New map charts Scotland's clan battlefields over 600 years

A new map charts the battlefields where clans fought on Scottish soil from the 12th Century.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 11:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:20 pm
The clan battlefield map charts conflicts on Scottish soil between the 12th and 18th centuries. PIC: Contributed.

The interactive guide starts with the Battle of Stracathro in Angus in 1130 and ends with the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the last pitched battle fought in Britain.

Battles can be searched by the clans which took part with a section focussing on those linked to Outlander, the time travel fantasy set around the 1745 Jacobite uprising.

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Detail from the interactive map produced by tartan manufacturers Lochcarron of Scotland.

The map has been produced by tartan manufacturers Lochcarron of Scotland and follows a similar project to compile a detailed geographical guide to Scotland’s clans. This was done in collaboration with present day chiefs across the country.

Tamara Valentina from Lochcarron said: “The Clan Battlefield Map of Scotland includes over 79 clan battles from the beginning of the 12th to the 18th century.

“The main objective of the map to create a resource highlighting the rich history Scotland’s clan to be shared across the world.”

Detail from the interactive map produced by tartan manufacturers Lochcarron of Scotland.

The Battle of the Pass of Brander in 1308 is one of the earliest battles mapped in the document.

It details the victory of Robert the Bruce’s men over forces led by John MacDougall of Lorn, the kinsmen of John Comyn, who had decimated Bruce’s men two years earlier at the Battle of Dalrigh.

The win gave Robert the Bruce the platform to face the English, no longer concerned with the internal Scottish threat.

The Wars of Independence are tracked throughout the map as well as the ongoing powerplay between Scotland’s clans.

The Battle of Harlaw in 1411, fought as Lords of the Isles sought to seize mainland territory, is also included.

The perhaps lesser-known feud of Battle of the Champions, which dates to 1478 or 1464, is also documented.

It was a bloody climax, staged at St Tears Chapel north of present-day Wick Airport, of a feud between Clan Gunn and Clan Keith.

After much quarrelling and bloody, indecisive skirmishes, both sides decided upon the trial by combat.

The Keiths, however, did not live up to the agreement, arriving with two men upon each horse, their force double that of the Gunns. They burst into the chapel and slew all of the Gunns, but not without suffering heavy losses.

Five hundred years later to the day, on 28th July 1978, Clan Gunn and Keith signed an amicable treaty to mark the end of the feud.

The “Bond and Covenant of Friendship” signed on the site is celebrated at the Highland games and other gatherings by members of the clans to this day.

Outlander fans will be interested in several bouts of clan warfare, including the 1544 Battle of the Shirts at Laggan.

Lord Lovat led 300 men from Clan Fraser of Lovat — assisted by members of Clan Grant — against an alliance of Clan Macdonald of Clanranald and Clan Cameron, led by John of Moidart.

Tradition states the battle earned its name given it was fought on a day of such extreme heat that the clansmen shed their plaids, fighting in only their shirts.

Motivation for the battle was the disputed chiefship of Clan Macdonald of Clanranald.

Of the 800 men said to have fought that day, only 13 survived — just five of them Lovat’s men.

Lovat and his son and heir were killed.