Guns and armour discovered at Scottish battlefield where Jacobites routed government more than 300 years ago

By Ben Miller | 10 March 2016

Spoils from the first Jacobite uprising have resurfaced at one of Scotland's best-preserved battlefields during excavations by archaeologists and metal detectorists

A photo of ancient artefacts found by archaeologists at the Killiecrankie Battlefield in Scotland
Horseshoes from Killiecrankie Battlefield© GUARD Archaeology
A musket, worn pistol balls and part of a sword belt from a battle which killed a Jacobite leader in conflict with William of Orange’s forces have been found alongside copper alloy buttons, buckles, horseshoes and a helmet boss at Killiecrankie Battlefield – one of the best-preserved battlefields in Scotland.

A photo of ancient artefacts found by archaeologists at the Killiecrankie Battlefield in Scotland
Buckle and buttons© GUARD Archaeology
Bonnie Dundee, more formally known as John Graham of Claverhouse, the 1st Viscount Dundee, was killed during his army’s rout of their Royalist enemies on July 27 1689. Originally found during the questing BBC series Two Men in a Trench more than a decade ago, archaeologists say the latest evidence has revealed the widespread nature of the battle and highlighted “areas of intense fighting”.

A photo of ancient artefacts found by archaeologists at the Killiecrankie Battlefield in Scotland
Buckle, pendant, horseshoe and sword harness fragments© GUARD Archaeology
“The Battle of Killiecrankie was the opening battle of the first Jacobite Rising in Scotland,” says Maureen Kilpatrick, who led the survey at the Perthshire village in August and October 2015.

A photo of ancient artefacts found by archaeologists at the Killiecrankie Battlefield in Scotland
Lead munitions recovered from the battlefield© GUARD Archaeology
“During the battle Bonnie Dundee was fatally wounded, although his army won the day. The rout of Government troops which followed is particularly remembered due to one Government soldier making the ‘soldier’s leap’ across the River Garry.”

A photo of metal detectorists investigating the Killiecrankie Battlefield site in Scotland
Metal detecting volunteers helped the team from Guard Archaeology investigate the iconic site© GUARD Archaeology
The work took place as part of a heritage assessment ahead of upgrade works to the A9 road in central Scotland. It was supported by experts from the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow.


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Three museums to discover Scottish archaeology in

Heart of Hawick Heritage Hub, Roxburghshire
During the First World War, the Stobs military training ground near Hawick was used as a mass internment facility for 4,500 prisoners. These consisted of German civilian ‘enemy aliens’ from across Britain and its Empire, and military Prisoners of War taken from European battlefields. Find out more during a free study weekend, Hawick’s German Prisoners: Stobs Internment Camp in Global Context, 1914-1919, from June 18-19 2016.

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
The current exhibition, Celts, tells the story of the different peoples who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the stunning art objects that they made, including intricately decorated jewellery, highly stylised objects of religious devotion, and the decorative arts of the late 19th century which were inspired by the past. Until October 25 2016.

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
Built in around AD 142 during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, the Antonine Wall ran coast-to-coast across Scotland from the Clyde to the Firth of Forth. The permanent gallery at the Hunterian showcases the collection of spectacular monumental sculpture and other Roman artefacts recovered from the wall, including richly sculptured distance slabs, unique to the frontiers of the Roman Empire.
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