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Battle Site (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Harlaw

Classification Battle Site (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Battle Of Harlaw

Canmore ID 18934

Site Number NJ72SE 6

NGR NJ 7518 2422

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Chapel Of Garioch
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ72SE 6.00 7518 2422

NJ72SE 6.01 7514 2407 Harlaw Monument

See also NJ72SW 134, and NJ72SE 1, NJ72SE 2, NJ72SE 9, NJ72SE 244.

(Name: NJ 7518 2422) Site of the Battle of Harlaw (NR) Between the Armies of Alexander, Earl of Mar, and Donald, Lord of the Isles AD 1411.

OS 6" map, Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1901)

The Battle of Harlaw in which Donald, Lord of the Isles, was defeated by the Earl of Mar, was fought on the 24th July, 1411.

Anon 1912.

The only ground evidence for the site of the battle is a modern monument at NJ 7514 2407 erected in 1911 by the Burgh of Aberdeen under Provost Adam Maitland to the memory of Provost Robert Davidson and the Burgesses of Aberdeen who fell at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411.

Visited by OS (RD) 6 March 1964.

There is no change to the existing record.

Information from RCAHMS (JRS), 2 April 2000.

This battlefield was included in a nation-wide study of key battle sites. A detailed gazetteer was created by The Battlefield Trust, which includes an historical overview of each site, detailed assessments of the action and its location and the number of troops involved, casualties, sources of information and an interpretation of the events and its impact on history. For more detail see the gazetteer and associated materials - MS 2522.

The battle was initially the result of a feudal dispute, but should be viewed in the context of growing conflict between the Highland and Lowland, complicated by the weakened royal authority due to King James I being imprisoned in England. The battle appears to have been a close run fight, with no obvious winner. Aberdeen was successfully defended and the HIghland force departed without causing significant destruction in the region.

G Foard, T Partida 2005


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