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Kirriemuir was an early example of specialisation. In the 1760s a local weaver developed a double-thickness cloth that was the ideal material to be made into corsets. This formed the foundation for Kirriemuir's growth as a textile centre and by 1860 there were 1500 hand loom weavers in Kirriemuir and 500 more in the surrounding area.
It is estimated that Kirriemuir's weavers produced over 9 million yards of linen per year through the 1860s. And most of this depended on the continuing fashion for narrow waists in women's clothes.
The disappearance of such fashions in World War One brought to an end 150 years of prosperity for Kirriemuir's weaving industry. However, some of it still remains, including Britain's only surviving jute mill in the Marywell Works.
Kirriemuir itself is a place of narrow winding streets and intriguing nooks and crannies. The heart of the town is surrounded by a traffic management system that funnels vehicles one way around the centre. Inside this area is the oldest and most picturesque part of Kirriemuir.
The town is also notable in being home to no less than three different museums. Most clearly signposted by far is the birthplace of J.M. Barrie, best known as the creator of Peter Pan. He was born in 1860, the ninth of ten children of a hand-weaver. His birth place is on the east side of the town centre and is looked after by the National Trust for Scotland.
Visitors can view the recreated kitchen and bedroom upstairs, look at Barrie's writing desk, or find out more in the small museum in the third of the upper floor rooms. Downstairs is the reception and teashop. And while you are looking at the size of the accommodation, remember that it housed a family with ten children. Outside is the preserved washroom that served this and other houses in the area.
The legacy of Peter Pan is also marked by a statue of him placed in the centre of Kirriemuir (close to Hook's Hotel!) and by a garden close to his birthplace that comes complete with another statue of Peter Pan and a large topiary crocodile in which children can play.
In the mains square, opposite Visocchi's excellent ice cream shop, is the the old Town House, dating back to 1604 and distinguishable by its small tower. This is home to the Kirriemuir Museum, open daily except Sundays, and Thursday mornings. Entrance is free.
And, finally, it is worth noting Kirriemuir's contribution to popularising hillwalking in Scotland. Not so much as a base in itself, though there are high mountains at the head of nearby Glen Clova, but rather because it was near Kirriemuir that Sir Hugh Munro lived, the man whose name has forever since been linked with Scottish mountains over 3000 feet.