Birnam is well known because William Shakespeare mentioned Birnam Wood in Macbeth.
It is claimed that Birnam Wood was used as camouflage for Malcolm Canmore’s army before the battle at Dunsinane with MacBeth. There is an ancient tree, the Birnam Oak, standing a few hundred metres from the centre of Birnam. It may well have been part of Birnam Wood at the time of the battle 900 years ago, and remains part of the legend. In the past it was also less poetically known as "The Hangman''s Tree".