"The site has national and international importance, not only Scottish. It is one of the few places that openly speaks about the horrifying effects of the Highland Clearances that affect Scottish culture to this very day."
Photo credit above: BBC, GSDC admins and members at October 13 protest Note: to read articles below, click on date/headline live link
Watch the new 30 minute film produced by the Historian's Council on Culloden and GSDC member, Deborah Dennison, which takes you through the facts of the battle and the struggle to stop development activities on the battlefield in recent years.
Map of the Battle of Culloden provided by The Historians Council on Culloden
September 17 . . . The Scotsman Luxury home plan for Culloden Battlefield approved by councillors Councillor Andrew Jarvie (Conservative), of Inverness South ward, told the meeting: "The position of Historic Environment Scotland and National Trust for Scotland is completely inadequate. "They have taken into account only the national policy - there is no reference whatsoever to the Culloden Muir Conservation Area. They have completely missed out the policy for development in this area.
September 17 . . . Inverness Courier Culloden home bid sparks anger THE National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have been slammed over not objecting to a large house to be built “quite literally over the graves of fallen clansmen” at Culloden. That is after a planning application was lodged to turn an old barn at Culchunaig into a “sprawling, two storey, large, modern luxury villa with a metal seamed roof.” The application goes before Highland Council’s south planning applications committee today.
The Scotsman . . . September 13, 2019 Anger as luxury home on historic Culloden Battlefield backed by officials Plans to build a luxury home within the historic boundary of Culloden Battlefield have been backed by officials with historians describing the development as a appalling intrusion of a national war grave. Planners at Highland Council said the steading conversion at Culchunaig, which will feature a hot tub, zen garden, fire pit and gaming and chill out zone, could be built subject to conditions.
Press and Journal . . . September 13, 2019 Row brews over steading conversion on Culloden Moor The Culchuinaig, Westhill, is within both the Culloden Moor Conservation Area and the Inventory of Historic Battlefields area. Applicant Mark Hornby said he grew up in the area, currently lives there and wants to convert the steading into a home for his family. He said: “We had planning consent four years ago and that has just expired, so this is a renewal with some design alterations. We feel it’s a sympathetic conversion of an existing building with little or no impact on the surrounding environment.” The proposals have sparked anger among groups endeavouring to protect areas involved in the battle of Culloden from creeping development. The Historian’s Council on Culloden (HCC), formed in 2017 to research Culloden battle action which occurred on ground outside the current National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property, says the area contains far too much critical information and remains of the battle and its immediate aftermath to allow its destruction.
BBC News . . . August 21, 2019 Traditional plants tell Battle of Culloden story Traditional Scottish plants are being used to tell the story of one the country's most famous battles. Heather, yarrow and willow are being planted on Culloden Battlefield near Inverness over the summer as part of a project exploring the significance of the plants. Some were used for medicinal purposes in the 18th century. And many of the plants would have had links with the clans that became embroiled in the 1746 battle.
It's OFFICIAL!! Treetops holiday park application 18/01399/FUL (Change of use from equestrian centre to holiday, leisure and hospitality facilities including 13 lodges, cafe/shop, reception, laundry and restaurant). REFUSED by Highland Council.
The Scotsman . . . May 10, 2019 Victory declared as Culloden holiday park plan is refused The site sits around a mile north of visitor attraction managed by National Trust for Scotland but falls within the eastern edge of the greater battlefield and the Culloden Muir Conservation Area, which was drawn up in 2015 to protect the sensitive area. More than 100 objections were lodged against the plans with a campaign against development in the historic landscape attracting support from around the world. Highland Council planning officers have now refused the plans, primarily given the holiday park's impact on surrounding woodland and the natural environment.
"If it secures World Heritage Status, Culloden would join six other elite historic sites in Scotland - The Antonine Wall, Heart of Neolithic Orkney, New Lanark, Old and New Town of Edinburgh, St Kilda and the Forth Bridge. In an interview with the Inverness Courier to mark the 273rd anniversary of the battle, Mr Curtis-Machin of the NTS, said it could be the only “sure fire way” of halting development in the future."
World Heritage status affords designated sites legal protection from destruction in warfare under the Geneva Convention. But on a more practical level Unesco claims it also helps create a climate of assumption against development in and around designated sites. As part of a statement on the accreditation criteria it says: “Once a country signs the World Heritage Convention and has sites inscribed on the World Heritage List the resulting prestige often helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation. Greater awareness leads to a general rise in the level of protection and conservation given to heritage projects.”
This is what 72,000 signatures on our petition looks like!
This petition is addressed to David Fraser Sutherland, Kirkwood Homes Ltd. and Historic Environment Scotland
The Admin and members of GSDC, and all who sign this petition are very concerned that this land will disappear under houses and pavements; thus creating an irreparable scar on Culloden Moor and ultimately will generate disrespect towards those who died and lie buried under its unforgiving moorland. The building of 16 luxury houses at Viewhill farm would convert the existing agricultural land use to suburban, subdivided parcels. Probable widening and extensions of roads accessing this property do not comply with the Culloden Muir Conservation Area. If allowed, this development will affect the area in a dramatic, negative way. Increased traffic, street lighting, issues with drainage and unsightly rooflines, and increased residential noise will greatly affect the Battlefield experience. The area will lose its ability to convey a sense of historical and cultural significance, as a memorial, in which to sit and contemplate, as a place of connection for millions of people around the world.
Petition letter to David Sutherland, Directors at Kirkwood Homes Ltd and Historic Environment Scotland ". . . We feel, especially with all the media and public interest we are generating, that taking up such a course could potentially bring you great acclaim and honours. If you were to donate the land to the National Trust for Scotland, or another charity of equal standing, we assure you that we would make as much of that story, as we have done with the potential desecration of the land by building houses on it."
Map created by Historic Scotland to indicate the area of historical importance at Culloden Battlefield. Note that Viewhill Farm is in black and in the protected area!
Map of the 2015 Culloden Muir Protection Area indicating that the battle took place over a much wider area. Note that Viewhill Farm is in this protected area!
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT. . .
In 2011, an Inverness property developer presented plans to Highland Council for a 16 unit housing development at Viewhill, just 400+ metres from Culloden Battlefield.
The proposed development was rejected by Highland Council. The Developer appealed. The matter was then decided by a Government Appointed Reporter who ruled in favour of the Developer.
This Group was formed to protest the plans to build the 16 houses. We gathered information, data, maps and legislative references which left no doubt as to the historical significance of the battlefield and the area beyond and, its importance on a National and International level.
The new designated Protection Area of 2015 enlarged the protected zone but does not include Viewhill as permission to build was granted in 2014.
Building houses on that site is deeply disrespectful. It is part of a war grave.
The building of 16 houses at Viewhill converts the existing agricultural land use to suburban, subdivided parcels. Possible widening and extensions of roads accessing this property do not comply with the Culloden Muir Conservation Area and if allowed will further damage the area. This is not an appropriate use for this land.
We need to protect that area for future generations. It was a pivotal battle in British history and is of huge international interest and it is incumbent on us to protect it. “The battle actually covered a far greater area than that which the National Trust owns and runs.” HC Ken Gowans
"Culloden is an incredibly sensitive site. The site is very important to a lot of people...it's almost a place of pilgrimage. There's a particular aspect to that landscape that you could quite easily destroy by building something that was unsuitable for that environment.” Tony Pollard
…………………………………………..the fight is NOT over!
See what Culloden Battlefield might look like if development is allowed to take place! A video by a member of the Scottish Diaspora now living in Australia.
A video by GSDC member Paul Jamieson on the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden. The video starts around 6am on the commemoration Saturday after he spent the night walking the Battlefield. It snowed and rained most of the evening and was still overcast. The march and service at the central Cairn and afterwards the patriots departed but some stayed on meeting and greeting old and new friends...
Culloden Lament... 5th October 2016 by Charlie McAulay Robertson
Two years and more have past since the news was broken. Houses to be built on Culloden moor and then the world it was outspoken. Yes, people from around the globe just could not understand. What does posses those corporate minds, that they would desecrate our sacred land. New laws were passed by government that would give it more protection. Which meant to us that there would be consultation before any house erection. But those unscrupulous business men with there eyes set on the brass. Find loopholes in everything, even the laws that the government pass. So here we are today and the problems are still looming. And believe me when I say, Scotland it should be fuming. They want to wipe away our history, while all we can do is lament. As they cover it up with houses aye, tar macadam, bricks an cement.
Listen to Ted Christopher sing "Freedom's Flame" written by Ted for the Culloden Commemoration
Blàr Chùil Lodair, 16 an Giblean 2016. Tha na faireachdainnean agam an-diugh a’ sìneadh eadar irioslachd agus pròis, irioslachd a thaobh an urraim a thug sibh dhomh cuimhne a ghleidheadh air na Gàidheil cliùiteach a thuit ann an Cogadh nan Seumasach, agus pròis a thaobh an dleastanais a bhuilich sibh orm a bhith a’ riochdachadh Comunn Gàidhlig Inbhir-Nis aig Seirbhis Cuimhneachaidh Blàr Chùil Lodair. Le carragh-cuimhne air ar beulaibh agus raon uaigneach tiamhaidh fo ar comhair, tha sinn uile mothachail air an tuiteamas seo a tha a’ sìoladh sìos thugainn thar nan linntean bhon dearbh latha sa’ Ghiblean 1746. Gu deimhinnte ’s e droch latha a bh’ ann, airson Gàidheal air gach taobh dhen t-strì agus mar sin, tha cothrom againn a-rithist an-diugh cuimhne ùrachadh air na daoine foghainteach a chaill am beatha aig Cùil Lodair agus an comharrachadh as ùr.
Gaelic Society Chief, Prof Hugh Cheape, addresses the gathering at the 2016 Memorial Service and Mgr. Maoilios Caimbeul reads ‘Latha Chùil-Lodair’ / ‘Culloden Day’ by Iain Ruadh Stiùbhart.
'Presenting' or 'lining' is very much part of Gaelic Culture. The presenter sings the line, the congregation sings the line after him. Here is a video of the remembrance service at Culloden.
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