Sister cities of Dull, Perth and Kinross
Dull is a village located in the county of Perth & Kinross in Scotland. Situated in the Highland part of the county, Dull consists of a single street of houses on the north side of the valley of the River Tay. The place-name may mean 'meadow' in Gaelic. However, Duncan Campbell relates a traditional tale in "The Lairds of Glenlyon" (1886) which connects the Gaelic word 'dul' (snare) with the withies on the hearse of St Adomnán snapping, thus deciding his burial-place and the founding of Dull. The parish church, unused since the 1970s, is on the site of an early Christian monastery founded by St Adomnán (Scottish Gaelic: N. Eònan), Abbot of Iona (died 704). Several early Christian cross-slabs dating to the 7th or 8th century have been discovered in and around the parish graveyard. A slab carved with stylised warriors and horsemen in the Pictish style, uncovered during grave-digging in the 19th century, is displayed in the Museum of Scotland, and may have formed part of a wall-relief, or one side of a box-shrine. A massive font of rough workmanship, preserved by the church door, is also a probable relic from the early monastic site.
The surrounding district was known as the Appin of Dull, the name 'Appin' deriving from Old Irish apdaine, 'abbacy', referring to the former monastic estate. Compare Appin in Argyll, the 'abbey lands' in that case being those of the major early Christian monastery of Lismore. Four undecorated crosses, of which three survive, one at Dull itself, and two in the nearby old church at Weem, once stood around the monastic precinct, defining an area of sanctuary.
During the later Middle Ages, and up to modern times, the church at Dull was merely a parish church in the Diocese of Dunkeld. It is not known when the early Christian monastery ceased to function.
In decline for much of the 20th century, with its church and school both going out of use, the small village has seen the construction of several new houses, and the restoration of older buildings, in recent years.
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