This is where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobites were soundly defeated by the king’s forces. The museum has an ‘immersion room’ that really gives a sense of what the fighting was like. You stand in the middle of the room while floor to ceiling 3D screens on all four sides of the room play battle scenes with sound effects. When cannons fire on one side, men drop on the other.
One table outside the main exhibit area has a small display of arms and armor, and this is the only place you can touch anything or take photos. An attendant explains the weapons and shows people how to use them. I was decked out with a shield and sword, as well as a knife behind the shield.
There are paths to follow through the battlefield, and you can rent an audio guide to take with you. The museum shop has nice books for sale if you want even more information.
They don't allow photos in the museum.
Hours in spring and summer are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Winter hours are 10-4. Admission - £10
Site of the last battle to have taken place on the British mainland, in 1746.
The event is all part of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-6, which came close to overturning the government of the day. Mostly Scots v English, but not as clear cut as that. Of course France was supporting the Scots.
In summary, Bonny Prince Charlie was the Scottish "king in exile" and had a claim to the British throne. With French support he returned to Scotland and raised an army. It took over Scotland without much trouble, and then the northern half of England.
In typical Scottish style, they had exceeded the limits of their ambition (or maybe they just didn't like the English beer), and retreated back to Scotland. The English regrouped and "invaded" Scotland. Culloden was the final battle, and the Jacobites were routed. Charlie escaped back to Rome and became a full time alcoholic.
The National Trust for Scotland (with financial support frae a' the airts) has built an impressive visitor centre - opened in 2007 - at the battlefield, before which it was just a few gravestones on a very windy moor.
My 14 year old was fascinated by the whole thing, to the point where I felt like chivvying him along a bit. I resisted, chilled out and let him take it all in.
MOST IMPORTANTLY...we learned a little of the role of the Taylors (my family name) that day - in the second line of the Jacobites (yeah...rebellious even then) with the Duke of Perth's troops. We also know that at least one Taylor died there.
The Well of the Dead is situated close to where the fighting was heaviest. Here, among several other corpses, was found the body of Alexander Macgillivray of Dunmaglass, who led the Clan Chattan regiment in the Prince's army.
Clan Chatten, who numbered 350, lost, it is believed, more heavily than any other regiment. All the officers were killed, except three, and one of these was wounded. Dunmaglass, who died stretching out for water at a spring, now know as the Well of the Dead, was engaged to a young lady, Elizabeth Campbell of Clunas, who died broken-hearted two years after the battle.
On the Scottish side of the battlefield you can find the gravestones honouring the individual clans that took part and died in the battle. Again very poignant and much visited, the graves frequently still have fresh flowers.
The site also includes the restored Leanach Cottage, which originally survived the battle around it. Here, you can relive the atmosphere of the day, and see a Living History presentation – A Day Like No Other – which runs throughout the summer.
The Battle of Culloden was fought on flat marshy moorland. Here an army of some 4,500 Jacobites, tired, hungry and ill-equipped met a Government force of 9,000 strong, well fed and rested troops under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, George His younger son.
This was the last battle pitched by a foreign force fought on British soil, and was over in less than an hour. Out gunned and out fought by the better trained troops of the Government army, the Jacobites were utterly defeated.
They lost some 1,500 men during the battle and in the atrocities that followed which so shamed the Government, that even today, no British Regiment bears Culloden as a battle honour. This compares with 30 dead for Cumberland's army.
The site has been restored to something approaching its state on that fateful day, April 16, 1746 and on a still Spring day, it still speaks eloquently but silently of the clansmen who died for the Jacobite cause. The site is now owned in perpetuity for the nation by the National Trust for Scotland. This 180-acre piece of boggy ground has become a place of pilgrimage for the many millions of Scots, both in Scotland as well as those scattered abroad.
Admission Charge - Adults £5.00
Among the tourist attractions at the battlefield site is a reconstruction of a 'black house', the old dwellings from the time of the battle.Houses were simple usually one room for the family and for the animals.
The battlefield of Culloden is not far from Inverness and is worth visiting. The visiters centre is really interesting and a walk through the battlefield with its informative signs is a must. It gives a very good impressive of what happened that day.
as this internet site gives a fantastic overview of the history of the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the last battle on Brittish soil.
This picture is "The Battle of Culloden" by Mark Churms
An important battle happened in Culloden around 1746. Prince Charles (not the one that is living in Buckingham palace) wanted to reclaim his country lost by his father and a battle was planned against the Jacobites, living on the present lands. The battle was very unfair as Prince Charles's troops were ill prepared, hungry and poorly led and over 1000 died in that bloody battle and ensuied a massacre of the Highlanders, women and children. It was estimated at 4000+death on that account. This was the last battle on English soil.
The visitor center has done a good job at explaining exactly what happened on that day and also displays a lot of information about the life of the highlanders at that time. A very well made movie is also played, and well recommended. The visit of the fields make more sense after that.
A few people I have met did find the visit daunting and boring. You have to be in the right mind and try to understand what happened, so what you see out there is just not a plain field but what seemed to be pieces of history that can't be forgotten.
This is avery interesting place, however make sure the guides are working before you go. Without someone to explain everything it is just a field with signposts in it. There are exhibits and a film to tell you about the history around the battle of Culloden, but none of them get the atmosphere in the way the guides do. Dressed in the costume of the time, they walk you around the battle field and give yu a blow by blow account of the battle. A must if you are intersted in the history of Scotland as this battle was a turning point in their history and explains a lot of the inbred dislike the Scots have for the English.
An essential stop on the Scottish history tour. Museum and movie are well done. Take tour guide for battlefield as they add a great deal and it is really nothing more than an open field without them.
The battlefied site has a large stone cairn which remembers the brave Scots who dies in the battle of 1746. It is well visited by people from around the world and always has fresh flowers.