This afternoon, I visited Dunkeld, a small town which sits in the centre of Scotland. The reason was to witness a march by the Atholl Highlanders, the only legal private army in Britain (and Europe), to commemorate the 200th anniversary of completion of the bridge over the River Tay at Dunkeld. There are a couple of issues of significance here, viz:

  1. As stated above, the Atholl Highlanders are a private army. They were originally authorised by Queen Victoria in 1839 and ‘belong’ to the Eleventh Duke of Atholl who has a castle nearby at Blair Atholl. The regiment is about 100 strong but has never seen active service. However, many of the regiment served with the Scottish horse in both World Wars.
  2. The bridge was designed by one of Britain’s leading engineers, Thomas Telford, originally for horse and cart traffic but today comfortably accommodates 40 ton trucks and its robustness is testimony to the skills of Telford and the builders.

Here is the regiment marching over the bridge.

Local ladies in period costume

Ladies with the bridge in background


Atholl Highlanders
Atholl Highlanders

Video of the Highlanders marching across the b ridge.

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