A visit to the battlefield at Culloden

× This article was published on September 14, 2005 and may contain information that has since changed or become out-of-date.
Please be mindful when reading, commenting on, or sharing this article.
Battle of Culloden cairn.
Battle of Culloden cairn.

Just outside the northern Scottish city of Inverness is the historic field in which the Battle of Culloden was fought on April 16th, 1746 between the armies of Charles Edward Stuart and the Duke of Cumberland, William Augustus.

It was here, on a vast pasture, that a Jacobite army under the leadership of Bonnie Prince Charlie (as Charles was fondly known) was overwhelmed by the British forces lead by the Duke of Cumberland. Looking to reclaim the British throne under the Stuart family, Bonnie Prince Charlie amassed a company of various Scots,  French and Irish recruits as part of their uprising. The Duke of Cumberland, son of reigning King George II, marched to meet this rebellion and the battle was set to take place on the moors of Culloden.

A farmhouse used as a medical hut.
A farmhouse used as a medical hut.

The encounter only lasted about an hour; the well trained British government troops devastated the Jacobites, causing a rout as Prince Charlie’s men fled. Those who perished were buried in mass graves, today denoted by stone markers with their clan names. Those who survived, were arrested and imprisoned. Property belonging to highland clans were confiscated and the wearing of tartans were banned.

Culloden Moor
The battlefield at Culloden.

Today, the heather-covered battlefield is home to a visitors centre, a farmhouse that served as a field hospital, and trails that traverse the moorland with flags to mark position of the armies, markers for mass graves and a stone cairn from 1881 to remember those who died on this ground.

Further photos from the battlefield and around Inverness and Loch Ness are viewable on Gallery.

Did you find a typographical or factual error in this article? Please let us know!