Perth is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire. According to the preliminary 2011 census results Perth, including its immediate suburbs, has a population of 50,000. Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the town was also called St John's Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St John the Baptist. This name is preserved by the town's football team, St. Johnstone F.C.The name Perth comes from a Pictish word for wood or copse. There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, on a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, where the river could be crossed at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.