The Battle of Culloden ( Blàr Chùil Lodair)
in 1745 was a turning point in British and European history. It is strange to imagine that a battle, and a bloody one at that, happened on our soil so recently. The Jacobites, led by Charles Stuart, met with Government forces led by the Duke of Cumberland, William Augustus.
The battlefield itself is an inspiring place to visit. The National Trust for Scotland have done a remarkable job of bringing the moor back to the former state it would have been in at the time of the battle. Alone on the battle field stands Leanach Cottage. The Cottage once was part of a landscape divided into smallholdings on the Culloden Battlefield. Most likely it served as a field hospital and was in the shape of a 'T'. Today it stands as a reminder of a bygone time.
Both sides stood for what they believed, and so many died for their cause. In the aftermath of the battle terrible atrocities were committed against the Highland people and their way of life. By violence the Scottish uprising was to be broken once and for all.
Today Highlanders are free to wear tartan and kilts. The land is prospering and the people genuine and kind. In my visit to this proud nation I found a welcome that I have rarely found elsewhere. The people of the Highlands have overcome. Violence has not won the day.
If only we could learn from our own history!