Monday, September 2, 2013

My First Scottish Adventure: Monuments and Burials

Read last week's Scottish Adventure post: Castles and Creatures
The Shores of Loch Shiel - photo by MK
I left the inn early one morning just so that I could drive down to Loch Shiel and Glencoe - Loch Shiel being where the Highlander (Hollywood's version) was born. And since I have a great fondness for the Highlander, I wasn't going to visit Scotland without paying homage to him. I actually had no idea of the area's true history and found myself interested to know more about the Glenfinnan Monument.

Glenfinnan Monument - photo by MK
The Glenfinnan Monument situated here the head of Loch Shiel was erected in 1815 to mark the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") raised his standard, at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. (Wikipedia).

And just across from the loch is the bridge that can been seen in the Harry Potter movies. Not exactly historical, but fun just the same.  

Photo by MK
I also visited the Culloden battlefield and monument. The Battle of Culloden (Scottish Gaelic: Blàr Chùil Lodair) was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Taking place on 16 April 1746, the battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government. (Wikipedia)

Today, there is a visitor's center, and on the battlefield is a 20 feet (6.1 m) tall memorial cairn (the monument pictured below), erected by Duncan Forbes in 1881.

Culloden Monument - photo by MK
Another bit of a drive I took was to Clava Cairns, an ancient bronze age burial site. The Clava cairn is a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of 3 cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, to the east of Inverness in Scotland. (Wikipedia).

Photo by MK
There was a chilling atmosphere within the chamber - photo by MK
Then there was the Commando Monument. The Commando Memorial is a monument in Scotland, dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge village, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle. Unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother, it has become one of Scotland's best-known monuments, both as a war memorial and as a tourist attraction offering views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mòr. (Wikipedia)

I was honored to have spoken with two veterans while at Tigh na Sgiath. 

The Commando Memorial (and a stray pup) - Photo by MK
Regardless that I borrowed facts from online, History is a great love of mine, and a fascination that I continue to enjoy. I delved into a bit of history like reading the biography of Mary Queen of Scots on the flight out. I also have a great appreciation for those who remember those who fought for and walked the land before.

Until Next Time!

Seven days is not enough time to truly appreciate all Scotland has to offer. My next holiday over there will include time spent on the northern islands and hopefully a visit to Hadrian's Wall and Caithness.

No matter your Scotland holiday plans, remember not to try and see everything--see what you can and enjoy it. There's so much to see and do, so save some for the return trip. 


  1. I loved the pictures and information . Thank you. Deb P

    1. Thanks, Deb. I'm just anxious to return, especially after writing these posts.