There are several vennels in Perth, not all towns have them. The word is derived from the French “venelle” meaning a narrow lane between buildings. Baxters Vennel goes between St John Street and the Watergate, along the side of the former McEwans/Beales building. Walking along St John Street from South Street it is the first opening on the right.
The plaque on the south side of the Vennel explains that Baxter was the old Scots name for bakers. There is evidence that the Baxter Incorporation had property in this area including a “Bakers Hall”.
The plaque was donated by McEwans of Perth; much of the text describes the origin and development of the store.
In 1868 when Perth had a population of only 25,000 there were 16 draper shops in St. John Street.