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Battle Of Killiecrankie

Battle Site (17th Century), Buckle(S) (Post Medieval), Horseshoe(S) (Post Medieval), Musket Ball(S) (Post Medieval)

Site Name Battle Of Killiecrankie

Classification Battle Site (17th Century), Buckle(S) (Post Medieval), Horseshoe(S) (Post Medieval), Musket Ball(S) (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Pass Of Killiecrankie

Canmore ID 26453

Site Number NN96SW 7

NGR NN 9057 6385

NGR Description Centred NN 9057 6385

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Moulin
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN96SW 7 centred 9057 6385

See also NN96SW 3.

For visitor centre at NN 9171 6267, see NN96SW 49.

(NN 908 632) Site of the Battle of Killiecrankie (NAT) (AD 1689) (NAT)

OS 6" map (1900)

(Area: NN 905 638) The Battle of Killiecrankie took place on the 27th July 1689 between government forces under the command of Maj-Gen Mackay and Jacobite forces under John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount of Dundee, on behalf of James VII.

The centre of the actual site of the battle is found on a line drawn from Lettoch direct through Low Mains to Aldclune.

The battle resulted in Mackay's defeat. Dundee was killed and is buried at Blair Church (NN86NE 1).

C S Terry 1905

Local enquiries favour the site centred at NN 9057 6385 and not the OS site.

Visited by OS (RD) 28 March 1968

(Name: NN 906 638) Battle of Killiecrankie (NR) 27th July 1689 (NAT)

OS 1:10000 map (1977)

Brander's description of the battle agrees with Terry, and the OS

siting above.

M Brander 1975

The battle is also described by Prentice. Though the Pass of Killiecrankie is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the battle site falls on private property.

R Prentice 1976.

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, see MS 2522).

G Foard and T Partida 2005


Metal Detector Survey (12 August 2015 - 13 October 2015)

A metal detecting survey was carried out by GUARD Archaeology Limited in collaboration with the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, University of Glasgow, at the perceived location of Killiecrankie Battlefield to the south of Blair Atholl, Moulin Parish, Perthshire. The work was carried out for Jacobs UK Limited on behalf of Transport Scotland to inform the cultural heritage input into the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Stage 2 Assessment for the Killiecrankie to Pitagowan project. The survey focused on a linear stretch of land to the north and south of the existing A9 road comprising the Battlefield site. Investigations were carried out with the assistance of metal detecting volunteers from Detecting Scotland (DS) and Scottish Artefact Recovery Group (SARG). Significant finds included 41 musket/carbine/pistol balls, six copper alloy buttons, two buckles, four horse shoe and horseshoe fragments, several fragments of a copper alloy bangle, a copper alloy pendant, a copper alloy harness boss and a part of the support for a sword belt.

Information from Oasis (guardarc1-221452) 5 October 2016

Watching Brief (19 August 2016 - 2 November 2016)

Alder Archaeology conducted a watching brief on engineering test pits being excavated between Killiecrankie and Pitagowan during preliminary ground investigation as part of a programme to widen the A9 road. This corridor included part of the battlefield of Killiecrankie (27th July 1689). No features of archaeological interest were exposed in any of the pits monitored and no mitigation is recommended.

Information from Alder Archaeology Ltd

Geophysical Survey (4 June 2018 - 29 June 2018)

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd undertook a programme of additional geophysical (magnetometer) survey, Metal detecting survey and trial trenching, covering approximately 8 hectares at Killicrankie in response to a request from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) that additional investigations are undertaken to inform their understanding of the potential impacts of the A9 Dualling Programme: Killiecrankie to Glen Garry on the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie (Ref BLT12), fought on the 27th July 1689. The additional surveys are located either side of the existing A9 and on either side of Urrard House, which is thought to have been at the core of the fighting. The Geophysical survey has not identified any anomalies of definite archaeological potential with the magnetic datasets mainly identifying anomalies consistent with near-surface geological variation. A single high magnitude anomaly has been identified 230m east of Urrard House and interpreted tentatively as a possible large pit. A total of 33 of the 1,432 finds retrieved by the archaeological metal detecting survey possibly relate to the 17th century battle and these comprise lead shot, impacted lead shot, buckles and horseshoes. The trial trenching survey targeted on geophysical anomalies encountered no archaeological features.

Information from Headland Archaeology (O. Vansassenbrouck) 2018

OASIS ID: headland5-322778


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