Culloden Battlefield near Inverness, Scotland

Welcome to Culloden Battlefield, the site of the last major battle fought on British soil. Here, on April 16, 1746, two armies clashed in a final confrontation over the thrones of Britain. In just one hour the army of the British government under Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland crushed forever the Jacobite army under Prince Charles Edward Stuart. This is a very emotional battle for the Scottish people, as the Clans lost their right to wear their plaid colors, play the bagpipes or publicly meet as a family group. Scotland_Inverness-1100621r

The wild and atmospheric moor where the battle took place is where more than 1500 men are buried as a result of the Battle of Culloden.  Click on the link for more details of this historic event in Scottish history. The Memorial Cairn is in the background of this photo.

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Inscription on the Memorial Cairn.

inv-1100669rFlag marking the start of the English line of defense.

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Flag marking the start of the Jacobite line. (According to the audio tour guide)

inv-1100635r inv-1100644r inv-1100638rcrMemorial flowers and stones on family memorial sites. Andrew P. Fazes, President of the Luton Paranormal Society was filming the moor for paranormal activity while we were there. I checked the website and see nothing there from our visit that day. Hope we didn’t scare the ghosts away!

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Placed on either sides of the road driven through the battlefield in 1835, these headstones bear the names of the clans. Erected by Duncan Forbes in 1881, they mark where the battle dead, who amounted to over 1000, were buried by local people. They were identified by their clan badge, a plant sprig worn in their bonnet.

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Old Leanach cottage:  The original farmhouse of Leanach survived the battle and has been restored several times. The roof is heather thatched, a traditional Highland craft.

Following the Battle of Culloden, the way was opened for the Highland Clearances that started some decades later, when vast numbers of Highlanders were cleared off their land by the landowners to make room for more profitable sheep. Surplus tenants were ‘cleared’ off the estates from about 1780. The first mass emigration was in 1792; known as the ‘Year of the Sheep’, when most of the cleared clansmen went to Canada and the Carolinas. Scots left their native soil to live out their lives in America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. ~ Education Scotland.gov.uk

Prince Charlie eventually made good his escape to France, but the price of his adventure for the Highlands was high.

Final destination for my Scottish ancestors? Minnesota… worked out well for me.

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