Landmark Visitor's Guide





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Loch Earn and Loch Tay



Additional Information

Landmark Visitor's Guide


Dunkeld is another focal point in the historic and scenic fabric of Perthshire.

Historically, it was the centre of Scottish ecclesiastical life in the ninth century. The first monks establishing themselves here in AD729 were St Columba's driven from Iona by Viking warriors. The ancient Cathedral, set in spacious parkland leading down to the River Tay, was re-founded in the early twelfth century.

Today, the choir has been restored and is used as the parish church. The great north-west tower and the nave date from the fifteenth century and have been under restoration for several years. At the back of the Cathedral you will find a huge larch tree known as the 'parent larch'. It may be the first grown in Scotland, planted in 1737 and has, no doubt, many off-spring decorating forests, parks and gardens around the country.

Dunkeld Little Houses date from the rebuilding of the town following the Battle of Dunkeld in 1689 when the Jacobite army was trapped in their lodgings and the Cameronians set the houses alight. Only the cathedral and three houses survived. The National Trust for Scotland own and restored most of the early eighteenth-century houses in Cathedral Street and the High Street. The Ell Shop, also Trust owned, is named after a hand weaver's measure that was embedded in the wall. Across the square from the Ell Shop is the military Museum of the Scottish Horse Regiment.

Two miles (3km) north-east of Dunkeld is the Loch of Lowes. a nature reserve where a family of Ospreys have returned to the nest for several years. These birds, and many other species that frequent the loch, can been seen from a specially constructed hide. There is also a wildlife exhibition at the Visitor Centre.

The adjoining village of Birnam lies just across the bridge from Dunkeld. Birnam is probably best known for its Shakespearean associations where, in the play Macbeth, the moving of Birnam Wood to Dunsinane, 12 miles (19km) to the south-east, heralded the death of Macbeth.

Between Dunkeld and Perth is the Perthshire Visitor Centre, just off the A9 and incorporating a multi-media exhibition that contrasts Shakespeare's character of Macbeth with the real eleventh-century Scottish King.

Thursday, December 26th, 2019

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