Anniversary of the Battle of Prestonpans: Commemoration and Miniature Exhibition in East Lothian

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This Saturday, September 21 will mark the anniversary of the Battle of Prestonpans – a pivotal event in the Jacobite Uprising of 1745.

The battle took place in East Lothian and ended in a resounding victory for Bonnie Prince Charlie and her forces.

Plans are currently underway for a history center that will educate visitors about the battle, as well as a statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The success of the Outlander books and television series spurred interest in the Jacobite cause, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty to the throne.

Although the new visitor center is not ready this year, there are several events taking place in East Lothian that may be of interest to history buffs.

Here’s what to expect, along with a quick rundown of what happened during the battle itself.

What is the Battle of Prestonpans?

The “Young Pretender” had already achieved success with the capture of Edinburgh in the days leading up to the battle.

Bonnie Prince Charlie had rallied an army of Highlanders and the Jacobites were determined to move south to England.

The government attempted to end it with a force led by Sir John Cope, and the two armies clashed in fields near Prestonpans.

The fight itself was over in less than 30 minutes, with government troops routed by a charge from the Highlands.

It was a huge moral boost for the Jacobites, with around 100 casualties they either killed or captured over 1,000.

The victories will not last, of course, and the Jacobites are defeated at Culloden in 1746.

Historical tour of the battle site

Local history teacher Peter Mackenzie will give visitors a to visit around the site at 10 am on Saturday.

It starts at the Jet gas station in Tranent and goes through Tranent Cemetery and the Waggonway.

This is not a walking tour and visitors will need vehicles to get around everything.

Commemoration of the battle

The Jacobites and Redcoats of Alan Breck’s Regiment, a living history and reenactment group, will hold a commemoration on Saturday, the anniversary of the battle.

A wreath will be laid at the cairn from 1745 at 11 a.m., followed by a flag raising at the pyramid from the nearby viewpoint.

There will be the unveiling of a plaque to Colonel Gardiner thereafter.

You can find out more at the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust.

Paper armies exhibition



The battle has been recreated in great detail in a new exhibit in the neighboring Prestoungrange Gothenburgh building.

Each soldier from each company and regiment is represented as paper miniatures in this new exhibit.

Volunteers made this exhibit, and there will also be vivid paintings by Andy Hillhouse depicting key moments in the battle and the history of the clans and regiments that fought there.

Join our nostalgic Facebook group Edinburgh in time for more fascinating facts about the history of Edinburgh.

More articles on the history of Edinburgh

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