Curtains Return to Culloden House

culloden house

Culloden House

Curtains that once hung in Culloden House have been purchased by Matthew Donnachie, who belongs to the historic society ‘A Circle of Gentlemen’.

They may even have hung in the bedroom used by Bonnie Prince Charlie on the night before the Battle of Culloden.  A piece of the tartan has been framed and is being presented to the House during ‘The Culloden Lament’, an event which the society holds each year.

Matthew was alerted to the auction by Michael Corby, another member of the Circle which is named after a secret society which remained loyal to the Prince after the defeat at Culloden.

Culloden House, a fine Georgian mansion, was partly rebuilt between 1772 and 1788 after a fire in 1753.  It was requisitioned by the prince during his campaign of 1745. In 1975 it was sold and redeveloped as a hotel.

One thought on “Curtains Return to Culloden House

  1. Michael Corby

    I thought I might just clarify your entry, if I may.

    The curtains were, in fact, bought with my accopunt at Bonhams and were passed to Mathew Donnachie who reimbursed me for my effort.

    Being that I had also bought other items I did in fact make them available to Mathew and the Circle as a gift tooffset my reimbursement. You could say that Mathew and I pulled of this business together on behalf of the nation and also in order to thank The Culloden House Hotel for their magnificent hospitality to A Circle of Gentlemen.

    At this point and until the artefacts that I have donated to offset Mathew’s mostgenerous contribution, Mr Donnachie remains somewhat out of pocket but hopefully the artefacts that I have donated will finally put a smile on both of our faces by finally paying for our unashamed mischief.

    What may be of slightly more inmterest toyou is that the curtains that are now in the frame in the reception hall of Culloden House arecindeed nothing less than the actual bed hangings from the Prince’s bed.

    They were aquired from the Moy Hall Collection and the provenance is that they are indeed pretty much the very first thing that the Prince would have seen when he awoke on 16th April,1746.

    In order to make sure that they were never confused from other ancient tartan artefacts of ‘hard tartan’ that were archived at Moy Hall, someone took the trouble to embroider an ‘S’ and a pair of crossed swords on the bottom ofthe cloth. This is easily seen on them in their display frame. Although I imagine we can never be sure, there is every chance that Lady Anne ‘Colonel’ Mackintosh may be the emboiderer. The Prince certainly gave her several gifts of tartan and also a gold breacan pin.

    Whereas there can be no provenance for the embroiderer there is indeed provenance for the curtains as being the bed hangings of the bed that the Prince slept it.

    The bed would have been Duncan Forbes’ own bed. He evacuated the building a few days before the Prince arrived and the Prince spent several days at Culloden House on mre than one occasion.

    The actual hangings are folded up in the frame as they are about 6′ long


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