In the heart of Culloden Woods, just a short distance from the Battlefield is a walled Clootie Well known as St Mary’s well. It sits on the Culloden Battlefield Trail.
Traditionally, a piece of cloth is dipped in the water of the holy well, then tied to a branch while a prayer is said to the spirit of the well. This is done by those in need of healing either an illness or a wound. Though some may do it simply to honour the spirit of the well.
The affected part of the body was washed with the wet rag, then the rag, or cloot, was tied on the branch. It was believed that as the rag disintegrated over time, the wound would heal or the illness would fade away.
Towards the end of the video, after you walk up a steep path with the sun shining brightly through the trees, the Battlefield is just one field behind those trees and beneath the sun. But because the National Trust for Scotland Battlefield site does not cover the whole site of the battle itself, the Jacobite line of soldiers would have reached almost to the trees at the end of this short film.
There is a bench at the Clootie Well to remember the brave soldiers who washed their wounds in the well after the Battle of Culloden. You see it briefly in the video when we arrive at the well. Engraving on the bench reads:
“It wasn’t the clear water of hope the well of the wood spilled that day”
If you would love to explore a great deal more about Culloden, including more about the Clootie Well, the Prisoners’ Stone, Culloden House, the Battlefield, a local chuch with an incredible Clan Chief story… and so much more, then join us on our Virtual Tour – The Culloden Experience, when we will be going in-depth into the history of the wider area of Culloden and the lives of the people involved.
The video below has been speeded up so it lasts 2.50 minutes rather than 13 minutes.