The grim aftermath of Culloden
We recently took a wee stroll around the historic churchyard of the Old High Church in Inverness, to recount a very grim episode which took place following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Army at the Battle of Culloden.
Due to the large number of Jacobite prisoners that were rounded up in the hours after the battle, the Redcoat Government Army soon found it difficult to house them all in and around the town. Many were locked in the church tower or were guarded in the cemetery, which surrounds this beautiful ancient church.
Straight across the River Ness from this locations, is the white mansion house of Balnain, which was requisitioned by the British Army to act as a field hospital to treat the wounded Redcoat soldiers.
It was not long after they arrived in the churchyard, that some of the Jacobite prisoners realised that their imprisonment would not be a lengthy one and that they were in the midst of living out their final moments...
One by one, the Jacobite prisoners that were held in the tower were led out from the blue door here and made to stand in front of a now assembled British firing squad. Shots rang out from this now peaceful place as prisoner after prisoner was gunned down in front of the tower.
If you look closely at the photo above ( © Outlandish Journeys) you can still make out the musket ball impacts from these executions on the right hand side of the archway.
For those that were wounded or too weak to stand, an even grimmer end awaited them...
The condemned Jacobites were made to sit with their backs against a small grave stone as a Redcoat solider marched back several paces to a nearby, equally small gravestone. Using the cut groove in the gravestone, the Redcoats steadied their muskets and fired on the wounded Jacobite prisoners. These gravestones can still be seen in the churchyard today.
Although this churchyard is visited by locals and tourists alike, I often wonder how many of them know what happened here in the Spring of 1746? Despite its peace and tranquility now, it is chilling to stand over these now silent stones and shudder at the thought of what occurred here over 270 years ago.
You can view the entire video of our journey through the churchyard here on our YouTube Channel:
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