three primary schools, one 5 - 18 school and one secondary school. Four of these are public. The remaining, Queen Victoria School, is a private boarding school. There are currently around two thousand pupils in schools in Dunblane.

Dunblane Primary School

Located on Doune Road, this two-storey building is situated in the heart of the residential area. The school has a public playing field (which is regularly used for extracurricular activities and local clubs) and a public nursery attached. In 1996, the school was the scene of the Dunblane massacre, in which 17 people were killed. It remains the deadliest massacre of children ever in the United Kingdom. The school was completely refurbished in 1998, and an assault course and basketball court have since been added.

Newton Primary School

Built in 1996, the name of the school comes from Newton Farm, which goes back as far as the Charter of 1655 when Oliver Cromwell confirmed James Pearson of Kippenross as the owner. The streets that encircle the school, Newton Crescent and Ochiltree, named after the Bishop of Dunblane between 1429 and 1447, reflect the rich history in which the school is embedded.

Queen Victoria School

HM QVS is a co-educational boarding school for children of those in the British Armed Forces. It is situated roughly one mile north of the town centre, in a secluded area overlooking Queen Victoria School can trace its history back to the turn of the century when the idea was first mooted of a school to commemorate those Scottish soldiers and sailors who fell in South Africa during the Boer Wars. The proposal was warmly received by Queen Victoria herself, and upon her death the following year, it was resolved that the School should serve the dual purpose of commemorating the dead servicemen as well as being a living memorial to the late Empress. To this end money was raised in a national effort which captivated the imagination of the Scottish public. For example, every Serviceman donated a day's pay, and an appeal for contributions from the Scottish workforce received a generous response. Work began in earnest, and Queen Victoria School was officially opened on 28 September 1908 by His Majesty King Edward VII.

The school chapel is a notable example of Scottish medieval revival architecture, based on the 14th century Dominican (later parish) church of St Monans in Fife.the A9.

Dunblane High School

Fed by pupils from the three public primary schools in Dunblane, as well as some of those from Bridge of Allan, Doune, Stirling, and the surrounding areas, this school has a roster of roughly 750 pupils and sixty teachers. The building is located in Highfields, at the top of Old Doune Road, and spans over three storeys. The school also has an all-weather pitch and large playing field. A new school was built in the old school's playing field, before the old building is destroyed and sold for public development in the Stirling Council Public-Private Partnership project.

The school was recently deemed top state school in Scotland both relating to academic achievement and learning environment[citation needed]. The school has also hosted a number of international sports people, including ex-Scotland footballer Callum Davidson and, in tennis, the Murray brothers, Andy and Jamie. It was also the school of 2009's winner of the Miss Scotland crown, Katherine Brown.

The school moved into a new custom-built campus in November 2007 which includes some features such as an art rooftop, theatre, fitness suite, dance studio and student lounges.

Recent developments

Dunblane Hydro Hotel

The town has seen rapid growth in recent years. The old town centre retains a number of historic buildings in addition to the cathedral, including the 17th-century Leighton Library, the oldest private library in Scotland open to the public (on selected days in summer). A well-preserved late medieval town-house nearby (which was probably built as the manse of the Dean of the medieval cathedral) houses a local history museum (open in the summer; free entry). Plans have recently been finalised for the museum to build a modern extension within its interior courtyard to provide additional exhibition space and allow disabled access.

Since the early 1970s the town has grown extensively and is now regarded as a highly-sought-after commuter town due to its excellent road and rail links to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and nearby Stirling. This, coupled with the fact that the local high school consistently turns out some of the best results from a state school in Scotland, means that the town is not only sought-after by commuters but also by families of school-age children. How much of the school's performance is affected by the population bias, which is largely made up of middle class commuters, is subjective. Dunblane is close to the University of Stirling's campus at Bridge of Allan, and is a popular location for academics.

The rapid expansion of the town, expedited by the bypass completion of 1990, has led to a large increase in local car usage, resulting in considerable parking problems. For a town of its size, Dunblane has something of a shortage of local amenities, with, for instance, only two supermarkets. As a result, many people prefer to shop in nearby Stirling.

During the last 6 years, a small group of young local boys and their parents have been raising money to build a skatepark in the Laighills. The skatepark was completed on the 23 February 2007 and has already been visited by Death skateboard team and by the Vans UK Tour.

In October 2007 a new church building was completed for Dunblane Christian Fellowship. This is sited opposite the railway station, next to the Victoria hall.

The Dunblane Massacre

On 13 March 1996 Thomas Watt Hamilton, aged 43, a former Scout Leader,[10] ousted by The Scout Association over five years previously,[11] shot dead 16 children and their teacher, Gwen Mayor, in Dunblane Primary School's gymnasium before killing himself. He used his licensed weapons and ammunition.

There is a memorial to the 17 victims in the local cemetery and a cenotaph in the cathedral. The funds raised in the aftermath of the tragedy have been used to build a new community centre for the town. Following the incident, the government passed legislation banning ownership of all handguns (firearms under 60 centimetres in overall length) in Great Britain.

Notable residents

Dunblane has produced a number of sporting stars, including brothers Andy and Jamie Murray, the UK's current number-one male tennis player and the former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion respectively, brothers Steven Caldwell and Gary Caldwell (both Wigan football players) and Lynn Kenny, a rising star of the female golf circuit. The former Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini and former NATO Secretary General George Robertson also live in the town.

The hotel magnate Sir Reo Stakis is buried in Dunblane Cemetery.

Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean is from Dunblane.


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Dunblane Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. http://www.scrol.gov.uk/scrol/browser/profile.jsp?profile=Population&mainArea=dunblane&mainLevel=Locality. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  2. ^ http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/publications-and-data
  3. ^ General Register Office for Scotland: Census 2001: Civil Parish: Dunblane and Lecropt Retrieved 29 November 2010
  4. ^ Bradley, James; Dupree, Mageurite; Durie, Alastair (1997). "Taking the Water Cure: The Hydropathic Movement in Scotland, 1840-1940". Business and Economic History 26 (2): 429. http://www.h-net.org/~business/bhcweb/publications/BEHprint/v026n2/p0426-p0437.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  5. ^ Shifrin, Malcolm (Last updated 3 October 2008). "Victorian Turkish Baths Directory". Victorian Turkish Baths: Their origin, development, and gradual decline. http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/6DIRECTORY/ListBodies/HydroSF.htm. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Beckett, J V, City status in the British Isles, 1830–2002, Historical urban studies. Aldershot 2005
  7. ^ "UK Cities". Department for Constitutional Affairs. 2002. http://www.dca.gov.uk/constitution/city/citygj.htm#part6. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.dunblanecentre.co.uk
  9. ^ http://www.oscr.org.uk/CharityIndexDetails.aspx?id=SC027397
  10. ^ Britain's Gun Laws Seen As Curbing Attacks (washington Post)
  11. ^ UK Gun politics

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dunblane — [Dunblane] a town in central Scotland. In March 1996 a local man called Thomas Hamilton shot and killed 16 children and a teacher in a Dunblane ↑primary school, before killing himself. Public feeling was so great that by the middle of 1997 the… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Dunblane — Dun|blane a small town in Scotland, where in 1996 16 young children and their teacher were shot and killed in their school by a man called Thomas Hamilton, who also killed himself. Because of these murders, many people demanded stricter laws… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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