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Birnam

Birnam

Birnam, in Perthshire, lies a mile south of Dunkeld, on the left bank of the Tay. Birnam is where Sir John Everett Millais, the painter, made his summer residence. The village lies at the foot of Birnam Hill (1324 ft.), once covered with a royal forest that has been partly replaced by plantations. The oak and sycamore in front of old Birnam House, the famed twin trees of Birnam, are believed to be very ancient, and to be the remnant of the wood of Birnam which Shakespeare immortalized in Macbeth. The Pass of Birnam, where the river narrows, was the path usually taken by the Highlanders in their forays. In the vicinity are the castles of Murthly, one a modern mansion in the Elizabethan style, erected about 1838 from designs by James Gillespie Graham (1777-1855), and the other the old castle, still occupied, which was occasionally used as a hunting-lodge by the Scottish kings.

At Little Dunkeld, almost opposite to Dunkeld, the Bran joins the Tay, after a run of II m. from its source in Loch Freuchie. It is celebrated for its falls about 2 m. from the mouth. The upper fall is known as the Rumbling Bridge from the fact that the stream pours with a rumbling noise through a deep narrow gorge in which a huge fallen rock has become wedged, forming a rude bridge or arch. Inver, near the mouth of the Bran, was the birthplace of the two famous fiddlers, Niel Gow (1727-1807) and his son Nathaniel (1766-1831).



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