Glenfinnan’s historical significance highlighted on the 275th anniversary of the raising of the Jacobite standard.
The final Jacobite uprising of 1745 and how it helped shape the world we live in today is examined in a new podcast, released today by the National Trust for Scotland.
Today (19 August) marks the 275th anniversary of the raising of the Royal Standard at Glenfinnan by Bonnie Prince Charlie and the start of what would be the Stuart’s final attempt to regain the British throne.
The prince’s rallying cry was answered by some 1,500 Jacobite’s, who marched as far south as Derby before turning back to Scotland and decisive defeat at Culloden.
Today the monument at Glenfinnan, which marks the place where the standard was raised, stands as one of Scotland’s most popular attractions.
And in the latest episode of the National Trust for Scotland’s ‘For the Love of Scotland’ podcast, Professor Murray Pittock, Scottish historian and Trustee and history advisor to the Trust, looks at how this moment continues to resonate in our lives today.
As Professor Pittock explains in the latest episode of the podcast, hosted by Jackie Bird, what happened at Glenfinnan 275 years ago shaped not only shaped Scottish history, but the world as we know it today.
“Without the Jacobite rising of 1745, Great Britain would not have developed as it did and the British Empire would not have developed as it did.
“Without Glenfinnan and the standard being successfully raised and the coming in of the Cameron’s (Clan Cameron), the rising would have never taken place.
“In a sense, the rising ended in defeat but it’s still an enormously significant historical event because it conditioned the kind of country that Britain would become and the kind of way in which the British Empire would develop and the place of Scots and Scottish soldiers within it.”
More recently, new chapters have been written in Glenfinnan’s story, with the location featuring in the magical world of Harry Potter and in the popular Outlander TV series.
They have helped bring thousands of new visitors to Glenfinnan, which cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
The site is now the conservation charity’s most popular location with almost 500,000 visitors recorded in 2019 and a 165% increase in visitor numbers since 2015.
Professor Pittock also highlights that while the viaduct is now recognised as the railway line on which the Hogwarts Express travels, it a route which connects people to some of the most important events in Scottish history and these stories should not be forgotten.
“It is so atmospheric, it is so iconic and it is so historic.
“It is evidence, if we needed any, that the more we see Scotland’s history and landscapes represented in film and television, the more people will want to come and visit them.”
Today, the site is marked by the Glenfinnan Monument which was built in 1815 to commemorate the Jacobites who fought and fell during the 1745 uprising.
Designed by James Gillespie Graham a kilted highlander stands at the top, symbolising the rising.
There is also a Visitor Centre, open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm, with an exhibition that tells the full history of Glenfinnan.
Each episode explores some of the stories and people connected with Scotland’s history and best-known locations.