The silent field – Culloden

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The site of the 1746 Battle of Culloden
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The site of The Battle of Culloden

 

A cold wind flaps the red and blue flags which provide a visual stand post of the locations whereupon two great armies met; the Jacobite army weary and wild and the Government army drilled and disciplined. The Culloden battlefield now sits quiet, but upon the sharp wind is carried the desperate cries of soldiers locked in face to face mortal combat.

 

 

Today a few souls wander peacefully and listen dutifully to the audio soundtrack of the 16th April 1746 carefully prepared by the National Trust for Scotland.  But just under 260 years ago the site could hardly have been in more contrast with the screaming and fighting of battle-fueled men creating an almighty cacophony of death and destruction.

Where today stands a stone to mark a mass grave, then stood a soldier mauled by a Hanovarian bayonet.

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The memorial headstone for Clan MacKintosh
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Gorse growing atop the memorial

 

The site is boggy which then, as today, affected the efficiency of movement around the battlefield. Today though the deep dark waters can only represent the pools of blood which were spilt by both sides on that day.

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The black pools

 

In 1745 the Jacobite uprising had seen initial great successes but on this fateful day that quest was put to a bitter end. The Jacobites, who had dutifully followed the French Prince Regent, Charles Edward Stuart in his pursuit of the English throne, now frantically fleed from the forces of the ruthless Duke of Cumberland.

The conflict was over in less than the time it takes to walk round the site today. The site may be bleak but so is the reason why it exists there.

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