Bench series: Culloden

Culloden bench
Culloden bench

After a family funeral in Inverness this summer, we made a very brief tour of the battlefield at Culloden. It suited our sombre mood. The bench above, with its Gaelic inscription, is dedicated as follows to Gordon Thom:

Dedication to Gordon Thom
Dedication to Gordon Thom

Around the bench were memorials to the fallen, on both sides.

Here the Chief of MacGillivrays fell
Here the Chief of the MacGillivrays fell
Clans MacGillivray, MacLean, MacLachlan - Atholl Highlanders
Clans MacGillivray, MacLean, MacLachlan – Atholl Highlanders
Mixed clans
Mixed clans
Field of the English
Field of the English

This is Leanach Cottage. A cannon ball is said to have been recovered from its turf wall more than a century ago.

Leanach Cottage
Leanach Cottage

I’m linking this post to Jude’s Bench Series which, for November, is looking for benches with a message.

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37 thoughts on “Bench series: Culloden

  1. VioletSky November 15, 2015 / 12:53

    This bench doesn’t look particularly comfortable. But then, nothing about Culloden looks comfortable.

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    • Anabel Marsh November 15, 2015 / 13:29

      No. It has a pervasive sense of sadness about it.

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  2. Pit November 15, 2015 / 14:17

    Hi Anabel,
    I agree with you about the sense of sadness around Culloden. That’s what is in my memory of a visit there long time ago.
    Have a great Sunday,
    Pit

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    • Anabel Marsh November 15, 2015 / 19:16

      Desolate is an apt word. Battlefields always make me feel that. So much waste of life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • anotherday2paradise November 15, 2015 / 20:15

        I agree with you. I remember going to Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana and seeing General Custer’s grave with the grasses waving in the breeze. That was also really desolate.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Heyjude November 15, 2015 / 15:10

    Battlefields are strange places. As others have mentioned, sombre, desolate, sad. Thinking of all those men slaughtered. For what? Now the whole planet seems to be a battlefield, and not only soldiers are being slaughtered. Aside from that your cottage photo is absolutely beautiful, I’d be tempted to crop out that tree on the left-hand side, but otherwise a perfect composition ­čÖé

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    • Anabel Marsh November 15, 2015 / 19:17

      Yes, it’s quite appropriate at the moment. Nothing is worth indiscriminate killing.

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  4. jazzfeathers November 15, 2015 / 17:06

    It’s true, there’s a sense of lonelyness on the battlefiled. But I like it that follen on both sides are remembered.

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  5. TanGental November 15, 2015 / 18:39

    We were there on a sunny, breezy day in June. As you say it is sad; spending time understanding the lead up and the tactics made the tour feel antiseptic until I stepped outside and realised how relatively small the area was and yet how huge and indiscriminate was the slaughter.

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    • Anabel Marsh November 15, 2015 / 19:14

      Sometimes they can overdo the information! We were terribly boorish, we just had half an hour so went straight outside and skipped the exhibition. (The good thing about having a membership card.) Last time we visited (almost 30 years ago) the visitor centre was tiny and you were hit more or less straight away by the bleakness.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Birgit November 15, 2015 / 22:50

    It looks so quiet there and yet such a battle happened eons ago. The little cottage looks homey to me-does someone live there?

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    • Anabel Marsh November 15, 2015 / 23:12

      It is quiet – eerily so. No, the cottage is part of the site, I don’t think it would be habitable.

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  7. lisadorenfest November 17, 2015 / 08:27

    The eerie quiet must have been deafening in such a place.

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  8. Nadine Feldman (@Nadine_Feldman) November 17, 2015 / 14:26

    I’m catching up on reading blogs this morning. It seems fitting to read this one given the tragic events in Paris a few days ago. It’s a solemn reminder that violence and sadness are nothing new in this world.

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    • Anabel Marsh November 17, 2015 / 15:03

      Yes, I had been going to publish it anyway but it does fit into the general sadness of 11 November, followed by Paris. It’s all equally hard to make sense of.

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  9. Alex Hurst November 20, 2015 / 02:37

    Beautiful place, though certainly somber. Reminds me a lot of the battlefields I’ve seen that are peppered all across the United States. Vast, slightly rolling fields, sometimes with livestock, but rarely.

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    • Anabel Marsh November 20, 2015 / 07:43

      Yes, I’ve visited a few Civil War battlefields and get the same haunted feeling especially when the landscape is much as it would have been. Manassass for example or the Sunken Road near Richmond. They stick in my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Hurst November 22, 2015 / 12:09

        For me, it would definitely be Custard’s Last Stand. What a long, low place. Places like that definitely tend to carry the scars of memory, even when it might not be known by the people passing through.

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  10. giselzitrone November 21, 2015 / 11:43

    Thank you ich habe ein ├ťberzetzungsbrogram da kann ich soweit alles lesen.W├╝nsche ein gutes week-end und alles Liebe Gislinde

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  11. rosemaylily2014 November 21, 2015 / 23:40

    Very moving series of photos Anabel. It looks a mournful and desolate place – beautiful in a haunting way!

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  12. Donna November 22, 2015 / 15:01

    Sorry about your loss. The desolation of this place is so fitting for a battlefield Memorial.

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  13. Lori L MacLaughlin December 5, 2015 / 19:47

    We walked the Culloden battlefield when we were there in 1995 and took photos of the MacLachlan stones we found. My late husband’s family descends from the MacLachlan clan.

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