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.
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.
Today I went for a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. I had been before but not for a few years. The palace is mentioned in Dragonfly in Amber as where Prince Charlie set up court after the Battle of Prestonpans. Holyroodhouse became the symbolic residence of Prince Charlie in his Scottish capital; he conducted his offical business in the Palace and lunched in public view. The Great Gallery became the setting for a ball and other evening entertainments. The pictures in the Great Gallery were damaged by Red Coats when they were billeted at Holyroodhouse in 1746.
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
I realise this hasn’t featured in the series yet but it does get a mention in Dragonfly in Amber. The castle has parts that date back to the 18th century and before with buildings added in the 1800s. Although it does have royal apartments it has mainly been a barracks and in the late 1700s and 1800s a prison. Although the Jacobites took Edinburgh easily they never managed to take control of Edinburgh Castle. Prince Charlie set up court at the other end of the Royal Mile at Holyrood Palace.
This was my third visit to the castle this year. As a primary teacher I have taken classes to the castle when we have been studying castles. This visit I was looking for the Jacobite connection. It wasn’t easy as the castle was very busy with queues for the Jewels of Scotland exhibition. I think I’ll leave my next visit to the quiet season.
Before entering or when you exit the castle look out for the witches well.
The Plaque Reads…
“This Fountain, designed by John Duncan, R.S.A.
Is near the site on which many witches were burned at the stake. The wicked head and serene head signify that some used their exceptional knowledge for evil purposes while others were misunderstood and wished their kind nothing but good. The serpent has the dual significance of evil and wisdom. The Foxglove spray further emphasises the dual purpose of many common objects.”
From – www.royal-mile.com
Ok this might not have anything to do with the tv series or the books but it has connections to the time period the books are set in.
Seton Collegiate Church is on the road from Prestonpans to Longniddry. It is not far from where the Scots were at the Battle of Prestonpans.
Collegiate churches are so called because they housed a college, or community, of priests. These were brought together by the local landowner to pray for his and his family’s salvation. During the course of the 15th century, the Setons began the process of raising their parish church to collegiate status. After the death of Lord John Seton in 1434, his widow, Lady Catherine, added a small side-chapel to the south side of the church, to house her late husband’s tomb and a private altar. (The chapel no longer exists.) (Source – Historic Scotland)
It was damaged by zealots during the Wars of the Covenant in the mid 1600s, and the Setons’ support for the Jacobite cause led to it being desecrated again in 1715, this time by the Lothian Militia. At some point during this period the original nave, the only part of the church without a vaulted stone roof, fell into disuse and was demolished. The church later passed to the Earls of Wemyss who restored the surviving parts to become a family burial vault, and they in turn passed it into state care in 1946. (Source – www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk )
The church is set in charming well kept grounds. As we wandered round I spotted several slate signs which sounds like advice Claire might have used.
Just over a week ago I made a comment on Outlandish UK Facebook page that there wasn’t much to mark the Battle of Prestonpans. Well this sparked another member of the group to prove me wrong and organise a tour of the Battlefield.
On Saturday 11th July a group of Outlander fans – with some husbands in tow – met at Meadowfield Sports Centre, Prestonpans. We were joined by Arran Johnstone, head of the Prestonpans Heritage Trust.
We started by walking up the old wagon way to Tranent Church. Initially the Jacobites occupied the churchyard but later withdrew to Tranent. Then as the battle took place this is where Colonel Gardiner was taken when wounded and he later died in the manse. He is believed to be buried in the churchyard but currently his grave maybe covered with undergrowth.
From the churchyard we walked back down the wagon way and up the man made pyramid hill to the battle viewpoint. Steep climb but worth it for the view and information at the top – this is in the process of being updated. The flag flown is Bonnie Prince Charlie’s standard. This is changed to the union flag for one week of the year between the anniversary of the birth and death of George II.
Next we walked towards the road and joining back up the wagon way. Here Arran pointed out where the battle took place and described the events of the battle. We could have listened for hours about what happened in September 1745.
We retraced our steps and walked back along the road into a park area where we were surprised to find a memorial to Colonel Gardiner marking roughly where the thorn tree was where he was wounded.
From here we walked through bushes down a makeshift path into Thorntree Fields. This is where the fallen from both sides were buried by the locals of Prestonpans in four pits. This area is under threat by developers who wish to build industrial units on this site. The Prestonpans Historical Trust wish to buy or lease the land and create a memorial to all the fallen. More information on this can be found on the Historical Trust facebook page. This is a very peaceful place and it would be a shame to loose this.
The tour continued with us walking to Bankton House and the Colonel Gardiner memorial. Bankton House was Colonel Gardiner’s house and after the battle was used as a field hospital to treat the wounded of both sides. Bankton House was destroyed by fire but where it was rebuild the outside had to kept the same as the original. It is now a private residence. Outside the grounds of the house the memorial to Colonel Gardiner can be found. This was built in the 1800s and could be seen from passing trains.
The tour concluded back in Meadowfield Sports Centre car park. An enjoyable afternoon was had by all. I learned more about the battle and hope to revisit the sites again soon.