Battle of Drumclog Memorial - History and Facts | History Hit

Battle of Drumclog Memorial

Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Battle of Drumclog was fought on June 1st, 1679 at Drumclog in South Lanarkshire between the army of John Graham of Claverhouse and a group of Covenanters.

Image Credit: Rosser1954 / CC

About Battle of Drumclog Memorial

A battle of the Scottish Covenanter Wars, Drumclog was fought between the army of John Graham of Claverhouse and a group of Covenanters. It is marked by a monument today.

History of the Battle of Drumclog

The Covenanters were Scots who signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, initially provoked by Charles I trying to impose a new prayer book.

Charles II continued to attempt to impose religious rules on the Covenanters and met with hostility and rebellion. In May 1679, Archbishop Sharp had been murdered and by the end of the month, the Covenanters were in open rebellion.

Graham was a soldier and nobleman loyal to the King who, with his dragoons, stumbled upon a field conventicle – a secret or unlawful religious meeting – of Covenanters. Armed with a mission to disperse conventicles of this nature in south-west Scotland, battle ensued.

Around 200 Covenanters including 40 mounted men moved positions to the east, near the farm of Drumclog and after what seems like some sort of pincer movement trapping Graham’s dragoons behind a bog, the Covenanters broke Graham’s line, killed at least 36 of his men and claimed a resounding victory.

However, this victory was short lived. A mere 3 weeks later, a rebellion at the Battle of Bothwell Brig was brutally crushed and the Covenanters suffered a heavy defeat.

The Battle of Drumclog today

A monument was erected in 1839 and there are small memorials in and around the local area, celebrating the battle as a victory for religious freedom. The mounment is maintained by Historic Scotland today.

Getting to the Battle of Drumclog Memorial

The memorial is on the roadside about 2km north west of the town of Drumclog. The scenery behind is stunning – head out of town on Meadowfoot Lane and take a right when prompted.