On This Day – 271 Years Ago – Battle of Culloden

Today 16th April 2017, marks the 271 years since the fateful day on Drumossie Moor when many of our highland ancestors met their end at the Battle of Culloden.

I feel it is only right that we take a moment to remember the fallen, hence this short post where I will share some photos and poetry on Culloden as a way of rememberance.

The featured image on this blog post is a memorial cairn at Culloden Battle field.

The following photo was taken at the Battle of Culloden site at Drumossie Moor, Inverness on the 270th anniversary last year.

Culloden eve of Battle 2016

Culloden 270th Anniversary 16/04/2016 – Gordon Bain Longhouse Photography

The poem, Culloden Moor was written by Alice MacDonnell of Keppoch at the end of the 19th century and sums up the feelings still evoked when you visit Culloden to this day.

Culloden Moor
(Seen in Autumn Rain)

Full of grief, the low winds sweep
O’er the sorrow-haunted ground;
Dark the woods where night rains weep,
Dark the hills that watch around.

Tell me, can the joys of spring
Ever make this sadness flee,
Make the woods with music ring,
And the streamlet laugh for glee?

When the summer moor is lit
With the pale fire of the broom,
And through green the shadows flit,
Still shall mirth give place to gloom?

Sad shall it be, though sun be shed
Golden bright on field and flood;
E’en the heather’s crimson red
Holds the memory of blood.

Here that broken, weary band
Met the ruthless foe’s array,
Where those moss-grown boulders stand,
On that dark and fatal day.

Like a phantom hope had fled,
Love to death was all in vain,
Vain, though heroes’ blood was shed,
And though hearts were broke in twain.

Many a voice has cursed the name
Time has into darkness thrust,
Cruelty his only fame
In forgetfulness and dust.

Noble dead that sleep below,
We your valour ne’er forget;
Soft the heroes’ rest who know
Hearts like theirs are beating yet.

Culloden Battle Anniversary 2013

Culloden on Anniversary of Battle 16/04/2013 – Gordon Bain Longhouse Photography

The photo above captures the blood red skys at Culloden at the anniverary a few years ago.

A Lament for Culloden by Rabbie burns tells the story from a lassies view.

Lament for Culloden by Robert Burns (1759-1796) 

The lovely lass o’ Inverness,
Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
For e’en and morn she cries, ‘Alas!’
And aye the saut tear blin’s her e’e:
‘Drumossie moor, Drumossie day,
A waefu’ day it was to me!
For there I lost my father dear,
My father dear and brethren three.

‘Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
Their graves are growing green to see;
And by them lies the dearest lad
That ever blest a woman’s e’e!
Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
A bluidy man I trow thou be;
For monie a heart thou hast made sair,
That ne’er did wrang to thine or thee.’

All of the accompanying photos to this post have been provided by Gordon Bain of Longhouse Photography and all copyright belongs to him.  You can view his work on facebook.

Finishing off another poem which describes the events.  It is a rather long one therefore I have added a link to it on another site rather than post the whole poem here.  The Battle of Culloden was written by William McGonnagle.

And finally a quote from another famous verse;

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

2 responses to “On This Day – 271 Years Ago – Battle of Culloden

  1. Good on you for your search. My research into my Scottish ancestors has been hampered by a maternal grandfather who refused to discuss anything before he arrived in Canada.
    BTW; You might add a ‘T’ to ‘Family Hisory, above, and another ‘O’ to ‘Facebok’, below.
    Scotland the Brae!


    • Thank you, I am getting lost in a mass of data and writing this helps clear my thoughts. I suppose if I an not just writing for myself, I really must learn to edit/proof read. Fancy a job?? Seriously thanks for pointing this out. This blog concentrates mainly on my paternal line as I have similar issues to you with the maternal line, can’t get enough recent info to get back in the records.


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