The name Killiecrankie derives from Coille Chneagaidh meaning Wood of The Aspen or, because Aspen leaves shimmer, Wood of the Shimmering. At one time the village of Killiecrankie was served by a small store, a post office, a petrol station, a primary school and a railway station. The area is steeped in history and is popular with walkers, fishers and anyone intent on spending time in one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. Killiecrankie is less than a mile north of the geographical centre of Scotland at Tigh Na Geat on the road to Pitlochry.
The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought on July 28th 1689. The battle pitched the army of Jacobite supporters of James VII commanded by Bonnie Dundee, Graham of Claverhouse, against government forces comprising English, Scottish and Dutch troops. Surprised by the Jacobite's Highland charge from high ground, the government forces were overwhelmed. Their confusion was exacerbated by the fact they were unable to fix their new bayonets. The fact that Bonnie Dundee lost his life in the battle deprived the Jacobites of his leadership from which they never really recovered.
The National Trust Centre at Killiecrankie highlights local history, and flora, fauna and wildlife. It is also the starting point for local walks including through the Pass of Killiecrankie and to Ben Vrackie. The Soldier's Leap in the Pass is the point at which one of the government troops fleeing the Battle of Killiecrankie is reputed to have leaped for his life. Donald MacBean, opted to jump 18ft over the River Garry rather than face the pursuing Jacobite soldiers.
The four peaks of the Beinn a' Ghlo's north east of Killiecrankie are all in excess of 3,000 ft (950 m) and qualify as Munros. They are especially popular with walkers, Munro-baggers in particular! The mountains were the haunt of a witch who was portrayed in a poem by MG Lewis ..... Now she flies high - now she flies low - And lights on the summit of the huge Ben-y-Gloe. 'In the latter part of the 16th century and the first part of the 17th, the Athole area was greatly infested by witches', this according to Dr Marshall in Historic Scenes from Perthshire. Queen Victoria visited the foothills of the Beinn a' Ghlo's in 1844 when accompanying her husband, a member of a shooting party.
The original A9 road follows a route pioneered by early engineers, Wade, Telford and Bruce. Despite the opening of the new A9 trunk road in 1986 between Perth and Inverness, the old road remains an essential line of communication between Pitlochry, Killiecrankie and Blair Atholl.