The Black Watch monument
The Birks Cinema
Aberfeldy is a small market town (pop c. 1900) located in Highland Perthshire in what was once the seat of the Earls of Breadalbane. It is situated on the south bank of the River Tay (Scotland’s longest river) which has the largest discharge volume in the UK.
The town is situated in the heart of Scotland at the crossroads of the east/west road along the Tay Valley and General Wade’s Military Road from Crieff to Dalnacardoch. The Military Roads were built to allow Government troops to deploy quickly to trouble spots in the Highlands if there was a Jacobite uprising. The five arch bridge spanning the River Tay, built by General Wade in 1733, was designed by architect William Adam, father of the more famous Robert Adam and is still in use today. Next to Wade’s Bridge is the Black Watch Monument, erected to commemorate the raising of the famous Black Watch Regiment at Aberfeldy in October 1739. The Regiment received the Freedom of Aberfeldy in 1970 when they exercised their right to march "with bayonets fixed, drums beating & colours flying".
Aberfeldy is also famous for “The Birks” (Scots for birch trees) a stunning woodland walk which follows the Moness burn from the town centre to the Falls of Moness which was immortalised in the poem “The Birks o’ Aberfeldy “ by the poet Robert Burns when he visited the area in 1787.
To the east of the town is Dewar’s Distillery founded by John Dewar & Sons
in 1896 which takes water from the Pitilie Burn to create "uisge beatha" the “water of life”. The resulting Aberfeldy Malt whisky is also blended to make Dewar’s White Label one of the largest branded whisky labels in the world and the top selling whisky in the USA. In 2000 the distillery became a major tourist attraction when an interactive Heritage Centre was added and the distillery became Dewar's World of Whisky.
Hollywood film actor Donald Crisp, star of over 400 films including National Velvet, Greyfriars Bobby & Lassie, maintained to his death he was born in Aberfeldy though research would suggest he was in fact a Londoner.
Actor Alan Cumming on the other hand was born in Aberfeldy in 1965, and went on to star in many well known films including, James Bond’s Goldeneye, X-Men 2 and US TV drama The Good Wife to name but a few. In 2013, as patron of the newly refurbished Birks Cinema, he formally opened this state of the art 100 seat facility.