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SCOTTISH

HIGHLANDS


BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britian, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you.  

 

Intro
The highlands are littered with places of conflict, some between clans, some from the Civil War, and in particular the Jacobite risings and suppression. There are also sites associated with the two world wars, notably the naval base at Scapa Flow


Events in The Scottish Highlands

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

The Cabin Museum, Wirlie, Shetland

Starting from a small collection of medals in 1978, the collection has expanded to include  uniforms, weapons, supplies and pictures from the two World Wars. It also contains exhibits related to Shetland's maritime history. Students can make use of the small library and study area. The cabin  also serves as a Tourist Information Point for directions and information about the area.

 

Eilean Donan Castle

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Standing on an islet in Loch Duich, Eilean Donan was founded in the 13th century and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and Clan Macrae. The Mackenzies' role in the Jacobite Risings, and the presence of Spanish soldiers who had come to support the Old Pretender, led to the Royal Navy bombarding the castle in 1719, partially destroying it. The damage was not repaired until after the First World War when a memorial, flanked by field guns, was created to the men of the Macrae clan who fell in that war

Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness

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Strikingly situated on the shores of Loch Ness near Drumnadrochit, its tower commands fine views of the Loch and the Great Glen. One of Scotland's biggest castles, originally dating from Norman times, the present ruins date from the 16th century. It witnessed plenty of conflict from medieval times to the 17th century, in particular during the Wars of Independence. It changed hands many times, was held by the English after Edward I's invasion and later by Robert the Bruce. The visitor centre contains a display of medieval artefacts found at the castle.

Inverlochy Battlefield

The battle took place close by Inverlochy Castle, outside which the Marquis of Argyll's Covenanter army positioned itself. The Royalist army under Montrose, which had undertaken a forced march in order to surprise their enemy, charged on the Covenanters and routed them. The battle was celebrated in contemporary ballads and verse. The battlefield has been much developed and the area near the castle is now a golf course, though there is a memorial plaque. 

Glencoe Massacre Memorial

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Commemorates the infamous massacre of members of the Clan MacDonald by their guests, the first and second companies of the Earl of Argyll's Regiment of Foot in 1692. Often described as perpetrated by the Campbell Clan, only a minority of the regiment bore that name. The massacre was ordered because the chief of the MacDonald clan was said to have been slow to take the oath of allegiance to King William. A consequence of the massacre was to spur recruitment to the Jacobite cause and the subsequent 1745 Rising.

Scapa Flow

A former naval base and a historic wreck site. In 1919, 52 ships of the German High Seas Fleet were scuttled here. Most were later salvaged but seven remain on the sea floor. In 1939 the battleship HMS Royal Oak was sunk here at anchor after being torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Scapa Flow was also the base in World War II for the Arctic Convoy escort ships. The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, at Lyness on the island of Hoy, includes a large, three-dimensional representation of the island and of the German ships as they were prior to scuttling.

 

Hackness Martello Tower and Battery

Situated on South Walls in Orkney, the Martello Tower and Battery were built during the Napoleonic Wars. Their role was to protect British and Scandinavian ships in Longhope Sound from attack by American and French privateers while they waited for a Royal Navy escort on their journey to the Baltic. Another tower was built on the north side of the sound, at Crockness, but it appears they did not see enemy action. The battery and towers were upgraded in 1866 and the towers were rearmed for World War I. 

Braemar Castle

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Originally built by the Earls of Mar in the late Middle Ages, the present castle dates from the 17th century. The building was torched in 1689 by the 'Black Colonel' John Farquharson, as part of the first Jacobite Rising. In 1715 the Earl of Mar changed sides to support the Jacobites, after which the Crown seized the castle. Following Culloden it served for some years as a garrison for Hanoverian forces. In 1831 the army left and the castle was given to the chiefs of the Clan Farquharson. Today it is the only community operated castle in Scotland

Culloden Battlefield 1746

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This was the last pitched battle fought on the British mainland, Culloden marked the end of half a century of rebellions aimed at restoring the House of Stuart to the throne. The battle was brief and bloody, and saw the Jacobite army routed by the Hanoverian forces under the Duke of Cumberland. In its aftermath the Government brutally subdued the Highlands and dismantled the clan system. The battlefield is well preserved and attempts have been made to restore it to its original condition. There is a visitor centre with interactive exhibits as well as signage on the battlefield

Battle of Killiecrankie

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The first battle of the first Jacobite Rising in 1689, following the accession of William of Orange to the Scottish throne. Viscount Dundee raised a mainly Highland rebel army and clashed with Government forces near the Killiecrankie Pass. The Jacobites won, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Highland charge, but the death of Dundee left the rebellion leaderless. The landscape of the battlefield is well preserved and there is a visitor centre near the spot called the Soldier’s Leap. The victory was an inspiration to the Jacobites and was celebrated in song and verse

The Commando Museum, Spean Bridge

Houses artefacts and memorabilia of the Commandos who trained in the nearby hills and at Achnacarry during World War II. Items range from a bully tin to a ceremonial sword, along with medals, insignias and suchlike. The exhibition has grown with donations from those serving in campaigns up to the present day. 

Battle of Tippermuir

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The first of the battles which the Marquis of Montrose fought for King Charles I against the Covenanter army in the Civil Wars. The battle took place three miles west of Perth near the village of Tibbermore on 1st September 1644. Montrose's victory, despite being outnumbered and lacking cavalry and artillery, was a major boost to the Royalist cause. The battlefield consists of flat arable land and is little developed, though there is no monument on the site

Balhousie Castle, Perth

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Originally the seat of the Earls of Kinnoull, the castle was rebuilt in the 1860s. In 1962 it became the Regimental Headquarters and Museum of The Black Watch, displaying the history of the regiment from 1739 to the present. There are seven galleries covering different chronological periods in the history of the regiment, as well as four themed galleries. The collection includes uniforms, fine paintings, medals, photographs, diaries, weapons and military equipment, together with film and audio reminiscences.


Fort George, Ardersier

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Fort George was built in the aftermath of Culloden, to pacify the Highlands, This fort is the greatest artillery fortification in Britain. Though open to the public, it remains in use as a garrison and is currently home to the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland. Never attacked, the fort is ringed by almost a mile of boundary walls. Its collection of arms includes bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches. It also contains the Regimental Museum of the Highlanders, with exhibits including uniforms, weapons, medals, World War I memorial plaques, photographs, paintings, memorabilia and regimental regalia. 

Battlefield  of Auldearn 1645

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A major victory for the Marquis of Montrose's Royalist forces over the Covenanter army (allied with the English Parliamentarians) during the Civil Wars.on 9 May 1645.  The fourth battle of the campaign, it sealed Montrose's reputation as a brilliant commander, inflicting a crushing defeat on Sir John Hurry's larger army. One of the last battles in Europe to see significant use of bowmen. The battlefield is signposted and there is an interpretation panel on top of Dooket Hill, a vantage point used by Montrose at the outset of the battle. Auldearn church has memorials to the fallen.

Battlefield of Cromdale

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Last battle on the British mainland of the first Jacobite Rising took place on 30 April - 1 May 1690.  Sir Thomas Livingstone's Government army of dragoons and infantry crushed the Jacobite forces under Major General Thomas Buchan. Cromdale (1690) was the last major battle in Scotland in the 17th century. The Jacobites were unable to mount another rising until 1715. The battlefield lies to the east of Cromdale village on the Haughs of Cromdale

Blair Castle, Pitlochry

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The ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl, Blair Castle dates in part (Cumming's Tower) from the 13th Century, but mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries. In the Civil Wars it was a Royalist stronghold, then taken by Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650. During the 1745 Jacobite Rising it was besieged, occupied and then abandoned by the Jacobites. In 1844 Queen Victoria granted the then Dukes of Atholl the right to raise a private army, the Atholl Highlanders, still garrisoned in the castle