Scotlands History

Battle of Culloden

On 16 April 1746, on Drummossie Moor overlooking Inverness, a well supplied Hanoverian army led by the Duke of Cumberland (son of King George II) annihilated the much smaller army of Lord John Murray and the leader he mistrusted, Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

This was the bloodiest of all the Jacobite battles. It was also the last battle fought on British soil.

Charles Edward Stuart’s choice of rough, marshy ground was catastrophic, and the Jacobite swords and daggers were no match for the Hanoverian cannon and guns. More than a thousand Jacobites were killed and around 300 Hanoverians died. The battle itself was over in an hour. The bloody aftermath went on for weeks. 

One of the many myths of this event is that it was a Scottish versus English affair. In fact, far more Scots supported and fought on the Hanoverian side than on the Jacobite.

The National Trust for Scotland opened a state-of-the-art visitor centre at Culloden in December 2007. It includes an immersion theatre and interactive characters as well as artefacts found on Culloden Moor and a hand-held digital audio guide to the battlefield.

  • Photo of a bearded soldier in tartan on the battlefield
  • Row of red-coated soldiers firing muskets
  • Painting of men in tartan dress, charging forward holding swords and waving a Saltire
Click on the image to view a larger version.