The Battle of Killiecrankie

Culloden Battlefield

In 1689 the Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between Jacobites, led by Viscount Dundee, and Government troops, led by General Hugh MacKay. The battle was part of the first Jacobite Uprising that took place after King James VII & II was deposed and King William of Orange took the throne.

After the Scottish parliament decided, at a convention in Edinburgh, to support King William many people were upset and opposed the decision. John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee was one such man. He was a lowland Scot and Episcopalian and had been made commander of all of Scotland’s forces under King James. Leaving the convention he set out to summon another convention in Stirling, this one in King James’ name. On 13th April 1689 Dundee raised the Stuart Royal Standard on Dundee Law marking the start of the first Jacobite Rising.

undee 1st Viscount Dundee

Following this Dundee headed north to raise an army against King William and for…

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Riggonhead March, Battle of Prestonpans

In the early hours of the morning 20th September 2015 I arrived in a dark car park in Tranent. I was not alone, I had been persuaded to take part in reenactment of Riggonhead March by my friend Jan. We joined Bonnie Prince Charlie – Arran Johnston – with other reenactors to walk from Tranent to Seton.

I have the medal to prove it!


Before we set of we had the chance to have something to eat – scotch egg and soup.

It was an uneventful march – part of us getting lost at one point – but lovely to see the sun come up on a warm September morning.

This is a reenactment of a march that took place in the early hours before the Battle of Prestonpans.

On 20 September Cope’s forces encountered Charles’s advance guard. Cope decided to stand his ground and engage the Jacobite army. He drew up his army facing south with a marshy ditch to their front, and the park walls around Preston House protecting their right flank. A Highlander supporter, Robert Anderson was a local farmer’s son who knew the area well and convinced Charles’s Lieutenant General, Lord George Murray of an excellent narrow route through the marshlands. Commencing at 4 a.m. he moved the entire Jacobite force walking three abreast along that route, known as the Riggonhead Defile, in total silence arriving to the east of Cope’s army at Seton West Mains. Although Cope kept fires burning and posted pickets during the night as the Highlanders were making their move they were not spotted by the pickets until around 5 a.m. Source – Battle of Prestonpans trust

This is shown in the episode Prestonpans.

Drummond Castle Gardens

My next visit of the day was to Drummond Castle Gardens. These were used in series 2 as the gardens at Versailles.

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Drummond has all the characteristics of a courtly, 17th century Scottish Renaissance garden. It is a composite garden, restructured in early Victorian times and renewed again in the 20th century when the garden framework and the exceptional interest of the original 19th century design were carefully preserved. Source – Drummond Castle Gardens

The gardens are open to the public from May to October but the castle is not open to the public. Amazing gardens worth a wander around especially on a lovely warm day.

Another visit to Castle Leoch

On hot summer day I went for a return visit to Castle Leoch aka Castle Doune. I had heard that there is now an Outlander part to the audio tour voiced by Sam Heughan. The main audio is done by Terry Jones of Monty Python as the castle was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The first place there is an Outlander audio is the courtyard. Sam explains how this part of the castle was used in filming.

The next Outlander audio treat is the castle kitchen. The show was not filmed in the castle but the layout of the kitchen influenced the set design.

The last place there is an Outlander audio treat is on the second floor of the gate house tower. It describes where the shinty match took place and other views.

Before I left Doune Castle I went for a walk round the outside.