The Battle of Culloden took place on
the 16th April 1746 between the mainly
Scots Jacobite forces of Charles Edward
Stuart, and Loyalist troops of the King
led by the Duke of Cumberland, 5 miles
east of Inverness in the Scottish
The Loyalist won a decisive battle
here with the use of modern weapons.
This was the last major battle on the
UK mainland, with the Hanover Royals and
their descendants ruling the UK to this
day, without any more challenges.
See also a large Click On
Map for Top Attractions in the area.
The image top is of the Battle of Culloden
Visitor Centre with a huge car park, cafe, and
fairly large museum. You can learn the history
of the battle, and view weapons from the
battle. There are guides to show how the
weapons were used, and period costumes for
Close to the visitor centre is the thatched
Leanach Cottage. The cottage was where the
government troops, Loyalists, were situated. It
is believed the cottage would have been used as
a field hospital.
The image below the cottage is of the
Government line during the battle. It is
believed about 700 Jacobite's were killed here
by Government troops in hand to hand fighting,
bayonet against sword.
As you approach the large battlefield cairn,
there are a number of mass Jacobite graves.
This area certainly gets your attention, and
gives a real sense of how brutal war can be.
Large Image of the
Mass graves include the Athol Highlanders,
Fraser, MacClachlan, MacClean, MacGillivray,
Mackintosh, Stuart's, Mixed Clans, and
The local landowner, Duncan Forbes, had the
large memorial cairn built here in 1881. Forbes
was said to be a descendant of a key figure in
the Government side. Trees have also been
cleared that grew at the battlefield, and grave
The writing on the cairn states:
The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor
16th April 1746
The graves of the gallant highlanders who
fought for Scotland & Prince Charlie, are
marked by the names of their clans.
Large Image of the
James VI Stuart of Scotland became king of
England in 1603 after Elizabeth I of England
died without leaving an heir.
James gained the throne as he was the son of
Mary, Queen of Scots, a great-grandchild of
Henry VII of England. He was then known as
James VI of Scotland, and James I of England.
King of Scotland, England and Ireland.
The Stuart's were kings of Scotland, England
and Ireland from 1603 till Queen Anne Stuart
died in 1714 without leaving an heir.
Queen Anne was succeeded by her second
cousin, the protestant George I of the House of
Hanover in Germany, who was a descendant of the
Stuart's through his maternal grandmother,
Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I.
With George being a protestant German, many
nobles in the UK campaigned to have George
replaced with Anne's catholic half-brother,
James Francis Edward Stuart.
This led to a series of battles known as the
Jacobite rebellions, from 1715 to 1746.
The first rebellion saw the Jacobite's win a
series of battles, taking control of most of
1716 early, the government forces had
regained control of Scotland, leading to James
Francis Stuart leaving from Montrose to live in
Avignon in France.
1745, the second Jacobite rising begins led
by Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince
Charlie), in an attempt to overthrow George
Charles Edward Stuart was backed by the
French who were at war with the English at that
1745 September, the Jacobite's defeat
Government troops at the Battle of Prestonpans
by Edinburgh, winning the first major battle of
the second rising.
The success at Prestonpans, led to Jacobite
forces moving south, taking control of Carlisle
and as far south as Derby in England.
By December 1745, the Jacobite army had
began retreating whilst being attacked by a
number of English forces.
23rd December, the Battle of Inverurie was a
victory for the Jacobite's.
Late December, the Jacobite's lost control
of Carlisle during a siege that lasted nine
17th January 1746, the Jacobite's won at the
Battle of Falkirk.
20th March to 3rd April, the Jacobite's
failed to take control of Fort William.
15th April, Jacobite's were defeated at the
Battle of Littleferry.
16th April, the final defeat of the
Jacobite's was at the Battle of Culloden.
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden saw about 6,000
Jacobite's engage about 8,000 government
The Jacobite's are said to have had 12
cannon, and the Government forces 10 cannon and
The bulk of the Jacobite forces were
Scottish catholic Highlanders, also with some
English, Irish and French troops.
The Jacobite's were mainly armed with 3 feet
long broad swords, shields and pistols.
The Government forces were mainly English
protestants, also with a number of Scottish
mainly protestant forces.
Most of the Government forces were armed
with Flintlock rifles with bayonets, about 7
feet in length together. They were used in
close combat to form a wall of bayonets,
similar to pikes in battles of the 1300s.
These were only effective if troops held
their nerve and stayed close together.
The Jacobite forces were being hit by
Government cannon for about 20 minutes before
they were given the order to charge.
The Jacobite highland charge saw about 6,000
highlanders running towards the Government
troops waving swords, shields and yelling.
The highland charge had been successful in
many earlier battles, creating so much fear in
the opposing troops, they could not load their
weapons, and broke their lines to run off.
The charge at Culloden may not have been as
affective as other battles, as boggy ground
slowed the charge in places, much reducing the
fear factor of fast approaching screaming
The Government lines held at Culloden with
each soldier managing to fire about three
rounds per minute. The Government cannon also
began firing grape-shot to cause mass
The many Highlanders that made it to the
Government line, ran into a wall of bayonets,
as the line held firm. The outer Government
troops then moved round to encircle the
Highlanders and inflict mass casualties.
It is thought around 700 Jacobite's were
killed in one small area. Up to 1,500
Jacobite's are said to have died during the
battle that lasted less than an hour.
50 Government troops are said to have died
in the battle, many more of their wounds in the
Thousands of Jacobite's were taken prisoner
at the end of the battle, or over the following
weeks as they were hunted down.
Many prisoners were executed, died in
prison, or were transported to the
1970, the National Trust for Scotland built
a visitor centre and began work to restore the
battle site, as close as possible, to how it
was at the time of the battle.
Extensive Battle of
Page . Official website: www.nts.org.uk/Culloden/Home/