From the Culloden Viaduct to the Culloden House

So after a tour of the Culloden Battlefield and a quick stop by the Clava Cairns, we went to a little, unexpected detour around the farmlands to check out a native creature that, I think, should’ve been the official Scottish mascot. But I’ll get to that later.

The detour took us to one pretty cool looking viaduct that I’m sure is completely ordinary to the locals, but for us, it’s something new. Kinda like the Bixby Bridge in California. Shiny and new to tourists, but very common to the locals… Well, actually scratch that. The Bixby Bridge is pretty cool.

After the drive, we changed and headed to a luxury hotel, the Culloden House, for dinner. I know it looked more like a late lunch, but it was actually almost 9 PM when we got there and didn’t leave until after 10 PM. The sun sets after 10 PM.

Anyway, the property  was owned by the Mackintoshes and the Edmonstones and later sold to the Forbes family. The house, itself, is over 200 years old, supposedly haunted by ghosts from the Jacobite battles. After dinner, we took an impromptu tour of the house with one of the gentlemen working there, heading to the basement where all the laundry, linens and food were stored. There, we found bits of the past still lingering about: tiny windows used for shooting enemies outside, damages caused by bullet holes, hooks attached to the ceiling used for hanging meats and humans. Interesting, morbid stuff.

Oh, I should also mention the bagpiper. Looked spiffy and all in his getup, but after years of going to a school with a bagpipe club, I’ve heard better. That was the strangest version of “Amazing Grace” I’ve ever heard.



Culloden Battlefield

There wasn’t much to see in the Culloden Battlefield, but a marshy field (although coming from the dry parts of California, I did had an appreciation for the landscape). The site was not quite like the other sites we’ve gone to. It is, after all, a historical landmark that is more similar to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania rather than the castles and other touristy places we’d gone to.

The final battle of the Jacobite Rising took place here in 1746. If you are unfamiliar with the Jacobite Rising like I was, it was basically an uprising in which a group of Irish, English and Scottish people known as the Jacobites rebelled against the British government in hopes of returning the throne to James VII of Scotland, a Roman Catholic king from the House of Stuart. In this case, the Jacobite Rising of 1745 was instigated by Charles Edward Stuart, the grandson of James VII and the Jacobite army consisted mostly of Highlanders. They were defeated in a final battle here in Culloden. Markers inscribed with the names of the fallen clans can be found in the fields, next to the memorial tower. The red flags, below, marked where the English army lined up.

It is more of a memorial, hence why I didn’t take too many shots.