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Anniversary of Battle of Culloden to be marked this weekend in Inverness

By Rachel Smart

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The Battle of Culloden will be marked this weekend at the historic site in Inverness. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The Battle of Culloden will be marked this weekend at the historic site in Inverness. Picture: James Mackenzie.

The 278th anniversary of The Battle of Culloden will be marked this weekend at the historic site in Inverness with a series of events.

Organised by the National Trust for Scotland, the anniversary weekend will include the annual commemoration service led by the Gaelic Society of Inverness at the memorial cairn. The services first took place at the memorial cairn in 1925 and have continued, in one form or another, to this day. This year’s service, at 11am on April 15, will include wreaths being laid and a piper.

The Battle of Culloden, which took place on 16 April 1746, was part of a civil war that would decide the ruler of Great Britain and ultimately have a global impact. It saw over 1500 lives lost in the space of an hour. The anniversary service and commemoration events organised by the conservation charity this year will bring people together in-person and online to commemorate the fallen on both the Jacobite and Government sides.

Gail Cleaver, operations manager for the National Trust for Scotland’s Culloden Cluster, commented: “Culloden is a powerful and evocative historic site, and the story of the battle and its aftermath have global relevance and interest. We look forward to welcoming our visitors to the site for our commemoration weekend and exploring the story of Culloden together – mindful not just of the events and legacies of the battle, but of the impacts of war and civil war on the lives of people around the world today.”

The events planned for this year’s commemoration will include in-person seminars, livestreams and a digital tour of the site, in addition to the Gaelic Society of Inverness service. They include the launch of an exhibition, Culloden Memories, which has seen people from all over the world sending in their memories, photographs, and mementos of the site and will cover the social history of the battlefield since 1746.

Gail Cleaver continued: “We welcome the growing interest in Culloden and its stories, and look forward to extending people’s knowledge of and sense of engagement with the battle, the events that preceded and followed it, and people’s memories of it over the course of our commemoration events on 14-16 April. As at all times of year, we would ask all visitors to the commemoration service events to show respect to the site, and in particular to the graves area of the battlefield, remembering that over 1500 people lost their lives here.

“We will ask all visitors to the commemoration to help us care for this special place, by giving space to areas that shown signs of high footfall or damage. We’re grateful for people’s support and co-operation in this, as well as for the support from National Trust for Scotland members, donors and visitors. This is vital in enabling us to care for Culloden and our other special places in support of our conservation and engagement objectives and our vision of nature, beauty and heritage for everyone.”

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