Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre.

The Battle of Culloden took place on Culloden Moor, (a short drive outside Inverness), on 16 April 1746. It was the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising and the last Battle to be held on British soil.

The Battle on Culloden Moor, was both quick and bloody, it started with an unsuccessful Jacobite Highland charge across flat boggy ground, totally unsuitable for this previously highly effective maneuver. The Jacobites troops were soon routed and driven from the field, the battle only lasting about an hour.

The Battle of Culloden saw some 1,500 Jacobites killed or wounded, while government losses were lighter with 50 dead and 259 wounded.


Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre have an excellent FaceBook Page

Lord George Murray the brilliant Jacobite military commander, unfortunately for the Jacobites - was not in charge of the Battle of Culloden, as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" the Jacobite campaign commander had fallen out with him. The battle ground chosen by the Prince and his advisers was totally unsuitabe for the Highland Jacobite army, leading to the first and only defeat of the Jacobite forces.

The Annual Battle of Culloden Remberance Service. Each year the Gaelic Society of Inverness holds a service of remberance on the Saturday nearest the 16th April, the date of the Battle of Culloden.

Here are some You Tube Videos to allow you to sample the importance of the annual remberance service and why Culloden marked a massive change in Highland Culture.


Battle of Culloden 268th Anniversary Order of Service
- ( 2mins 53 secs) explains the commemoration sevice for those who have not been.


Battle of Culloden, Dr Margaret Bennet
- (5 mins 32 secs) explains why Culloden is such an important land mark in Scottish History. Battle-of-Culloden-memorial.jpgAn excellent summary of this important last battle on British soil and its significance on the 268th Anniversary.


Gaelic Psalm Singing
- (3mins 23 secs) This is the first time this has been part of the annual Anniversay Service. Something very special and unique to gaelic culture.


The White Cockade remember the Royal Scots (Royal Ecossais)
- (3 mins 24 secs) After the remberance service, there are many other small ceremenoies that take place across the Battlefield. This is typical, as each remember their own.

The aftermath of the Battle of Culloden.

The Battle of Culloden is often portrayed as being decisive, it was only decisive as far as 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', their leader decided to give up and abandon his highlanders returning to France. Lord George Murray, the Jacobite military commander's view after the battle, was that the Jacobites would win the next battle as he would have the complete Jacobite army in the field, (only two thirds of the army was at Culloden, as the others had been given home leave to see their families) and he would be in charge. This never came about on account ofthe Bonnie Prince Charlie's decision to quit. (Lord George Murray was a brilliant military commander never losing any battle he was in charge of, here in Britain and later when he was employed by the Dutch army to command them.)

The destruction of the Highlands.

The aftermath of the Battle of Cullodon and subsequent crackdown on the Highlands and all things to do with the Clan system and the Highland way of life, was brutal in the extreme, with atrocity after atrocity being committed by the government forces. The Duke of Cumberland, the government commander earned the name "Butcher Cumberland" on account of the wanton destruction on the Highlands by his forces.

Efforts were subsequently taken by the British government in Westminister to further integrate Scotland into the Kingdom of Britain; civil penalties were introduced to weaken Gaelic culture and destroy the Highland clan system. culloden-battlefield3.jpgThe decades after Culloden, saw mass migration of Highlanders to the new world in the American colonies, hoping to find a better life.

The Jacobites.

The Jacobites were mainly Highlanders, led by Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie", the grandson of the exiled King James VII of Scotland and II of England. The objective being to restore the King to the British throne. Prince Charles Edward Stuart never mounted any further attempts to challenge Hanoverian power in Britain after the Battle of Culloden.

The Jacobite army consisted largely of Highlanders, plus a number of Lowland Scots, a small detachment of Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment, French and Irish units loyal to France.

Government Forces.

The government army was commanded by Charles Edward Stuart's cousin, William Augustus Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of George II, loyal to the British throne and House of Hanover.

The government force was mostly English, plus a significant number of Scottish Lowlanders and Highlanders, a battalion of Ulster men from Ireland, and a small number of Hessians from Germany and Austrians.

Click here to check on special events.  Events at Culloden 

The exciting new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition opened in December 2007. It is open all year, except from Christmas Eve to the end of January each year.

The magnificent new centre and exhibition tells the whole Battle of Culloden story to be told in an innovative and interactive way which appeals to all the family.

In the Battle zone you can experience first hand what it was like to be in the middle of the action at the Battle of Culloden.

There are displays of authentic weapons and artefacts found on the battlefield.

The Battle of Culloden Centre also has hand held audio devices, which have a multi-lingual dialogue is available to take onto the battlefield to help you further understand both armies tactics on the day.