The Brodie Sword.

Culloden Battlefield

brodiesword The Brodie Sword

This week we thought we’d take the chance to highlight one of the artifacts on display in our Culloden Exhibition and have chosen the Brodie Sword.

Reportedly commissioned and gifted by the Duke of Perth it is one of two swords and targes made for Prince Charles and his brother Henry. The sword would have been a symbol of power and used for display only, not as a weapon. The sword came to the Brodie family through the marriage of Elizabeth Brodie to George, 5th Duke of Gordon in 1813 with the tradition that it had been taken from the Princes baggage train after Culloden.

The sword is a basket-hilted broad sword from the 18th Century. The hilt is unmarked silver most likely of north European origin whilst the blade is German. The basket is a conventional shape outlined with rococo scrolls and is made…

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Mackenzie Village – Highland Folk Museum

The Highland Folk Museum  gives visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! They do this by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations.

The site is a mile long with the1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to the 1930s working croft at the other.

Source – High life Highland

The scenes from the Mackenzie village were filmed in the 1700s township. When walking to that part of the Folk Museum I felt transported back. A great location and worth a visit especially as its free.

Inverness

Inverness is where we stayed on our Outlander adventure to the highlands. It features in the books. Inverness Castle is used as council offices. There are great views up at the castle plus a statue of Flora MacDonald – she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Inverness Castle was originally a 12th century earth and timber enclosure fortress, founded by King David I. In the early 14th century during the Wars of Independence, English troops under King Edward I occupied the castle, which was taken and destroyed by King Robert the Bruce in 1310. In the early 15th century Alexander, earl of Mar, founded a stone castle on the hill and in the 16th century George Gordon, earl of Huntly added a high square stone tower. Seizes and badly damaged by the Royalists in 1649, from 1653-8 Cromwell’s Fort was built at the mouth of the River Ness. In 1726, General Wade transformed the castle into the square Hanoverian Fort George, with a governor’s house and a chapel, encased by barracks. Surrendered to the Jacobite army of Prince Charles Edwards Stuart in 1746, the castle was blown up after the Battle of Culloden. A dramatic mid 19th century neo-Norman castle now stands on the site, built to house the Sheriff Courthouse and County Hall and all that remains of the medieval castle are a deep resorted well and part of the bastion wall.

Source – Castles Net

 

 

 

Fort George

Fort George is one of the most outstanding fortifications in Europe. It was built in the wake of the Battle of Culloden (1746) as an impregnable base for King George II’s army. It took 21 years to complete, by which time the Jacobite threat had been largely extinguished.

The imposing fort was designed by General William Skinner and built by the Adam family of architects. Today, it still serves the needs of the modern British Army.

Source – Historic Scotland

Not a location currently used for Outlander and may not be part of the story. It is part of the greater Jacobite / post Culloden story. Looking at the fort it is hard to believe that it was build over 250 years ago.

 

There is a museum to the Scottish Regiments including the Lovat Scouts.

Clava Cairns

 

The next stop was to Clava Cairns.

Clava Cairns come in two types, and both are represented in the group of three you find in the truly wonderful wooded setting at Balnuaran. There are larger prehistoric sites in Scotland, and there are much better known ones: but we have yet to come across one with such variety and interest in such a beautiful setting.

The North East and South West Cairns are knows as passage graves. Here the inner chamber remains linked to the outside world by a passage. Both are no more than a metre or so in height, but when originally constructed the cairns are likely to have been around 3m or 10ft in height.

The North East Passage Grave (the one nearest the car park) is interesting in having a large number of “cup” marks and some “ring” marks inscribed on one of the kerb stones. Both of the passage graves have a surrounding circle of widely spaced standing stones: though sadly the stone circle surrounding the South West Passage Grave has a road going through it, leaving one stone marooned on the far side of the road and another forming part of the fence.

The central cairn at Balnuaran is of the second type of Clava Cairn, a ring cairn. This differs from the other two in having no passageway linking the central camber with the outside. Like the others it is surrounded by a ring of standing stones, nine in this case, of which some have been broken. One unusual feature is the way that the central cairn is linked to three of its enclosing circle of standing stones by lines of turf covered stones. No-one knows their purpose, and it might well be possible that they were added very much later than the date of construction of the cairns. Another later addition is likely to have been the much smaller ring of kerb stones on the north east side of the site not far from the central cairn.

Source – Undiscovered Scotland

 

Of course Jamie and Claire made an appearance.

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We then went back later in the day to see the cairns at sunset.

Culloden

In Inverness for the weekend so first place to visit was Culloden visitors centre and battlefield. This was my third visit each time I learn more and I find the battlefield moving.

The centre shows the build up to the battle from the government and Jacobite sides.

The battle of Culloden took place on April 16th 1746.

Towards one o’clock, the Jacobite artillery opened fire on government soldiers. The government responded with their own cannon, and the Battle of Culloden began.

Bombarded by cannon shot and mortar bombs, the Jacobite clans held back, waiting for the order to attack. At last they moved forwards, through hail, smoke, murderous gunfire and grapeshot. Around eighty paces from their enemy they started to fire their muskets and charged. Some fought ferociously. Others never reached their goal. The government troops had finally worked out bayonet tactics to challenge the dreaded Highland charge and broadsword. The Jacobites lost momentum, wavered, then fled.

Hardly an hour had passed between the first shots and the final flight of the Prince’s army. Although a short battle by European standards, it was an exceptionally bloody one. Source – NTS Website

In 1881 Daniel Forbes erected a memorial cairn and headstones for the various clans that fell at Culloden.

 

Of course Jamie and Claire made an appearance.

 

 

 

 

Killiecrankie

I saw this tweet and it reminded me of the last time we visited the Highlands.

Check this out on my other bog – Weston Adventures

In 1689, during the Jacobite Rebellion, the Battle of Killiecrankie was fought on the nothern edge of the village. The Highland charge of the Jacobites took the government forces under General Hugh MacKay by surprise and they were completely overwhelmed in only 10 minutes. Donald MacBean, one of William II supporters, having lost the contest, is said to have cleared the pass from one bank to the other, at “The Soldier’s Leap”.

One of the most famous leaders of the rebellion John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee was killed in the battle.  A Memorial Field to the fallen soldiers lies with the grounds of Urrard House.

Source – Killiecrankie