Earthquake House, Comrie

So, we bought a second-hand motorhome and took it on its inaugural trip to Perthshire at the weekend. In the evening we took a trip to Earthquake House in Comrie (pictured above). Comrie was particularly prone to earthquakes and is still known as "the Shaky Toun" because of all the seismic activity in the area. This little hut was built in 1874 to house experimental instruments developed by local men to measure the earth's movement.

Earthquake House, Comrie

Inside, the Comrie Pioneers built a seismoscope - a wooden cross holding different sizes of skittles. The stronger the earthquake the larger the peg it displaced, and the direction of fall gave some idea to the pattern of movement. This was superceded by the inverted pendulum seismometers which became used more widely.

Earthquake House, Comrie

The building now contains a modern seismograph, which records the earth's movement in a more conventional manner (by tracking movements on a roll of paper). Thanks to the kind guidance of Chris, Earthquake House's curator, we found out that if you jump up and down at the back of the hut you can make a little earth tremor. This squiggly line above was us. There were no reports of building damage or tsunamis in the local area, so no harm done.

The building is on public land but it isn't usually open to the public. We were lucky to get a guided tour and to see it on such a beautiful night.


I'd never heard of this!

How do you request a visit?

Hi Gair,

Great, isn't it! If you contact Comrie Development Trust through they can pass you on to the custodian.

You can see quite a lot without prior arrangement - the site is public so you can go right up to it and they've installed big windows so you can see inside. There's not much advantage to actually getting inside as it's so small, but it was really good to get a guided tour and hear more about it.

There's also something else in the area that I think you'd like. Coming up soon if you don't know about it already!

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