Culloden Battlefield

imageWe’ve made it up to Inverness, where our first stop yesterday was the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre. In April of 1746, a loose coalition of Highland clans mustered to the call to restore the Catholic Stuart dynasty to the Protestant Hanoverian English throne. The ill-fated political and military manuevres of Prince Charles Edward Stuart failed at this very place called Culloden. Not always a student of history, I had no idea how large this event loomed in Highland memory.

imageUntil recently, I mainly knew about this battle from family lore, which goes that my ancestor Daniel Mackintosh was a newborn infant in a croft (a thatched peasant hut) on that very Culloden field where the battle flared up that day. When it was clear the Highlanders were in retreat, his mother (my 4x great grandmother) was forced to gather up her babe and run for it.

imageNow Culloden is an uninhabited field, but this artwork of the battle depicts a manor and homes on the grounds. (Double-click on the image for a large view). It was a chilling day for the 13,000 Highland and British men who engaged in the rout, which ruined Jacobite hopes and started the final demise of the Gaelic Highland clans.

imageIt was a productive visit, especially since  this Scotsman helped me arm for battle as a Highlander. I tried on a shield and sharp dirk (dagger) with my left arm and hand, and clumsily practiced wielding a heavy, basket-hilted sword with my right. The Scotsman only flinched once.

Later, we visited the Inverness Museum, where they had an excellent display of the round, leather and metal Highland shield and array of dirks and swords.
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