Glenfinnan is a village in Lochaber, an area of the Highlands of Scotland. In 1745 the Jacobite Rising began here when Prince Charles Edward Stuart (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”) raised his standard on the shores of Loch Shiel. Seventy years later, the 18 m (60 ft) Glenfinnan Monument, at the head of the loch, was erected to commemorate the historic event. (Wikipedia).
Glenfinnan is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever visited. In whichever direction one looks the views are stunning. Even on a rather cloudy day, as it was on my last visit, the scene which confronted me had colour, beauty and drama, and displayed in all its magnificence the manifold beauties of nature – the natural splendour of mountains, water, trees, sky, wild-flowers, all visible from the one spot at the head of Loch Shiel on Scotland’s west coast. But the scene also resounds with historical drama – signified by the impressive Monument situated at the head of the loch, which marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s standard was raised, and where the clans flocked to join his , albeit ill-fated, cause. As well as the natural beauty of the location there is so much history associated with this particular spot, which marks the commencement of a momentous period in British history.
Although they cannot do true justice to the beauty of the scenery, I reproduce below some of my photographs, all taken in 2007 from the spot at the head of Loch Shiel where the Glenfinnan Monument now stands, most of them taken from the top of the actual Monument itself.
Prince Charles initially landed from France on Eriskay in the Western Isles. He then travelled to the mainland in a small rowing boat, coming ashore at Loch nan Uamh just west of Glenfinnan. On arrival on the Scottish mainland, he was met by a small number of MacDonalds. Stuart waited at Glenfinnan for a number of days as more MacDonalds, Camerons, MacFies and MacDonells arrived.
On 19 August 1745, after Prince Charles judged he had enough military support, he climbed the hill near Glenfinnan as MacMaster of Glenaladale raised his royal standard. The Young Pretender then announced to all the mustered clans that he claimed the Scottish and the English thrones in the name of his father James Stuart (‘the Old Pretender’).
Eight months later, Charles Stuart’s claim to the thrones of Scotland and England ended in failure at the Battle of Culloden, on the 16 April 1746.
The filming of the second and third Harry Potter books, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ took place in this area with the Hogwarts Express crossing the railway viaduct and calling at Glenfinnan Station.