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Gaelic: Braonan
Main Street, Birnam, Scotland.jpg
Main Street, Birnam
Grid reference: NO032417
Location: 56°33’26"N, 3°34’35"W
Local Government
Council: Perth and Kinross

Birnam is a town in Perthshire, on the south bank of the River Tay, in Perthshire’s 'Big Tree Country'. Dunkeld stands on the opposite bank of the Tay.

The village is to be found 12 miles north of Perth, bypassed (since 1977) by the A9 road, the main tourist route through Perthshire.

The town originated from the Victorian era with the coming of the railway in 1856, although the place and name is well known because of William Shakespeare's reference to Birnam Wood in Macbeth: whether this Birnam is meant by the Bard or another, the place of the village in the romantic imagination.

Until the construction of the railway, the only substantial building on the site of the present village was the church of Little Dunkeld parish, which still stands in its ancient position within a graveyard within the village.

Birnam Wood in 1800.[1]


There is an ancient tree, the Birnam Oak, standing a few hundred yards from the centre of Birnam on Murthly Estate. In the past it was known as "The Hangman's Tree".[2]

John Everett Millais, who painted many local landscapes, and Beatrix Potter, who visited regularly with her family from their London home, often visited Birnam.

About the village

Birnam has The Beatrix Potter Exhibition and Garden, and The Birnam Arts and Conference Centre, a community run arts and performance centre with library.

The Birnam Highland Games is where the World Haggis Eating Championships are held.[3]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Birnam)


  1. Stoddart, John (1800), Remarks on Local Scenery and Manners in Scotland. Pub. William Miller. London. Facing P. 199
  2. Smout, T. C., MacDonald, R. and Watson, Fiona (2007) A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland 1500-1920. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-3294-7. p.78.
  3. "Scot claims haggis eating crown" BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2009.