Friday, 16 March 2018

The Tears of Scotland

Fort George, Inverness. Built for defence against further uprisings such as fought at Culloden

      It was a cold winter's day when I visited Culloden Moor, near Inverness, Scotland. There was no place to shelter from the icy-cold wind that chafed my cheeks on this desolate landscape. 

    The hairs on the back of my neck bristled, my imagination caught up in the ghostly atmosphere. There was a continual feeling that the spirits of the two thousand who lost their lives here, were still roaming on this historic battlefield and burial ground. 

    I awaited the silence that surrounded me, to be broken by the sound of cannon fire, musket shot and the shout of charging Highlanders. But, not even birds can find a song to sing in this sacred place.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army were defeated here, April 16 1746, by the government's red coated forces, loyal to King George. A defeat that ended,  "The Young Pretender's" claim to the British throne.

    While, there will be no more blood spilled on this land, it is becoming a battlefield once again. A war of words and red tape is being used to fight against this historical area becoming a building site.

    The battle now being fought is between planners, builders, local government and those who believe we should honour our dead.

    It seems that builders want to disrespect the fact that this area contains war graves and plan to build 16 houses. Local government has suspended their decision until May approximately.

    We say to them, "Please let Scotland shed no more tears."

Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banished peace, thy laurels torn
Thy sons, for valour long renowned
Lie slaughtered on their native ground
Thy hospitable roofs no more
Invite the stranger to the door
In smoky ruins sunk they lie
The monuments of cruelty

    The Tears of Scotland by Tobias George Smollet (1721-!771) 

    Unfortunately, no Culloden pictures to insert.

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