The Night before Culloden … the Highlanders ‘Walked Again …’

Tony Pollard gets them all walking up north …

The 1745 Prestonpans Battle Trust is delighted to report that its Riggonhead Defile Walk, now organised each September 21st at 5 am, has inspired those who remember Culloden to do likewise.

On the eve of that final Jacobite battle in the ’45, several thousand Highlanders walked 12 miles through the night as far as Knockanbuie in the hope they could surprise Cumberland who was sleeping soundly after celebrating his 25th birthday at his camp west of Nairn.

Such a tactic had worked brilliantly at Prestonpans of course. However, although guided by local Mackintoshes they lost their way in appalling weather conditions. Many are believed to have eventually turned back at the cottage shown below, which is a farm today.

Under the leadership of Tony Pollard, the distinguished Scottish battlefield archaeologist who recently completed a major study up there, and is currently at work for the Trust here in The Pans, that Walk on April 15th and 16th 1746 is to be re-enacted. The route taken was documented shortly after Culloden by Finlayson – his map is now held in the National Library of Scotland.

Click for Photos

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