277th anniversary of Battle of Culloden to be marked by in-person and online events

29 March 2023
This April, people from across the world will come together with the National Trust for Scotland to mark the 277th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden with a series of events.

For those who cannot attend in person, there will content online as well, including a virtual tour of the battlefield.

The anniversary weekend, on 14-16 April, will include the annual commemoration service led by the Gaelic Society of Inverness at the memorial cairn. The services first took place at the memorial cairn in 1925 and have continued, in one form or another, to this day. This year’s service, at 11am on 15 April, will include wreaths being laid, and a piper.

The Battle of Culloden

The Battle of Culloden, which took place on 16 April 1746, was part of a civil war that would decide the ruler of Great Britain and ultimately have a global impact. It saw over 1500 lives lost in the space of an hour. The anniversary service and commemoration events organised by National Trust for Scotland this year will bring people together in-person and online to commemorate the fallen on both the Jacobite and Government sides.


Gail Cleaver, Operations Manager for the National Trust for Scotland’s Culloden Cluster, commented: “Culloden is a powerful and evocative historic site, and the story of the battle and its aftermath have global relevance and interest. We look forward to welcoming our visitors to the site for our commemoration weekend and exploring the story of Culloden together – mindful not just of the events and legacies of the battle, but of the impacts of war and civil war on the lives of people around the world today.”

The events planned for this year’s commemoration will include in-person seminars, livestreams and a digital tour of the site, in addition to the Gaelic Society of Inverness service. They include the launch of an exhibition, Culloden Memories, which has seen people from all over the world sending in their memories, photographs, and mementos of the site and will cover the social history of the battlefield since 1746.

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Other events and livestreams running across the commemoration weekend will include:

  • Keynote lecture with National Trust for Scotland’s Head of Archaeology Derek Alexander and historian Dr Darren Layne on Landscapes, Legacies and Traitors, including research on turncoats and new evidence from recent archaeological digs at Culloden.
  • Leading Jacobite scholars from Scotland, Canada and the United States of America , including Professor Murray Pittock of the University of Glasgow, discussing the  diaspora after Culloden and the legacy of the Jacobite rising.
  • An immersive virtual visit to the battlefield to ‘walk’ around Culloden Moor

Gail continued: “We welcome the growing interest in Culloden and its stories, and look forward to extending people’s knowledge of and sense of engagement with the battle, the events that preceded and followed it, and people’s memories of it over the course of our commemoration events on 14-16 April. As at all times of year, we would ask all visitors to the commemoration service events to show respect to the site, and in particular to the graves area of the battlefield, remembering that over 1500 people lost their lives here.

“We will ask all visitors to the commemoration to help us care for this special place, by giving space to areas that show signs of high footfall or damage. We’re grateful for people’s support and co-operation in this, as well as for the support from National Trust for Scotland members, donors and visitors. This is vital in enabling us to care for Culloden and our other special places in support of our conservation and engagement objectives and our vision of nature, beauty and heritage for everyone.”

For more information about the Culloden 277th anniversary events and speakers, and to book your place, you can visit the event page.

Read Dr Darren Layne's article on the brutality of Jacobite warfare in the May/June issue of History Scotland - available to pre-order here