15 October 2020
Explore the history of the Jacobites and their fight for the throne with our round-up of five top Jacobite attractions in Scotland, including Holyrood Palace, Castle Doune, and Castle Fraser.
Please check before travelling as some attractions may be closed or operating on reduced opening hours due to Coronavirus restrictions.
Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire
This large tower house in Aberdeenshire is cared for by National Trust for Scotland and its historic core dates back to the 1450s. This was the home of the Fraser family for more than 400 years and visitors can see portraits and mementoes collected by family members over the centuries. The Jacobite association comes from Charles, 4th Lord Fraser, who died in 1716 escaping from government troops, and clan chief Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat who was executed in 1747 for his support of the Jacobite cause.
The castle holds regular re-enactments during the summer months depicting Jacobite battles.
Sauchen, Inverurie AB51 7LD; website.
In April 1746, the Jacobite army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart went into battle against the Duke of Cumberland and his redcoats at Culloden, close Inverness. In less than an hour around 1,600 men were killed, 1,500 of them Jacobites.
You can visit the battlefield and its award-winning visitor centre all year-round and learn more about the battle, the lead up to this military engagement, and the aftermath for the Jacobites. The battlefield is an atmospheric place and visitors can see 18th-century Leanach Cottage, a picturesque historic building crafted using heather from the battlefield.
Culloden Moor, Inverness IV2 5EU; website.
Doune Castle, Stirlingshire
A medieval stronghold cared for by Historic Environment Scotland, once the seat of Robert Stewart, 1st earl of Albany and Scotland’s governor from 1386. Doune became a royal castle after the death of Robert’s son Murdoch, who was executed in 1424.
The castle’s Jacobite links come from the 1745 Rising, when it was occupied by Prince Charles Edward Stuart and his men, then subsequently used a prison for government troops captured at the Battle of Falkirk.
The castle is also Castle Leoch in the Outlander time travel TV series based on the Jacobite-era time travel novels by Diana Gabaldon.
Castle Hill, Doune FK16 6EA; website.
Glenfinnan Monument, Highlands
This striking monument stands at Loch Shiel and is a tribute to those who fought in the Jacobite risings. It was built in 1815 and stands eighteen metres high, with the statue of a kilted Highlander at the top. Visitors can climb to the top for views over the loch and countryside beyond.
The nearby visitor centre tells the story of the Jacobite risings and in particular that of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart) and the battle of Culloden of 1745.
Lochaber, Highlands PH37 4LT; website.
Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh
The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh was the high profile location where, in 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart set up court for six weeks, having arrived in Scotland to claim the throne for his father James Francis Edward Stuart.
Visitors should be sure to see the Great Gallery, which was used by the prince during his visit as an audience chamber and a location for grand balls for supporters. He dined in the ante-chamber watched by his admirers, although this glamour would soon fade as the prince left here in October of 1745, shortly before defeat at the battle of Culloden in April of the following year.
Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX; website.