Places connected with Macbeth, King of Scots (1040-1057)
Follow in the footsteps of Macbeth, the king who inspired William Shakespeare's world-famous play, with our guide to places connected with the life of this Scottish monarch.
Dingwall - Macbeth's birthplace
Macbeth was born in the royal burgh of Dingwall, a port town until Victorian times when the river receded. He was born at Dingwall Castle, the remains of which are on Castle Street. This was once the biggest castle north of Stirling and acted as a fort for the surrounding area. It was established in the 11th century and had an exciting history, being garrisoned by the armies of Edward I of England and the venue for the double murder of Aodh Mackay and his son Donald who were murdered in a clan feud in 1370.
The castle was abandoned in the early 17th century and used as a stone quarry.
Dingwall Castle, Castle Street, Dingwall IV15 9HU
The castle of Cawdor (pictured), near Inverness, features in Shakespeare’s Macbeth when the prediction of the witches is fulfilled as Macbeth becomes thane of Cawdor. The castle itself dates to the fourteenth century, long after the days of the real-life Macbeth. Visitors can explore the dungeons, towers and hidden passages.
Cawdor Castle, Nairn IV12 5RD; tel: 01667 404401; website.
An iconic oak tree (pictured) in Perthshire which features in Macbeth with Macbeth’s words:
‘I will not be afraid of death and bane. Till Birnam Forest come to Dunisinane.’
In the play, the trees of Birnam Forest began to move, concealing the movement of an army advancing against Macbeth. The Birnam Oak is classed as a ‘Scottish Heritage Tree’ and it is believed that William Shakespeare may have visited the forest during a royal tour.
Where Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in 1057 by the future King Malcolm III. The village is located 25 miles from Aberdeen and has a pub named The Macbeth Arms. The Battle of Lumphanan took place in 1057 and Macbeth is said to have been mortally wounded on the Mounth, a range of hills close to the village.
Isle of Iona
The traditional burial place of Scottish kings, where Macbeth was laid to rest. 48 Scottish kings are reputed to be buried at Reilig Odrham on the island. The island celebrated the 1450th anniversary of the arrival of St Columba on Iona, in 2013.
(Cawdor Castle image copyright ShesmuHor; Birnam Oak copyright W.L.Tarbert)