As the entire road widening through the battle field is going to be made on the northbound side, thousands of tonnes of material – called fill - will have to be dumped along the slope on one side in order to build up to the level of the existing road. Widening on this side will, in the KilliecrAnkie1689 opinion, inflict the worst possible damage on the battle site.

Starting at the local access road that runs under the A9 at the Glen Girnaig underpass and stretching over to the Girnaig there are 5 key features that are at risk of being compromised, damaged, or lost completely.

Lagnabuaig settlement and redoubt. This is mentioned in earlier studies for the A9 as being traditionally identified as a house or buildings used as a sniping position at the start of the Battle of Killiecrankie. Jacobs, the design engineers, has now airbrushed Lagnabuaig redoubt out the historical studies for the final design of the A9.

This seems to be because the remains of a 19
th century barn were found in a corner of the area during an archaeological dig in 2003 and Jacobs appears eager to dismiss the site as of no further archaeological value.

Historic Environment Scotland thinks otherwise. It has listed Lagnabuaig in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields and notes that the site of the settlement and redoubt was partially destroyed when the original A9 was built.

The proposed route will destroy all that remains of the Lagnabuaig site.

The memorial cairn, sometimes called Tomb Clavers, is close to Lagnabuaig and just escapes being swallowed in the land-take that the proposed widening requires. There is public access to the monument which is the focal point of an annual remembrance service that takes place on the anniversary of the battle. Throughout the year, visitors come to see where thousands of men fought and died, using the area around the cairn as a place to reflect on the impact of battle.

With the road works finishing within yards of the site, with a new slip road being built at the side and with the loss of the solid bund that blocks sound, it is hard to imagine that a sense of dignity can be maintained at the monument.

Raon Ruairidh settlement and redoubt The Gaelic meaning of the name is Rorry’s Flat Field.  This name is used by Gaels for the battle “Cath Raon Ruairidh”.  The house now known as Urrard was called Raon Ruairidh until the 19th century.  The significance of this location cannot be underestimated. It is traditionally said that the shot that fatally wounded Bonnie Dundee was fired from Raon Ruairidh House. At the time of the battle there was an enclosed garden at Raon Ruairidh House which may have been the redoubt used by the Government forces.

Recent excavations have suggested that at least part of Raon Ruairidh House was located where present day Urrard House is. We do not know exactly. What we do know is that the entire area between Urrard House and the A9 was the site of intense combat and is the flat field of the Gaelic name. The mound within the walled garden, at the corner nearest the A9, is called Dundee’s Mound as it is reputably where Bonnie Dundee’s horse was buried.

The landscape of the Government line from Mackay’s right flank at Allt Girnaig to the left flank at the small hill where Balchroic Cottage now stands close to Allt Chluain is largely unchanged from the time of the battle. After widening of the northbound carriageway, Raon Ruairidh or the Flat Field will be entirely lost.

B-listed Garden and Wall This is not the wall that is mentioned during the battle but one that was erected a lot later, probably in an exercise of keeping up with the neighbours. It has, however, a direct association with the Battle of Killiecrankie because of its location on the probable front line of Major General Mackay’s men. We also know that the dwelling that predated Urrard House was enclosed by a wall. It is thought to be in the vicinity of today’s Wall. Dundee’s Mound is just at the other side of the Wall, in the northeast corner, nearest the A9.

A Compulsory Purchase Order has been made to buy all the land between the A9 up to the listed Wall so that a central reserve, 2 carriageways, a couple of hard strips, a 2.5m verge and a very steep embankment can be squeezed into the narrow strip. How this has to be done without damaging a listed structure is unclear.

Stepped terraces and terrain along the northbound carriageway between the Wall and Allt Girnaig Arguably this is the most troubling example of what will amount to battlefield desecration. The stepped ground here is still intact and is critical to the on-going interpretation of the battle choreography. Only a tiny amount of archaeological investigation has been done in this area and yet this is where the charging Camerons with MacGregors quickly routed the Government troops on the right flank. They were helped by the topography that is clearly visible today. They swooped down the terraced terrain, over the last “step” which lies right beside the existing northbound carriageway of the A9 and surprised the Government line held by Mackay’s brother and Hastings.

The Jacobites immediately gained the advantage. Cameron of Lochiel with perhaps 220 men and Roderick MacLean with MacNialls, Grants and MacGregors launched such a ferocious attack that they forced the Government forces from the field. Cameron gave pursuit and some must have crossed the Girnaig in their rush to flee because the ground at the other side is known locally as Skirmish Field.

On returning to the scene, Cameron of Lochiel described the carnage, saying that many of the dead had “heads divided into two halves by one blow. Others had their sculls cut off above the eares by a back strok, like a night-cap”. This is the area that is to be purchased to make way for widening of the road and a lay-by plus construction of a huge drainage basin.
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