Secrets of Culloden Battlefield to be uncovered

New insights into the Battle of Culloden are set to be revealed in a series of special events being held to mark the 275th anniversary of the historic clash.

Results of the latest hi-tech scans of the battlefield will be shared and discussed by experts next month, revealing new insights into the happenings of that fateful day nearly three centuries ago.

Historian Professor Christopher Duffy and archaeologist Derek Alexander, of National Trust for Scotland, will consider the significance of the latest map and laser scans of the site and how they add to understanding of the fight.

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The results come as the historic battlefield area comes under pressure from development.

The National Trust for Scotland is hosting a special programme of online events celebrating the 275th anniversary of the historic battle of Culloden

Raoul Curtis-Machin, NTS operations manager for Culloden, said: “We are really excited about the latest Lidar (light detection and ranging) analysis and historical research.

“Having a better understanding of Culloden Moor’s boggy, uneven terrain will help inform the physical challenges faced by the Jacobites."

The results of the battlefield scans will be shared as part of a programme of events to mark the 275th anniversary of the battle.

The final showdown of the Jacobite Rising came to a brutal head on a moor in the Scottish highlands on 16 April 1746, in one of the most harrowing battles in UK history.

Around 2,500 men died at Culloden in a massacre lasting around an hour on 16 April 1746, mostly Jacobite rebels fighting alongside Bonnie Prince Charile in a bid to restore the Stuarts to the British monarchy - it was the last pitched battle to take place on UK soil and has left a legacy in Scotland stretching across nearly three centuries

Jacobite supporters, seeking to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British thrones, gathered to fight the Duke of Cumberland’s government troops.

It was the last pitched battle on British soil and, in less than an hour, around 1,600 men were slain – 1,500 to 2,000 of them Jacobites.

The bloody defeat had a lasting impact on Scotland, particularly in the Highlands.

Civil penalties were introduced to undermine the Scottish clan system in a bid to stop rebel armies being mobilised quickly.

In another event to mark the anniversary, art historian Count Peter Pininski will reveal insights into the real character of Charles Edward Stuart, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, the driving force behind the 1745 uprising which ended at Culloden.

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NTS is also hosting an interactive debate and discussion about how the moor can be better protected through its Culloden 300 initiative, which seeks to establish how people would like the site to look in 2046 - 300 years after the battle.

The charity recently objected to plans for a new steading in the Culchunaig area of the battle site.

Culchunaig is thought to have seen “major action” from the right wing of theJacobites during the clash and was the scene of the last fight of Culloden hero Gillies MacBain, who led the Mackenzies on the field and single-handedly killed 13 government soldiers.

The application was refused by Highland Council, but an appeal has now been lodged by the applicants.

The Culloden 275 celebration is being held online on Saturday 17 April.

It will begin at 11am with a special service to remember the violent events of 1746 and the thousands who died.

Mr Curtis-Machin added: “We look forward to welcoming people from all over the globe as we remember 16 April 1746 and consider how it continues to resonate almost three centuries on.”

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