What’s On in Historic Dunkeld

We run events throughout the year:  Exhibitions from the collection, talks, workshops and concerts to raise funds for running costs, and an annual Living History weekend. Find all the dates for your diary.

For tickets:  Book online via the links given below, or tel. 01350 727786, or email manager@historicdunkeld.org.uk.


Wednesday 21st August 2024 – The Battle of Dunkeld , the first Jacobite rising (GUIDED TOURS throughout the day) – Click here for tickets

Part of the Jacobite Festival 2024 – Guided tour with weapons display, telling the story of the Battle of Dunkeld which took place on Wednesday 21st August 1689. Three re-enactors in period costume will take you step by step through the battle, which was only 25 days after the Jacobite win at Killiecrankie, ending with the destruction of the town and a Jacobite defeat. A critical moment in Scottish history which played a significant role in shaping the country’s future.

The tour will take place in Stanley Hill Park, please meet at the Dunkeld Community Archive.

Friday 23rd August 2024 at 7.30pm

James Jarvis:  Mapping Local History – A Puzzle Through Space and Time – Click here for tickets

Historical images such as John Slezer’s 1714 view of Dunkeld are more than just pictures. Look closely.  There is a windmill on Bishop’s Hill.  There are buildings we no longer see.  The image is a treasure trove of clues to history.  We can correlate what is seen with historical maps and events.  We can then look for clues on the ground.  This talk will take you through some of the insights gained from visually applying the “where” to the “when”.  Where did people live before the 1689 Battle?  Did the islands in the Tay exist before the Telford Bridge?  Were there earlier bridges across the Tay?  You may get some surprising answers but much will remain unanswered.  Perhaps you hold clues to unlocking the history?


Saturday 31st August 2024

Birnam Highland Games – Come and find our stand and learn about the history of the Games.


Friday 13th September 2024 at 7.30pm

Lindsey Gibb:  Shackleton beyond the ice – Click here for tickets

Discover the life of the Antarctic explorer legend from his beginnings in Ireland to his last expedition on the Quest, covering all four polar expeditions and his non polar adventures. Lindsey Gibb has spent the last two years researching ‘The Boss’ and will give an insight into his life both on and off the ice.


Sunday 15th September 2024 – 10am to 12pm & 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Click here for tour 1 tickets   

Click here for tour 2 tickets (7km)

James Jarvis Guided Walks – Part of the ‘Doors Open Days 2024 Event’ 

10am – The Dunkeld of today is very different from what it was like in the Middle Ages. We will visit the sites of the lost places which may only be imagined or viewed on old pictures or maps. We will also identify sources where information can be gathered and learn how we can place the history.

Distance – 1-2 km

Accessibility – this walk will avoid steps and rough ground. It will accommodate adventurous wheelchair users however some of the paths will be stony. Please get in touch for more details.This in-person event is a unique opportunity to delve into the mysteries of Dunkeld’s lost history sites. Don’t miss out on this chance to uncover the secrets of our town’s past!

1.30pm – This adventurous walk will take in some of the surrounding landscape of Dunkeld.

The highly scenic route will visit Sunny Brae, the Old Abattoir, the “Cave Grotto” at Cave Pass, St Colme’s Well, King’s Seat Pictish Fort and Polney Lodge Standing Stone. We will be looking for clues in the landscape that indicated human activities.

Distance: 7km

Accessibility – this walk will include steps, uneven surface, narrow paths and some inclines of 20%. The walking grade will be mostly “Hiking” with some short “Mountain Hiking” sections. Walking boots are required. There are sections where the path is narrow, cambered and traverses a steep slope. There are two locations where fallen trees need to be negotiated. This involves clambering and bending.


Friday 11th October 2024 at 7.30pm

Lara Haggarty – “A strange and uncouth wonder” – Click here for tickets 

The Library of Innerpeffray, Holinshed’s Chronicles and Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Lara Haggerty, Keeper of Books at Innerpeffray, will give an introduction to the history of Scotland’s first, free, public, lending library and a closer look at two of the books in the collection. Chronicles of Scotland, England and Ireland, by Raphael Holinshed was printed in 1577 and is widely known as the source of many of Shakespeare’s plots. Lara will examine the text and illustrations of this fascinating, if erroneous, account of Macbeth and its links to Birnam and then explore another of the Library’s books that is also concerned with the superstition and the prediction of fortune.


Friday 8th November 2024 at 7.30pm

Mike Taylor: Bristling with Guns, Perthshire between the wars ~ ‘Oi mate, you can’t put that cannon there!’ – Click here for Tickets 

In November thoughts turn to remembrance, often focussed on the local war memorials that were being erected across the country 100 years ago. This talk will focus on a type of memorial that was once very common indeed but which has now totally faded from memory – thousands of captured artillery pieces were distributed across the UK and Perthshire was no exception.


Friday 6th December 2024 at 7.30pm

Euphemia Ramsay:  A Gothic Ghost Story for Solstice – Click here for tickets

A creaky door, a mysterious thud, a short lived scream. Reviving the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories at Christmas, Euphemia Ramsay will be sharing a supernatural tale from master of the genre Wilkie Collins.


Friday 14th February 2025 at 7.30pm

Andrew Paterson:  Christian Icons ~ making and meaning – Click here for tickets 

The tradition of the Christian icon-painting, which is almost as old as Christianity itself, is enjoying a remarkable revival and has recently spread beyond its ‘homeland’ in the Eastern Orthodox Church to many Western churches.  In this illustrated talk, local art historian Dr Andrew Paterson addresses two basic questions many people ask about icons: Why do they look the way they do, and how can they be used as an aid to prayer and worship? In the process he will compare the visual language of the icon with more familiar religious images from the Western artistic tradition.


Friday 14th March 2025 at 7.30pm

Paul McLennan:  The Dunkeld Dissident – Click here for tickets

The tragic life and times of Alexander Robertson, Dundonnachie. Coal merchant philosopher, author, political agitator, and an orator who drew crowds on both sides of the Atlantic, there was so much more to Dundonnachie than leading the Toll Bridge riots in Dunkeld.


Friday 11th April 2024 at 7.30pm

In their own words:  Rivendell Stories, presented by Lesley Wilson – Click here for tickets

As a writer in residence at Rivendell Care home Lesley has spent many hours listening to, and writing down, the stories of growing up and growing old in Dunkeld and its surrounds.

Stories of dancing at Clunie Hall, working in Buchanan’s and Menzies, scratching after a trip to the pictures, life during the great depression of the 1930’s, the slums of Dunkeld, Tin City and many more.

Come along and hear to their own words, shared by Lesley, and perhaps share yours.

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