Sunday, 18 May 2014

Cries of Culloden

Today we went to Culloden Battlefield, which is just a few miles from where we are staying.

Our first stop was the Visitor Centre. This allowed us to walk through the timeline leading up to the day of battle. 

We listened to "first hand" accounts and were able to view the battle in surround theatre. Coming out of the theatre, there is a wall covered in the names of those who fell at Culloden. Reading them sent shivers up my spine and caused a heaviness in my chest. 

From the visitor centre, we collected audio guides for our walk through the battlefield. 
Past the English line

Past the memorial stones, commemorating the fallen clans, 

Past the Well of the Dead 

And out to the memorial cairn.

From the cairn, we walked to the Jacobite line. The Jacobites had a serious disadvantage, not just based on exhaustion and disorganization, but based sheerly on terrain. The English were on relatively level fields while the Jacobites were in dense brush, thick Heather and heavy, marshy bogs. They stood little chance when charging forward of getting anywhere but stuck. Sadly this led to the slaughter of hundreds of men in mere minutes. 

The battlefield is well preserved. It is, for the most part, barren, open and still. It is easy to hear the cries of our ancestors as they are carried along the winds blowing across the moors. A truly haunting place to visit. And a memory that will stay with me for a lifetime. 

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