On 16 April 1746, the final Jacobite Rising came to a brutal head. Jacobite supporters, seeking to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British throne, gathered to fight the Duke of Cumberland’s government troops. It was the last pitched battle on British soil and, in less than an hour, around 1,500 men were slain – more than 1,000 of them Jacobites.
A visit to Culloden is a poignant experience. Headstones mark the graves of hundreds of clansmen who gave their lives for the Jacobite cause. A 6m-high memorial cairn honours the fallen; and an eerie silence often falls across wild Drummossie Moor – there is no escaping the emotions Culloden evokes.
What a great way to spend a couple of hours as this place is steeped in history, you can almost hear the clashing of steel and roar of gun fire as you stand on the battlefield itself. The film in the visitor centre is informative and we really enjoyed the “living history” bit where a soldier describes what it was like on the battlefield.
You would have to be made of stone to not feel a desperate sadness when you stand there and contemplate the tragedy which took place. The National Trust for Scotland have guides which do guided tours at different times of the day, it is always worthwhile to listen to someone else’s perspective.
The guides are very knowledgeable about the History of Culloden and helpful in any way needed. Our guide really brought the place to life. Very informative without being a dull list of facts and dates.
We continued looking around the exhibition after the tour then a quick look at the shop and we were very pleased to see an array of quality Scottish produce.
If you are an Outlander fan you can learn much more about the Jacobites and see the Fraser stone. Also, you will know enough of the history to appreciate its powerful solemn feeling.
But it is really important to remember it is a war grave and to show some respect. Do not walk outside the path and do not touch the graves.