Culloden and a walk along Moray coastal defences.

My pal Lyle is up and he has recovered from a hip operation so the hills were out, we decided to go to Culloden as it has a bit of money spent on it. I had heard good things and I had not been round it for many years. It is only about an hour away so we went off to have a look at it,it has had good reviews so off we went.

On 16 April 1746, the final Jacobite Rising came to a brutal head in one of the most harrowing battles in British history. Much is told about this battle and it was great to revisit it.

Bonnie Prince Charlies compass 1745 !

Jacobite supporters, seeking to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British thrones, gathered to fight the Duke of Cumberland’s government troops. It was the last pitched battle on British soil and, in less than an hour, around 1,500 men were slain – more than 1,000 of them Jacobites.

The richly researched, stimulating and sensitive Culloden Visitor Centre, which stands beside the battlefield, features artefacts from both sides of the battle and interactive displays that reveal the background to the conflict. It stands as a monument and a guide to a pivotal day in history.

We had the guided tour and it well worth doing a lot of information and only took 30 minutes then the exhibition was excellent so much to see and so much to take in. Iy was really interesting and

After Culloden we tried to visit some pals later in Inverness but they were on the hill so we returned via Brodie Country Fayre for lunch the traffic in Inverness was crazy. It was then along to Roselle and a wander round the Moray Sea defences from the Second World War a great insight into the place the Moray Coast played in the War.

View from inside the pill-box

The amount of remains are incredible and the sea is trying to take its toll and after 60 years there are lots of changes but still so much to see.

Roseisle WW2 defences – The beach at Roseisle near Burghead were used by the Americans and Canadians for training exercises for the D Day landings.

Just off the coast at Findhorn are 8 amphibious tanks that sank during training exercises. What makes them particularly interesting is that they are Matildas and not the amphibious Sherman.

The coast here is under constant erosion due to its sandy composition.  At low tide you can clearly see remains of wooden posts along the shore line that were part of the simulated beach obstacles used during the training exercises. The coast line is under the control of the forestry commission and so is well protected.

Along the Moray coast, in the forest of Roseisle, lie the remains of coastal defences from World War Two.

In the summer of 1940, the threat of German invasion was very real. The British defence plan outlined a need to protect areas of the coast where the enemy could land. Seventy-five years ago the Battle of Britain was being fought in the skies above southern England.

On the ground, across Britain, preparations were being made to counter the invasion expected if Germany gained air superiority over the RAF.

Pill Box

Large concrete box-like structures – pillboxes, gun houses and anti-invasion cubes – began to appear on key roads and on beaches.

Many of these defences can still be found on the Moray Firth’s shores.

One such area was Moray. This led to the construction of a series of defence structures that ran between Cullen Bay and Burghead Bay, through today’s Roseisle and Lossie Forests.

Along the beach at Burghead Bay, where Roseisle Forest now stands, a line of concrete anti-tank blocks and pillboxes were constructed.

Due to coastal erosion and the movement of the sand, some of these defences have been lost or moved. For example, a few pillboxes have tipped over due to the movement of the sand.

Nearby Lossie offers a more complete representation of what the defences would have looked like during World War Two. Even there, however, it is difficult to picture what it was like.

Aerial photographs, taken by the Royal Air Force in 1941, show a dramatically different looking landscape.  Various observation posts ran along the coastline, some to keep watch on the beaches and others to keep watch for aircraft.

In the forest

The sun was out and it was a great walk along the beach and then through the forestry where it started to rain. What great views and only a few folk about. It was then home fish and chips from the local van and take them to see an old pal Wendy for tea.

Later on at home another pal came round and we had a dram and a bleather as the rain poured down and a fe w drams first for a while. In all a great day in the local area and Lyle heads home and it was great to catch up.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Views Political?, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Culloden and a walk along Moray coastal defences.

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