Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Scottish battlefields: Inventory recognises 39 historic sites

Thirty-nine sites of violent clashes on Scottish soil have been officially recognised in Scotland's Inventory of Historic Battlefields.

The database has been put together by Historic Scotland to give greater protection to the sites and to act as a guide to planning authorities.

It includes famous battles such as Bannockburn, Culloden and Killiecrankie.

Less well known Alford and Skirmish Hill also feature.

Work started on the inventory about four years ago with the public consulted on battlefields suggested for inclusion.

Dunbar Castle as it is today

Dunbar Castle as it is today

The 39 scenes of conflicts - selected from a list of 50 - were added to the database in three phases of consultation and research.

These sites preserve the last traces of historical events that shaped the nation of Scotland
Dr Iain Banks, Centre for Battlefield Archaeology

The most recent phase placed 11 sites in the inventory and included:

  • Dunbar I (1296) in East Lothian, which marked the first battle of the Scottish Wars of Independence
  • Dunkeld (1689) in Perth and Kinross saw house-to-house fighting between Jacobite and government forces
  • Glenlivet (1595) in Moray pitted forces loyal to the 1st Marquis of Huntly and 9th Earl of Erroll against those of the 7th Earl of Argyll
  • Loudoun Hill (1307) in East Ayrshire marked one of Robert the Bruce's first victories over English troops
  • Skirmish Hill (1526) was an effort by Walter Scott of Buccleugh and 600 Borderers on horseback to free the young King James V from the custody and influence of the Archibald Douglas, the Earl of Angus.

Historic Scotland said more battlefields could be added at later dates.

Dunkeld and Loudoun Hill

Dunkeld and Loudoun Hill

Added: 16 Dec 2012 Updated: 08 Dec 2014
See also: more info
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