Battle of Prestonpans 1745

Our Heritage 'Campaign' & Significant Reports and Plans Arising

The Trustees first launched the Dream of the People of Prestonpans [LINKED HERE] in September 2006, setting out a range of issues they would focus on.  These Issues are listed immediately below here and a link is provided to the original documentation.

As the Campaign has progressed since 2006 significant steps have been taken giving rise to Reports and Plans and these are also summarised and linked below e.g. RGA's Economic Feasibility Study & haleysharpedesign Interior Visions.

Most recently in 2019, following a Resilience Studty partially supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Trust

has created its Vision for Victory and its Path to Victory 2019-2023 - details are given below in time sequence.

Issues addressed at the outset in Comments to Historic Scotland [now Historic Environment Scotland] in 2007 for The Prestonpans Heritage Campaign were:

Follow the links given at HERE below for all the details of the Trust's activities since.


The Campaign was launched with The Dream and a detailed a Manifesto following extensive local consultations and an RSA CoffeeHouse Challenge in 2006. By December 2010 the Trust launched its PROSPECTUS to the Nation seeking £5 million to develop a Living History Centre at Prestongrange Museum .

View the Dream of the People of Prestonpans HERE
View the Prestonpans Heritage Campaign Manifesto detailing 2006 HERE
View the PROSPECTUS to the Nation lodged with all MSPs @ Holyrood Parliament December 2010 HERE


The Petition to the Scottish Parliament @ Holyrood to support the Campaign made as the Tapestry was being displayed in the MSPs Lobby with the PROSPECTUS also forwarded to them all by Iain Gray MSP; and as Historic Scotland launched its Consultation on Stage 1 of its establishment of a National Inventory of Scottish Battlefields - December 2011. Specifically £5m towards the total of £7m is sought from government and public agencies and the Trust commits to seeking the balancing £2m from private donors.

View the PETITION [PE1387] as tabled on January 12th 2011 HERE

Comments from CEO of Historic Scotland to Committee HERE

Caveat entered by East Lothian Council re 'donate' HERE

Trust's Response to Comments from Historic Scotland/ Scottish Government HERE


Trust NewsLetters are printed from time to time for handing out at events in addition to the services provided for all here on this website; and NewsNet items posted regularly at this website - see News Reports button on left here.

View the Trust's NewsLetter Update @ May 2008 HERE
View the Trust's Progress Report to the AGM: November 2008 HERE

View the Trust's Progress Report to the AGM: November 2009 HERE

View the Trust's Progress Report to the AGM: November 2010 HERE

View the Trust's Progress Report to the AGM: November 2011 HERE


Tourism Trade Analysis of the 'Prestonpans Experience'

Source Tourism Solutions has undertaken exploratory studies with the travel trade and amongst societies & clubs to evaluate demand for visits and to develop ways to encourage visitors to enjoy a Prestonpans Experience of the battlefield and the murals art. These studies concluded that potential certainly exists and outlines ways to proceed which will continue to grow visitor numbers, identifying the Battle as the town's most alluring tourism attraction for trade suppliers.

1. View the Report from VisitScotland Expo, Aberdeen 16 & 17 April 2008 HERE
2. View SourceScotland Tourism - Scotland FINAL Trade Report December 2008 HERE
3. View SourceScotland Tourism FINAL Trade Report as PowerPoint Presentation HERE


Annual Re-enactments @ September 21st are supported by a newly raised local Alan Breck Regiment of Prestonpans Volunteers

Ian Nimmo, PastChairman of the RLS Society, has written this 'factitious' history of Al[l]an Breck Stewart, whose name has been given to the re-enactment Prestonpans Volunteers established under Martin Margulies as Colonel-in-Chief in September 2007. Lessons have been learned each year and images captured.

Briefing for all Prestonpans Volunteers with The Alan Breck Regiment HERE
Cameos captured @ Annual Re-enactments from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 are HERE


Economic Feasibility of a Visitor Centre at Meadowmill or Prestongrange Museum by RGA

The first major external study commissioned by the Trustees explored whether or not a Visitor Centre at Meadowmill could, once capital expenditure had been met, function of a self-sustaining basis.  RGA's Max Gaunt, a Tourism Potential Assessor with the strongest reputation in Scotland who correctly forecast visitor success for the Falkirk Wheel and the Scottish Parliament, was invited to undertake the evaluation for the Trust and we are delighted to report he confirmed the Trustee's intuition suggesting that some 70,000 visitors each year could be predicted provided the Centre was of the right quality.

In 2010 the Trust resolved to explore the economic feasibility of locating at the Prestongrange Heritage Museum, and RGA updated their earlier study. They concluded some 120,000 visitors could be expected if the Museum's other facilities were substantially upgraded and interpreted.

View RGA's Economic Feasibility Report HERE
View RGA's Updated Economic Feasibility Report [2010] HERE

Battlefield Archaeological Research & Related Initiatives - with HLF Support

The Trustees absolutely believe that the necessary 'quality' Visitor Centre at Meadowmill must be based on thoroughly researched foundations, not least of the battlefield itself. And although the passage of 263 years has meant a considerable portion of that ground is now in residential and industrial use implying much may have been lost, it remains a primary requirement that what remains shall be carefully evaluated, archived and as appropriate prepared for presentation at the Centre.

To carry this forward with the counsel of Dr Tony Pollard of Glasgow University Battlefield Archaeology Centre and the County Archaeologist Biddy Simpson, a 'Your Heritage' Grant from the Heritage Lottery was sought and gained in March 2008. Some £50,000 for HLF together with £10,000 from other Trust donors is being invested in this and other activities described below.

1. View 'Your Heritage' Project Proposal HERE
2. View The Battlefield Archaeolgy Centre's Proposal HERE

3. FINAL Report of Battlefield Archaeological Study HERE

4. Management Statement re Battlefield Inventory & Future Development [Dr Tony Pollard] HERE

The 'Your Heritage' Project also includes a September 2008 Symposium convened by Trustee Herbert Coutts for all stakeholders to debate Campaign Progress to date and future Challenges, the training of Visitor Guides and the creation of battlefield markers.

View 2008 Symposium Evaluation Report HERE

View 2010 Symposium Evaluation Report HERE

View 2012 Symposium Evaluation Report HERE

   * Ronnie Black's Talk on origins of 'Gladsmuir'


'Imagining' Victory Hope and Ambition within The Centre

The Visitor Centre is not to be a 'museum' of history.  It is conceived as a forum for Living History, building on the Hope and Ambition created by Victory at Prestonpans in 1745. Whilst the story will of course be told of the stunning Victory achieved by Prince Charles Edward's Highlanders over the redcoat army led by General Sir John Cope, it will be the occasion for the celebration of the Hopes and Ambitions of each and every visitor that hears and sees it retold. To begin to imagine and to envision how this can be accomplished and sustained at the Centre the Trustees commissioned the internationally acclaimed interior design team at haleysharpedesign to work during the summer of 2008 and to present their own emergent ideas to MSPs at Holyrood Parliament and to the HLF sponsored Biennial Battle Symposium in Prestonpanson September 18th/ 19th. The Final Report was tabled in October and is linked below along with the two interim documents.

1. View the 'Imagining Options' HERE
2. View haleysharpedesign's 'Suggested Scheme' presented at Holyrood HERE
3. View haleysharpedesign's 'Final Report' HERE


Historic Scotland's Consultation on How Best to Protect the Nation's Battlefields

During the early summer of 2008 Historic Scotland sought the nation's views through a Consultation Document setting out what they felt should be done to protect Scotland's Battlefields. The Trust considered the document not only amongst themselves but at an Open Consultation in Prestonpans on June 23rd to which they invited leaders from East Lothian Antiquarians, Dunbar and Prestonpans Community Councils, Prestonpans Historical Society, Old Musselburgh Club's Pinkie Group and the public at large.

The overwhelming opinion was that the document was 'slight' and came nowhere near to meeting the requirements of the challenges or the opportuinities. A set of 'trenchant' comments were tabled and submitted to Historic Scotland as well as forwaded to the First Minister and the Minister of Culture. In essence the Trust argued that battlefields are far more than tactics and terrain. They have a vital educational message to share and they are an integral element in the personality and self esteem of the community where the battle took place. Simply to identify archaeologically the precise site and 'protect' it falls well short of what is required and international comparisons demonstrate this clearly.

1. View our Trust's Response to Historic Scotland HERE
2. View Historic Scotland's analysis of 70 responses received HERE
    [N.B. All Accessible Responses are also available HERE]

3. Comments from Battle Trust to Historic Scotland re Battlefields Inventory: February 2011 HERE

4. ELC County Archaeologist's Comments to Historic Scotland HERE

The Trustees were disappointed that the views they advanced were not accepted by the Minister on the advice of Historic Scotland [HS]. In particular the Trust had argued that each local 'stewardship' community should prepare a strategic proposal for their battle's 'interpretation, even though funding availability would clearly mean implementation could only be achieved over a long timescale.

HS was asked to analyse what difference the Consultation had made and replied as follows:

3. Letter from Gordon Barclay, Head of Policy at Historic Scotland, July 31st 2009

4. Stage 1 Consultation re '17 Listed' for National Battlefields Inventory, December 13th 2010


Conserving & Interpreting the WaggonWay from Tranent to Cockenzie

The WaggonWay that runs from Tranent to Cockenzie is arguably Britain's oldest railway. Its gravity system allowed coal from Tranent to reach Cockenzie Harbour with ease from the beginning of the 18th century - initially with wooden rails later replaced by iron. The proposed scheme will involve research archaeology, interpretation boards, the construction of a replica waggon and the re-routing of the surviving paths to join with the John Muir Way at the north. Bonnie Prince Charlie's Highland Army charged across the WaggonWay as they pursued the redcoats to the walls of Preston House in 1745.

View the Initial 'Draft' Proposal HERE

View the HLF Application HERE

Third Force News from Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations

The Battle Trust is a Members of the Council of SCVO and when Raymond Duncan saw Andrew Dallmeyer's Battle of Pots 'n Pans at The Fringe in August he resolved to feature a supportive review of our work, commending our approach to other communities that are stewards of the nation's battlefields.Now there's a thought!

View to TFN Article October 2008 HERE


Scotland's Homecoming 2009: Prestonpans Clan Exhibition & Activities: July 18th/ 31st

The Trust with support from East Lothian Council's Homecoming Fund presented an Exhibition and a wide range of associated events hubbed from The Prestoungrange Gothenburg. The Briefing on the major Clans who were with The Prince at the battle on September 21st 1745 was prepared by Arran Johnston.

View Briefing on The Clans with The Prince at Prestonpans HERE
View the Presentation Boards displayed at the Exhibition HERE
View the 'Programme of Activities' conducted during the exhibition HERE

View the Camerons Tranent Churchyard Skirmish HERE


Living History Centre Proposal for the National Dialogue: June 2009

The Minister of Culture Michael Russell MSP, with responsibility for Historic Scotland and the protection of Scottish battlefields, formally agreed with the Trustees at their meeting in April 2009 to assist the Trust in the next stage of its campaign to create the national living history centre focussed on the battle in 1745 - which is to develop comprehensive details and to seek funding.

The 'next step' documentation was tabled with the the Minister's representatives from Historic Scotland on June 22nd. It was outplaced for a Concept Review by Devonhall Associates and the Trustees then responded to the opinions Devonhall expressed in November - as shown below.In July 2010 the Trustees summarised their emerging proposals as their PROSPECTUS FOR THE NATION [Edition I]. This explores Plan B i.e. that the Centre including a tapestry Pavilion should be at the Prestongrange Heritage Museum at Morrisons Haven. A comprehensive [Edition II] of the Prospectus was published in December 2010.

View Proposal for National Dialogue HERE
View Supporting Documents HERE

View Scottish Government's 'Concept Review' / Devonhall Associates HERE

View Trustee's Comments on Scottish Government's 'Concept Review' HERE

View Trustees PROSPECTUS FOR THE NATION [Version A] .... HERE

View [Plan B] Heritage Museum BathHouse Condition & Proposals Report HERE
View PROSPECTUS to the Nation tabled with all MSPs @ Holyrood Parliament December 2010 HERE

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop's Letter of Support: February 2011


BattleGame - Prestonpans September 21st 1745

Gordon Veitch has developed a BattleGame board 10' x 8' for thenTrust with scaled models of all the relevant buildings and topographical features on which the battle can be fought by gamers.

View the Rules of Play HERE


School Visits Programme - sponsored by Scottish Arts Council/ Lottery Awards for All

The ambition to visit schools to tell the story of the Battle of Prestonpans was realised with the support of the Scottish Arts Council in 2009/ 2010. Leadership and co-ordination for the Trust were by Kristine Cunningham and Martine Robertson. Greg Dawson-Allen was appointed as Story Teller and a comprhensive programme of visits to schools made using Weapons Demonstrations, the Trust's BattleBus, Gordon Veitch's BattleGame, the Adams DVD and a new Youngster's Guide especially written for the Trust by Stuart McHardy.

Battle of Prestonpans 1745 by Stuart McHardy HERE

View the Schools Visit Programme HERE

Feedback on Initial Visit to P6 @ St Gabriel's School HERE

 * Invitation to Join Re-enactments [1] HERE

 * Invitation to Join BattleGame [2] HERE
Fiona Campbell's Report on School Visits to Prestonpans Tapestry Summer 2010 HERE

Preston Lodge School BBC Video LINKED HERE


Petition to East Lothian Council re preservation of Cope's Obelisk et al

In January 2010 the Trustees together with Prestonpans Community Council tabled a Petition to East Lothan Council that they should take better care of the area surrounding Cope's obelisk, the environment of the Battle Bing, road signage and realated issues; and that they should declare publicly their support for the Campaign. ELC Cabinet in June 2010decalred their supprt at the same toime indicating that they would wish to explore the possibility of creating the Battle Living History Centre at the Heritage Museum rather than on the Battle Bing. The Trust accepted that this proposition should be evaluated carefully - provided the battle site, battle bing and Riggonhead Defile were alo protected and presented effectively, and provided an overall plan for the Museum was put in place. If these provisos were acceptable then the Museum site had considerable advantages for the community at large.

View the Petition HERE

Minutes of ELC Petitions Committee HERE

Tom Shearer's Report to ELC Cabinet on June 8th [Agreed thereat] HERE

1st Annual Progress Report to ELC HERE


The Prestonpans Tapestry

Throughout 2009 & 2010 the Trust and the Prestoungrange Arts Festival worked with 200+ embroiderers across the nation to create a tapestry 103 metres long x 460mm telling the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's epic journey from Rome/ St Nazaire to Victory at Prestonpans in September 1745. The full story of its creation is told at our dedicated website address  The design artwork was by Dr Andrew Crummy, Senior Stitcher was Dorie Wilkie with Gillian Hart as Convenor of the Stitchers.

East Lothian Life Winter 2009 article linked HERE

Prestonpans Tapestry 'MidWay' Briefing March 2010 HERE [1]

& HERE for  Part [2]

East Lothian Life Autumn & Winter 2010 article - Pt 1 HERE:  Pt 2 HERE

Prestonpans Tapestry Briefing for November/ December 2010 visitors at Dovecot Tapestry Studios

Edinburgh HERE [1] & HERE for Part [2 ]

Taking Proper Care of the Prestonpans Tapestry - Keeper's Report and Future Plans HERE

Review of the Prestonpans Tapestry in Stitch magazine December 2010 HERE

Quick Guide to The Tapestry HERE

In 2015 the Trust also took ownership and responsibility for the 305 panel,153 metre Scottish Diaspora Tapestry as well as The PrestonpansTapestry.


Proposals to Heritage Lottery Fund [HLF] to transform The BathHouse at Prestongrange Museum

In 2017 the Trust submitted ambitious proposals for a Living History Centre to HLF in partnership with East Lothian Council at Prestongrange Museum, which were unfortunately rejected. A Resilience Grant was subsequently forthcoming to allow the Trust to continue its momentum - see next section..

Application to Heritage Lottery Fund HERE

Visuals for BathHouse Proposal HERE


Vision for Victory 1745 & Path to Victory 2019

The Resilience Studies involved an External Audit of all the Trust has achieved since 2006 and a Comparative Study of other successful battke sites across the UK and Europe.. These acted as input to the formulation known as Vision for Victory made accessible on the internet for Consultation from April 18th/ May 9th 2019.

External Audit by DC Consulting HERE

Comparative Studies HERE

Vision for Victory HERE



Our Campaign since 2006 October 2023.