Scottish Battlefield Sites Protected

The Battle of Bannockburn by Brian Palmer

The Battle of Bannockburn by Brian Palmer

The British architect Graeme Shankland once said:

“A country without a past has the emptiness of a barren continent, and a city without old buildings is like a man without a memory.”

Historic sites serve as a reminder of our past, help us to understand our culture and give clues as to where we may be heading. In 2008 Historic Scotland launched a public consultation to include a battlefield inventory in the Scottish Historic Environmental Policy. The consultation generated more public responses than any other at that time, highlighting the tremendous amount of fascination and relevance that these sites still provide.

The inventory, which was completed today, officially recognises and protects 39 historic and iconic battle sites across Scotland. This means that local authorities must take the site’s significance into consideration when making planning decisions that might affect the battlefield.

Dr Iain Banks from The Centre for Battlefield Archeology who carried out the research, said this was the first time historical battle sites have been given any protection. “These sites preserve the last traces of historical events that shaped the nation of Scotland through history, and there is no substitute for visiting the battlefields for understanding what happened in each battle.”

50 sites were researched and consulted for inclusion in the inventory, with the Centre for Battlefield Archeology in touch with some groups whose battlefields were not included in the final list. A major battle missing from the inventory is Mons Grapus (AD 83 or 84), where Rome’s 9th Hispana, its cohorts and Roman cavalry defeated 30,000 Caledonians. The exact location of where the battle happened has been lost to time, however suggested sites include Dunning in Perthshire, Carpow in Fife, Bennachie in Aberdeenshire and Culloden.

The 39 battlefields protected are:

  • Alford (1645)
  • Ancrum Moor (1545)
  • Auldearn (1645)
  • Bannockburn (1314)
  • Bothwell Bridge (1679)
  • Culloden (1746)
  • Dunbar II (1650)
  • Dupplin Moor (1332)
  • Falkirk II (1746)
  • Glenshiel (1719)
  • Harlaw (1411)
  • Killiecrankie (1689)
  • Kilsyth (1645)
  • Philiphaugh (1645)
  • Pinkie (1547)
  • Prestonpans (1745)
  • Sheriffmuir (1715)
  • Barra (1308)
  • Carbisdale (1650)
  • Cromdale (1690)
  • Drumclog (1679)
  • Fyvie (1645)
  • Inverkeithing II (1651)
  • Inverlochy II (1645)
  • Linlithgow Bridge (1526)
  • Mulroy (1688)
  • Rullion Green (1666)
  • Stirling Bridge (1297)
  • Blar-na-Leine (1544)
  • Dunbar I (1296)
  • Dunkeld (1689)
  • Glen Livet (1594)
  • Inverlochy I (1431)
  • Langside (1568)
  • Loudoun Hill (1307)
  • Roslin (1303)
  • Sauchieburn (1488)
  • Skirmish Hill (1526)
  • Tippermuir (1644)


More information on the inventory can be found at Historic Scotland’s website:


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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