Culloden: field of sorrow

Joanne Woolf shares her thoughts, feelings and photos of her poignant visit to the battlefield of Culloden.

The Hazel Tree

culloden-jw-jan-2017-25I don’t think I’ve ever walked on a battlefield before.  That might explain why Culloden made such an impression on me when we went there the other day.

It was the perfect morning.  Frost was white in the hollows and there was not a cloud in the sky.   Yet the whole place was hushed, and I see now why they say that birds don’t sing here.  It isn’t, as I rather cynically thought, that they don’t have many trees to sit in.  It’s something else.

In 1746, this was the scene of the last hand-to-hand battle fought on British soil.   Jacobite forces loyal to Prince Charles Edward Stuart faced the British government’s army on April 16th, a spring morning when they would all have been better off tending to their cattle or sowing crops or making repairs to house and farmstead.  Returning from exile, Charles had raised his banner in…

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