Glenfinnan Monument at Loch Shiel, Scotland.

This evening, I am posting information on the Glenfinnan Monument which is located at the head of Loch Shiel, seventeen miles west of Fort William on the A830 in the Scottish Highlands.

The tower dates from 1815 but it’s existence is attributable to two major developments in Scottish history, one direct and one indirect:

→In 1688 King James VII (Scotland) and II (England) was, effectively, expelled from Britain for his increasing pro-Catholic leaning and replaced by the Protestant, William of Orange. James went into exile in France. In subsequent years both he and his son made unsuccessful attempts to reclaim the thrones by military force.

→In 1745, James’s grandson, Charles Edward Stuart ( aka ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) decided to embark on another military invasion to reclaim the thrones. This was nominally backed by the French but in reality Charles had negligible tangible resources. His first landing was on the shore of the small Hebridean island of Eriskay on July 23rd from where he moved on to  Arisaig on the northern shore of Loch nan Uamh (on the mainland) where he stayed for one week during which time he solicited support from the local clan chieftains. Mid- morning on  August 12th, Charles arrived by boat at Glenfinnan. By late afternoon 1200 Camerons and MacDonalds had arrived following which Charles raised his standard, his military campaign was underway. After initial successes, the campaign ended in defeat at the Battle of Culloden  in 1746 following which Charles escaped to France where he remained in exile.

The monument is situated in the approximate location of Charles’ landing on August 12th, 1745. It is possible to climb up the interior of the monument and benefit from the stunning views of Loch Shiel and the local landscape, including the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The statue which sits atop the monument represents a Scottish soldier, not Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Visitor at Glenfinnan Monument viewing platform.

Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel landscape

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