About this time last year 2016, we walked the Culloden Battlefield Trail, we were late arriving, but we did have the whole site to ourselves, apart from the end when two dog walkers passed by. I am not going to go into great details about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Rebellion just a few facts to accompany my photos. The battlefield had been on my list to visit for a long time, but I wasn’t too sure if visiting the site would be a let down, had it become too commercialised. I should imagine it could be quite busy in the summer, but the week before Christmas and arriving in the late afternoon, with the light fading, was perfect. It was so quiet and the feeling of the past was really quite over whelming, I felt a great sadness, but I will let the photos take you on the walk.
On 16th April 1746 the most ferocious hand-to-hand fighting took place at the height of the battle. Historians believe that about 700 Jacobite soldiers were killed or wounded here in just a few minutes of fighting. The Jacobites’ charge had broken the government front line but they were then forced back, which catastrophic consequences. Today, Archaeologists have found many items, hacked muskets parts, pistol balls and ripped off buttons. All these are clear evidence of a desperate close range fight.
In the years after Culloden, interest in the story of the battle continued to grow. The memorial cairn and grave marker of clans were raised in 1881 by Duncan Forbes, the local landowner.
Leach Cottage – After charging, the Jacobites clashed fiercely with the government’s left wing. The government second line move around the buildings here in support, forcing the Jacobites to retreat. The cottage that stands here now was built on the site of the farm buildings shown on almost every contemporary battle map of Culloden. A cannon ball is said to have been recovered from the turf wall of the building more than a hundred years old.