Culloden Battlefield - History and Facts | History Hit

Culloden Battlefield

Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom

Culloden Battlefield was the site of the final battle of the Jacobite uprising and resulted in the defeat of the Jacobites by government forces.

Lily Johnson

14 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is the site of the final battle of the Jacobite uprising, resulting in the defeat of the Jacobites by British government forces.

Culloden Battlefield history

The Battle of Culloden was the culmination of years of fighting for succession to the British throne. Other factors, such as war with France and issues of religious denomination also fuelled national divides at the time and were all interlinked.

The conflict raged between the supporters of the House of Stuart – known as the Jacobites – who wanted to reinstate the exiled King James II’s son James Stuart, and the House of Hanover. The latter was supported by the British government, then led by the Whig party.

On 16 April 1746, the two sides met at Culloden Battlefield. The Jacobites, made up of around 5,000 Highlanders together with English and French units, were led by James Stuart’s son Charles Edward Stuart (known as the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie). On the other side, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, led a much larger force of men loyal to the British government.

The battle was fierce, bloody, and over in less than an hour. The result was a defeat for the Jacobites, who fled from the battlefield. It would be their last attempt to reinstate the House of Stuart to the throne.

Culloden Battlefield today

Today, Culloden Battlefield stands as a memorial to this important event. There is a visitor centre with plenty of information about the battle, a 360-degree immersion theatre, and tours of the battlefield.

Along Culloden Battlefield there are many memorials, including graves of the clans who fought there and the Memorial Cairn, erected by Duncan Forbes in 1881. Elsewhere the restored 18th century Leanach Cottage can be explored, whose roof was crafted from heather grown on the battlefield.

Getting to Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield is located on Culloden Moor in Inverness on the B9006 road, and can be reached via the A9 or A96. The nearest train station is Inverness, from which the 2 bus service may be taken from Academy Street to the battlefield.

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