In October of 2021 we decided to paint and redecorate our home, clearing out and reorganising every cupboard and space in the process. During this time, we found some wonderful things that we had almost forgotten we had. Laying on the top of a pile of old photos were two 30 year old aerial photos of our estate in Culloden. These two photos had been given to me by a friend 3 decades ago. She thought I’d like them, seeing as I can see my home in them.
We live near the top of the road where the woods begin. The bottom right of the photo – the lighter coloured field – is the land that Culloden House sits on.
When I re-found the two photos recently, I was so happy to see them again. This area has grown and changed quite a bit since then. I’ve walked those woods for over 30 years now and I know every inch of them. However, when I came ‘home’ in March of 1990, this was how it looked.
I put the photos down and carried on with my work, when something dawned on me. One of the photos showed the land behind the woods to a good extent, which meant something very special.
It shows Culloden Battlefield 30 years ago. Quite clearly in fact.
These two old photos show not only the old Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, but they also show the Jacobite and Government lines on the battlefield before they were moved.
From new archaeological investigations carried out on the Battlefield prior to 2008, it was discovered that the position of the battle-lines needed to be slightly altered. So they were moved into the correct position, as you will see from the video below. I do wish to make it absolutely clear that the battle-lines were not moved to accommodate the building of the new Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre (that would simply never happen). The National Trust for Scotland, who own and manage this site, work tirelessly to preserve and honour the Battlefield and they do incredible work there.
I hope you enjoy the video as I share with you how the Battlefield has changed since this photo was taken. I also share some special places in Culloden Woods that I think you’ll love.
I specifically wanted to share this today on 10th November, as it’s the birthday of Duncan Forbes, 5th of Culloden, who was born on this day in 1685. He was living at Culloden House in 1746 and fled when Bonnie Prince Charlie took possession of his home in the days preceding the Battle. Duncan features in this video. Happy birthday Duncan!
We own two items which used to belong to Duncan Forbes, 5th of Culloden, and which were at Culloden House at the time of the Battle. You can read that blog post here.
After you’ve watched this, we suggest you read the other blog post we mention in this video about the mysterious circle of trees which used to stand right here. You can read that one here.
If you would like to take an in-depth journey around Culloden, including inside Culloden House, the Battlefield and so much more, then you can join our Culloden Experience Virtual Tour.