Dunsinane Hill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dunsinane Hill
DunsinaneHill From BlackHill 12APR03.jpg
Dunsinane Hill from Black Hill.
Highest point
Elevation 310 m (1,020 ft)
Prominence c. 53 m
Listing none
Location Perth & Kinross, Scotland
Parent range Sidlaws
OS grid NO213316
Topo map OS Landranger 53

Dunsinane Hill (/dʌnˈsɪnən/ dun-SIN-ən) is near the village of Collace in Perthshire, Scotland. It is mentioned in Shakespeare's play Macbeth. "Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him."

The village of Collace from Dunsinane Hill

It has the remains of two early forts. This is believed to be the site of a battle where Malcolm Canmore defeated Macbeth in 1054. In reality this was only a limited defeat for Macbeth. He was finally beaten and killed by Malcolm Canmore in 1057, at Lumphannan near Aberdeen.

To facilitate the rhyme in the couplet "I will not be afraid of death and bane, Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane" the pronunciation usually employed for Shakespeare's play has the accent on the first or third syllable, with a long 'a' (i.e. /ˈdʌnsɪnn/ or /ˌdʌnsɪˈnn/).[1] However the correct pronunciation has the accent on the second syllable, with a short 'a'. An alternative spelling of the name is Dunsinnan. The derivation is Gaelic, "The hill of ants."; possibly a reference to the large number of people it took to build the fortress.[2]

The best access to Dunsinane Hill is from the rear of the Perthshire village of Collace on the northern side of Dunsinane Hill, between the village and the quarry. There is a small parking area there suitable for 4 or 5 cars from which a clearly defined path leads directly to the summit.

The impressive ramparts are still very obvious, though the interior was much disturbed in the 19th century by antiquarians attracted to the site by its Shakespearean connection. Little of value was learned about the history of the monument from these unscientific excavations.


  1. ^ "the definition of Dunsinane". 
  2. ^ Sinclair, Bart., Sir John (1831). The Correspondence of The Right Honourable Sir John Sinclair, Bart. Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, London, England. Retrieved 6 January 2014. Volume I 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°28′12″N 3°16′44″W / 56.46993°N 3.27902°W / 56.46993; -3.27902