The Glenfinnan Monument situated here at the head of Loch Shiel was erected in 1815 to mark the place where Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") raised his standard, at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite Rising.
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. Here he was met by a small number of MacDonalds. He waited at Glenfinnan for a number of days as more MacDonalds, Camerons, McPhees and MacDonnells arrived. When he judged he had enough support, he climbed the hill and the McPhees raised his royal standard, on Monday 19 August 1745, and claimed the Scottish and the English thrones in the name of his father James Stuart ('the Old Pretender'); A MacPhee (Macfie) was one of two pipers at Glenfinnan when Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his banner there in 1745. Brandy was distributed in celebration. So began the rebellion that was to end in failure eight months later at the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746). Many MacPhees (Macfies) followed Cameron of Lochiel in the second line into the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
After Culloden, in his flight to evade government troops, Charles came to the same area again. After being hidden by loyal supporters he boarded a French frigate at the shores of Loch nan Uamh, close to where he had landed and raised his standard. Today The Prince's Cairn marks the spot from which he departed.
The Unknown Highlander
In 1815, the Jacobite cause was no longer a political threat. Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale built a memorial tower at Glenfinnan surmounted by a statue of an anonymous Highlander in a kilt, to commemorate the raising of the standard. The tower was designed by the Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham. Hundreds of Jacobite enthusiasts gather there each year on 19 August. It was only possible to erect the monument here because in 1812 Thomas Telford had constructed the new road from Fort William to Arisaig, which passed through Glenfinnan.
Since 1938, the Glenfinnan Monument has been in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. The Trust have also constructed a visitor centre, which provides tickets, information and exhibitions, and a shop, cafe, and toilets. The tower has also become a monument to Alexander Macdonald, who died before its completion.
Description above from the Wikipedia article Laggan, Great Glen,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenfinnan#Glenfinnan_Monument
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