Killiecrankie Battlefield analysis 


Part 1 - the stepped ground, where mckay's and clan cameron fought

2nd August 2020 - We clearly establishing the location of the Scottish Government army front line. This video uses desk based GIS Analytics to assess where musket balls were found on the battlefield, and where they could have been fired from. It is particularly revealing, as it establishes the last shots fired as the Jacobite clansmen was just a few metres in front of the red coat Scottish Government soldiers.

Rulzion Rattray - a founding member of Soldiers of Killiecrankie along with David Rattray who has specialist knowledge in GIS Technology look at what happened. Rulzion is Jacobite historian who specializing in the Gaelic accounts of the battle in particular.

Transport Scotland Scottish Government Army Analysis of musket ball trajectory The first image shown in the video - looks at the location from where Transport Scotland say the Scottish Government Army stood when they considered the location for the new carriageway, through the battlefield.

Transport Scotland's Flat Earth Analysis from their chosen Scottish Government Army battle line The 2nd image is that of Transport Scotland's Analysis of the Optimum Range - 'The minimum distance a commander judged he could open fire, balancing maximising the destructive effect of fire against his opinion of his men's courage. At Killiecrankie MacKay ordered his men to open fire at 100 paces or 80m and this figure has been used.' What this analysis does not point out that this analysis does not take in to account the terrain and visibility from the Scottish Government Army location chosen by Transport Scotland.

The terrain added to the Transport Scotland 'Optimum Range' Analysis The 3rd image shows the effect of the terrain being added to Transport Scotland's Analysis. Our conclusion if Transport Scotland had applied the terrain in to their analysis they would have concluded that their chosen line for the location of the Scottish Government army was incorrect.

Analysis of possible locations for musket balls found in this location.4th image shows the analysis on possible locations the musket ball at the east of the group found could have been fired from. This analysis shows it could not have been fired from Transport Scotland's chosen location. From Two Men in a Trench 'It wasn't, though until we crossed the road that some of the most incredible metal-detector results came to light. Just below the road, in a couple of fields tot he east of the walled garden of Urrard House, we found a concentrated scatter of musket-balls. About a dozen were spread out across a natural terrace, which dropped down like a step on to another flat shelf before the ground gave way to the steep tree covered ridge, which dropped down towards the lowest of the terraces and the river. These musket-balls were so close to the government position that we knew they were the last volley fired by the right of the government line before the Jacobite closed.'

Posible location for Leven's Regiment based on musket balls found across the A9 5th image shows where a number of musket balls across the A9 could have been fired from. We believe this could be where Leven's Regiment could have stood on the battlefield. Cameron of Lochiel tells us that no clan regiment was assigned to attack Leven's Regiment as there was no clan available.

Lochiel tells us “Lochiel and his Clan Cameron men were not only obliged to fight McKay's own Regiment, which stood directly opposite him, but also had his flank exposed to the fire of Leven’s battalion, as the Highland Army did not have enough men to engage them. Clan Cameron where to suffer much. But what was hardest of all he had none of his clan with him but 240, he lost 60 of these, as they were deployed as Dundee's advanced guard to take possession of a house. Each clan, whether small or great had a Regiment assigned to them, and that too was by his, Lochiel’s own advice to Viscount Dundee, who he attended while he was making his disposition.”

Our understanding of the Sniper position as decribed by Two Men in the Trench investigation 6th image shows our understanding of where Two Men in Trench identified the Sniper position - From Two Men in a Trench we learn, about a site 'which on the early map was known as Stirpark, but is today called Croftcarnoch.' Their efforts to find evidence from the battle came to nothings, saying, 'The survey of the garden came up with nothing more than modern pieces of junk, but then our luck changed. When a detectorist strayed out of the garden on his lunch break he made a startling discovery. He was just messing around not far to the west of Croftcarnoch and a little further down the slope, when his machine came up with a strong signal.' And ' We couldn't believe it when he pulled out a curved strip of brass - a trigger guard from a musket.' And 'A circular depression might have marked the location of a corn-drying kiln. There was even a hollow way - an old track coming down the side of the hill into the cluster of buildings. The discovery of this and the trigger guard near by was exciting enough, but when a slightly distorted pistol-ball was pulled from one of the wall mounds, we couldn't have been happier if we'd found buried treasure. The buildings and the finds, with one or two musket-balls, added to them, could mean only one thing: we had found the sniper's house.' Please see the information provided by Dr Tony Pollard to Jacobs regarding the work done by Two Men in the Trench 'Dr Pollard confirmed that the only published data relating to the survey work at Killiecrankie is that in the book accompanying the second series of the Two Men in a Trench TV programme.' See full Dr Tony Pollard Report with original maps provided to Jacobs Construction 10th February 2015. From this information presumably Jacobs Construction and Transport Scotland have located the sniper position finds. From our interpretation of the written account in Two Men in the Trench, the location of the finds put on drawings for the Sniper Position as identified by Transport Scotland, do not correspond with our understanding and the evidence found on the battlefield. We may well have missed something somewhere, we would love to know from Dr Pollard and Transport Scotland.

N.B. The book 'Two Men in a Trench II - Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields - Tony Pollard and Neil Oliver - First published 2003.'

part 2 - the battle line

Sunday 23rd August 2020 - We look at the archaeological evidence, along with the first hand accounts from General Hugh McKay the Scottish Government Commander and from Cameron of Lochiel, Viscount Dundee's right hand man, on the Jacobite side. Viscount Dundee died in the battle.

Down load the supporting documentation for our Battle Line analysis - We have sent this document to Scottish Government Ministers via our local MSPs and MP, also to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and to Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust.


 The destruction of highland culture and history has been going on for more than 250 years. As we discovered in the Live Sessions from Killiecrankie Battlefield the Jacobite Wars were a struggle between the two Scottish societies. The Highland Gaels and the Lowland English speaking Scots. Unfortunately the highland clans were on the loosing side and the victors took steps to eradicate the highland culture once and for all, following the defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1746.

This destruction continues to this day as highland Jacobite history appears to have no value to the Scottish authorities. The new road through Killiecrankie battlefield we are certain will go ahead, despite there being clear evidence that it will destroy the very heart of the battlefield. The destruction of Killiecrankie Battlefield due to the new carriageway for the A9, comes down to cost savings by the Scottish Parliament. It sadly continues the long saga of Lowland versus Highland Culture that was such a central part of the Battle of Killiecrankie story 331 years ago. A similar lack of respect and destruction is taking place on the 1746 Culloden Battlefield, by Inverness.


UPDATES of various communications with Transport Scotland and the Planning Process:-

A9 Battlefield machinery4th July 2019 - We received a letter from Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of the Scottish Government (down load here) .It says 'Scottish Ministers have decided that a public local inquiry will be held' in to the A9 passing through Killiecrankie Battlefield. A Reporter has been appointed to listen to the complainants. As we understand it the Reporter is some one in the Scottish Government Appeals department, which investigates issues (in this case the A9 going through Killiecrankie Battlefield) and reports back to Scottish Government Ministers with recommendations.

Objection Letters to Transport Scotland (links provided to each document):-

14th August 2019 - Outline Statement to the& Reporter who is chairing the Public Enquiry in to the A9 and Killiecrankie Battlefield

27th November 2018 - The Soldiers of Killiecrankie objection letter to the modifications to the proposed new A9 carriageway.

22nd January 2018 - The Soldiers of Killiecrankie objection letter to Transport Scotland explaining why we believe they have chosen the wrong route through the battlefield.

Press Coverage

20th January 2018 - Soldiers of Killiecrankie oppose chosen A9 route through Killiecrankie Battlefield. (Courier Newspaper)

23rd January 2018 - Will Killiecrankie Battlefield be destroyed by A9 for future generations? (Courier Newspaper)

23rd January 2019 - READ Historic Environment Scotland's objection to proposed route chosen through the battlefield (remember to click on button at the bottom of the page - look at "5.3.1 Our Recommendations" in particular).

24th January 2018 - Historic Environment Scotland Object to A9 plans by Transport Scotland. (Scotsman)

26th January 2018 - Brakes applied to Battlefield Plans (Daily Record)

9th February 2018 - 'Campaigners demand work halts at Killiecrankie battleground' (The Courier) + Daily Record + Perth Gazette

20th February 2018 - 'Rise in hostilities in battle for Killiecrankie' (Daily Record)

13th March 2018 - 'Perth and Kinross Matters: Battle lines drawn over historic site' (Courier).

7th May 2018 - "A9 Public Inquiry to be heard over dualling plans for battlefield" (Courier).

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