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Hundreds gather to mark anniversary of Battle of Culloden with ceilidh set to take place tonight

By Rachel Smart

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Over 200 people gathered at Culloden Battlefield in Inverness today to mark the 278th anniversary of The Battle of Culloden.

Organised by the National Trust for Scotland, a commemoration service was 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 included the laying of wreaths as people remembered their clans.

Events will continue throughout the day, and tonight a ceilidh will take place to raise funds for charities to preserve the history.

The fundraising ceilidh will take place at The Chieftain Hotel with over 80 guests set to attend.

The fundraiser has been organised for the past eight years by Steven and Mary MacLennan who are both passionate about ensuring history is remembered for generations to come.

Speaking about tonight’s event, Mr MacLennan said: “We were all meeting together each year for the anniversary and there wasn’t a pub big enough for us all.

Steven MacLennan.
Steven MacLennan.

“So we just decided that we should do something and that’s when we thought about doing a ceilidh where we could do some fundraising too.

“Over the years we’ve raised funds for various charities and this year we are raising funds for Straithnairn Heritage Association. They are fundraising to bring Dunlichity Church to a standard where it can be turned into a Heritage Centre that will archive and exhibit the history and heritage of the area

“We’ll have an auction and we’ve had a piece of art commissioned by a very talented local artist, ArtbyLisa.

“She’s painted a picture of the Rout of Moy Cairn. It’s taken her three months to paint, with hundreds of hours of precision details, layers upon layers of paint, building up to the final picture we see now.”

Lisa with the painting that will be auctioned.
Lisa with the painting that will be auctioned.

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.”

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