We drove up to Culloden Battlefield on an exceptionally sunny Scottish day. I wasn't quite sure what all to expect from the battlefield and the visitor centre but was rather impressed with the amount of history and detail and interaction that was displayed.
The Battle of Culloden is significant because it was the conclusion of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and it effectively ended the Scottish uprisings and led to Scotland's incorporation into Britain. The Highlanders, led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, were the most affected by the loss, because not only did the clans lose thousands of men in both the battle and by being captured, but many clan leaders were stripped of their titles and stations if they supported the uprising. Those who had supported the British were honored with wealth, for instance the Duke of Argyll was given £21,000. After the battle, the Dress Act of 1746 was enforced and it banned the wearing of Highland dress as a means of undermining traditional Scottish clans and unifying traditions. (It was later repealed in 1782, but by then Highland dress had changed and as a result, kilts are now worn on only special occasions, instead of everyday wear.) The British government did its best to force the Scots to fall in line with the rest of the country, and it was only mostly successful. The penalties that attempted to weaken and undermine traditional Scottish culture, in many cases, made the Scottish more intent on maintaining their unique culture and way of life.
The battlefield today is a large field with meandering paths throughout. Throughout the field are stones erected in 1881 to honor the dead.
The English stone is merely an estimate, as there are no records where the English casualties were buried. Additionally, some that fought under the English flag were actually Scottish, so English is use quite loosely in this instance.
The battlefield of Culloden is absolutely massive and we only made our way around a portion of it. The Visitor Centre has some excellent resources about the battle, the positions that were taken by the English, Scottish, Irish, and French, and details about individuals soldiers. I think there is also an audio tour of the battle field as well, but we were getting hungry (there's hot food in the Visitor Centre thank goodness) so we cut some portions short.
Even on a sunny day, the battlefield is a sober and haunting place where as many as 2,000 Highlanders died defending their beliefs and way of life. It is a must visit if you find Scottish history interesting, but there is a lot of information to take in. The interactive Visitor Centre is extremely helpful and well-researched though. Culloden Battlefield is through the National Trust (not a Historic Scotland site this time!) and entrance fees can be seen on the website.