A Travellerspoint blog

Day 14 - Invergordon (Highlands)

Culloden and Cawdor Castle

overcast 68 °F
View Judy & Jerry's British Isles Exploration on longjerr's travel map.

We looked forward to this Scottish Highlands stop as we had missed our HIghlands tour in Ullapool. Invergordon is near Inverness on the Eastern Scottish Coast well north of Edinburgh. Its recent growth was driven by the repair of offshore oil rigs, and we could see the tall looming yellow understructures built for new offshore wind turbines.

We admired the Scottish countryside as we traveled toward Culloden. The views of the countryside in many parts of the British Isles have been one of the blessings of this trip. Everything seems so orderly and pristine. There were many homes with solar panels on their roofs, as we have also seen elsewhere on the trip.

At Culloden, the Visitor's Center was exceptional, providing much detailed background. The 360 immersive experience of the battle itself was also impactful. As Outlander fans know, Culloden was the battle where the British army defeated the Highlanders to end the Jacobite uprising in 1746. After Mary, Queen of Scots was killed, Scotland and England had been united under James I, and confirmed in both Parliaments in 1707. The uprising was led by Charles II of the Stuarts, who claimed the Scottish throne and intended to throw the British out of Scotland.

There is not much to see of the battlefield, lines of red and blue flags showing where the British and Highlander battle lines were. Between is an open field. Jerry was reminded of the battlefield for Pickett's Charge in Gettysburg. The Scots had won every battle up to this point. Their strategy was to fire one volley, then drop their muskets and run like banshees toward their opponents to catch their opponents before they could reload. Their strength was hand to hand fighting. There was a demonstration of how the Highlanders were trained for this. However, the Duke of Cumberland had also prepared, training his troops for rapid reloading and providing them with bayonets to keep the Scots out of reach. His artillery was also loaded with grapeshot. The outcome was the massacre of the Scots by a modern army. There were 1500 Scots killed, compared with 50 redcoats. All captured or wounded Scots were executed as traitors.

This and other measures effectively eliminated the clans. The dead were buried in mass graves, with a stone marking the grave for each clan. Clan lords were stripped of their property. The tartans and kilts were banned. Highlanders were not allowed to possess weapons, and many prisoners were transported to Australia and the US.

Cawdor Castle was the setting for Shakespeare's Macbeth. The Thane of Cawdor (originally Caldor) was part of the Campbell clan. The tall tower was constructed in the 1300s, and the and the family has continued to live there since. It was nice to see a castle like this with the original furniture and not in ruin.

As this was a morning tour, we took advantage of the opportunity to relax in the afternoon.

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield

Memorial at Culloden

Memorial at Culloden

Stone Marking the Mass Grave for the Fraser Clan (for Outlander <br />Fans)

Stone Marking the Mass Grave for the Fraser Clan (for Outlander
Fans)

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle

Judy Entering Cawdor Castle

Judy Entering Cawdor Castle

Great Hall at Cawdor Castle

Great Hall at Cawdor Castle

Floral Gardens at Cawdor Castle

Floral Gardens at Cawdor Castle

Sunset off Scottish Coast (Leaving Invergordon)

Sunset off Scottish Coast (Leaving Invergordon)

Posted by longjerr 08:57 Archived in Scotland

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