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July 23rd 2003

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Battle Trust Memory Lane [41]: Battle Bing Re-presented

Hard to read here, but atop the Battle Bing it's fine! Take a walk there and get today's even better interpretation

Arran Johnston has designed the new extended interpretation panels, all 8 of them, at the top of the Bing where the Prince's battle flag flies all year except ... for that one week when King George II's Union flag flutters in the breeze - it's there from the date he died till the date he was born. As can be seen the wind takes a heavy toll!

N.B. It's a grand vantage point for seeing alignment for the final months of those two chimneys of ours with the bing's structure .. blue for Highlanders and red for Cope's soldiers!

As can be seen here, and in their glory on the Bing, images from the famous tapestry and paintings by Andrew Hillhouse and Kate Hunter are used alongside the words.

Sincere thanks to The Barons' Courts of Prestoungrange & Dolphinstoun and to Bord na Gaidhlig for their grant that met the expense for the Gaelic sections and for the bilingual street signs erected last autumn pointing the way to the Viewpoint. And of course to Beathag Mhoiresdan for her translations.

At work, the craftsmen and installers from Osprey. And you can see the original 20th century brass etched panels installed by East Lothian Regional Council, are preserved in place!


[Ed. One doubting Thomas suggested many in the Prince's army did not speak Gaelic. At the time of the victory on September 21st the vast majority did. Afterwards as large numbers flocked to the Prince's colours with even more switching sides, the Gaelic speaking percentage did indeed decline somewhat but it always remained very significant throughout the march to Derby, the occupation of Glasgow, victory at Falkirk and eventual defeat at Culloden ... which is why the Trust has ensured these signs today honour that national language.

There are statistics in Allan I. Macinnes’s “Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603–1788”, p. 163. At Prestonpans Gaelic speakers provided about 2,430 of the Jacobite force of 2,580 i.e. 94 per cent. On the march into England Gaelic speakers provided 67 per cent of the force of 6,000. At Culloden Gaelic speakers provided about 67 per cent of the Jacobite force but only 33 per cent of prisoners and other reported survivors.]

P.S. ... and Yes, you can drive a van to the top of the Bing ... if you have consent and take great care!

Published Date: July 22nd 2020

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