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Second round for Inventory of Battlefields

9 August 2011

Historic Scotland has prepared the second of three tranches of Scotland’s most important battlefields to be considered for inclusion in ‘The Inventory of Historic Battlefields’.

The Inventory is an ongoing process and other battlefields will be considered at a later stage.  The first tranche of 17 battlefields on the Inventory, which were added in March 2011, included some of Scotland’s most famous battles, such as Culloden in 1746 and Bannockburn in 1314.

This second tranche consists of  11 battlefields, each considered to be of national importance for the contribution they make to Scotland’s archaeology and history, are located in Aberdeenshire, Falkirk, West Lothian, Fife, Highlands, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire and Stirling.  

Consultation for the battlefields on this list will be open until 30th September 2011, and responses are invited through the website People living within the area of one of these battlefields will be receiving a leaflet over the next couple of weeks telling them about the battlefield and inviting their comments.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary, Culture and External Affairs said:  “It is important that we ensure that our key battlefields are protected, not only for the contribution they have made to our history and heritage, but for future generations.

“A new heritage centre will be completed in 2014 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, one of the most significant battles fought on British soil, between Robert the Bruce and Edward II.  The sites of our battles are a popular attraction for tourists and a huge educational resource, enabling us to understand key historical figures and appreciate our landscape.”  

For a battlefield to be included in the inventory, it must be considered to be of national importance either for its association with key historical figures or events or for the physical remains and /or archaeological potential it contains or for its landscape context.  In addition it must be possible to define the site on a modern map.

The Inventory will also help local planning authorities and other public bodies who will have to take the battlefields into account if they make any decisions about the landscape that might affect them.  The aim is to ensure that the impact of change within battlefields takes their historical and archaeological significance into account, and to minimise adverse impacts, avoid unnecessary damage and realise the positive contributions that battlefields can make to our environment.


Barra 1308
Fyvie  1644

Falkirk/West Lothian
Linlithgow Bridge 1526

Inverkeithing 11 1651

Carbisdale 1650
Cromdale  1690
Inverlochy 11 1645
Mulroy 1688

Rullion Green 1666

South Lanarkshire
Drumclog 1679

Stirling Bridge 1297

For information:

  • Each inventory report describes the battlefield and the reasons for its inclusion.  This includes a summary of the battle and its historical context, a succinct indication of its importance for each selection factor and an explanation of the area defined by the inventory map. The selection factors are:  historical association; physical remains and archaeological potential, cultural association and landscape context.  

  • The inventory map indicates the extent of the battlefield, defining the overall area considered to be of interest on the basis of research undertaken.  It includes the area where the main elements of the battles are thought to have taken place, where associated physical remains and archaeological evidence occur or may be expected, and where additional landscape components, such as strategic viewpoints, may lie.

  • While the landscape will usually have changed to some extent since the time of the battle, it often retains key characteristics of the terrain at the time, allowing events to be located and aiding understanding and interpretation.

  • Although no new archaeological investigation has been carried out in researching the inventory sites, such evidence has been used where available. This has provided information about where events occurred across a battlefield; about troop deployments; about weapons used and features that were in place at the time of the battle or resulted from the action.

  • Anyone wishing to carry out work on land or property within an Inventory site will have to go through the normal requirements that apply, such as applying for planning permission or woodland grants.  For major proposals that may have a significant impact on the battlefield, particularly those that are proposed for land that is currently not built on, the responsible authority may ask an applicant to take the potential impact on the battlefield into account or for archaeological investigation or recording to be carried out.  For smaller developments, particularly those related to existing domestic properties, this is less likely, but it will be for the appropriate authority to decide what is required.

  • Planning authorities may consult Historic Scotland on developmental proposals considered to affect an Inventory battlefield and our views will be given consideration in their determination of a case.  Other public bodies with responsibilities for landscape, land-use and land management should also develop policies and guidelines for battlefields as appropriate for their work.  They may also wish to consult Historic Scotland and take our views into account.

Please note that Inventory descriptions and maps may be amended from time to time to reflect new evidence, changing knowledge and understanding.

Notes for editors

  1. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.
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For further information

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858