On the 13th November 1715 the Earl of Mar and his Jacobite army met the Duke of Argyll’s Hanoverian forces on a flat, elevated area of moorland near Dunblane on the northern fringes of the Ochil Hills. Though Argyll was outnumbered, there was no clear winner. Mar’s army retreated to Perth, despite the right wing of his army claiming victory over Argyll’s left wing. The clansmen had thrown off their plaids to fight, as was the custom, and were cold and hungry. The Battle of Sheriffmuir was the key battle in the 1715 Uprising and with this inconclusive outcome the Jacobite’s momentum began to waver.
Today, in the year of history, heritage and archaeology, there is a new fight brewing over the Sheriffmuir Battlefield.
The battlefield grounds are privately owned, unlike the Culloden Battlefield which belongs to the National Trust for Scotland, and the owner is looking for permission from the Forestry Commission for the planting of a commercial forest on the battlefield, in order to bring forest subsidy and other profits.
The Battle of Sheriffmuir was a pivotal military encounter of the third of the five Jacobite risings, is celebrated in poetry, song, such as Robert Burns famous song of the same name written in 1787. It is a key part of Scottish history and should be protected. The plantation of such a forest would irreparably destroy the grounds.
This summer a major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland from June 23rd until 12th November will tell the story of the Jacobite Rebellions from the 1715 uprisings until Bonnie Prince Charlie’s final defeat at Culloden in 1746. As a pivotal battle in the 1715 Uprising, Sheriffmuir is expected to see many visitors – however if plans to plant commercial forestry on the battlefield go ahead this historical site will be destroyed forever.
To protect the Sheriffmuir Battlefield contact the Forestry Commission before the 15th December: Forestry Commission Scotland, Upper Battleby, Redgorton, Perth PH1 3EN or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org