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Our Battle in 1745

Online Visitors Guide

Visitors to Prestonpans have the opportunity to take a walking tour at any time of the year of the Battlefield with the benefit of the Guide provided by the Arts Festival.

Visit The Prestoungrange Gothenburg to collect details or phone 01875 819922

Our Battle Campaign
On September 21st 2005, the Prestoungrange Community Council and Prestoungrange Arts Festival formally launched a Campaign to greatly enhance the interpretation available for visitors to Prestonpans.

Ambitious plans involved replanting the Orchard and Hawthorn tree, an Interpretation Centre and excellent murals to tell the story.

Those interested should contact the Battle Campaign on 01875 819922 or email

The name Prestonpans is perhaps best known to school children and Jacobites alike as the site of the famous victory of Bonnie Prince Charlie over the Hanoverian forces of King George II in Scotland on September 21st 1745. Each year on its anniversary a Battlefield Walk is organised and a Battle Ceilidh is held at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg. It was re-enacted on its 250th Anniversary in 1995 both in Prestonpans and later in Milford, New York in 1999 as pictured below. A scale model was made in Prestonpans.

The battle is extremely well documented from official enquiries at the time and was of course romanticised by Sir Walter Scott in his first great historical novel that established that genre - Waverley - 'Tis 60 Years Since, Chapters 43/48. Scott of course had considerable association with Prestonpans as reported in his Journal and pictured.

Colonel Gardiner, of Bankton House, who had the misfortune to lead the cowardly Hanoverian dragoons, has been immortalised above all others for his personal bravery close by his own orchard as has the Thorntree where he was mortally wounded. The Hanoverian General, Sir John Cope was cruelly satirised.

Michael of Albany, has contributed his own account of the successes and tragedies of the '45 - the very year Fowler's Ales were first reportedly brewed in Prestonpans.

The following is a comprehensive selection of documentation of the town's most significant 'military' battle:

- Re-enactment at Prestonpans in 1995 - brochure & pictures and press cutting
- Michael of Albany's analysis of the '45 [ R14 in Library Listing; 2003]
- Sir Walter Scott's Waverley (1814)
- Robert Louis Stevenson's - Catriona, "Lord Advocate Prestoungrange"
- Official Battle Archives interpreted by Tomasson & Buist (1962)
- Satirical Poem - Johnnie Cope
- The Thorntree by Hugh Hannah
- Visit to Battlesite 21st September 1924 with late Dr Blaikie, East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalist Society Vol 2, pp 207/212
- Warfare in the Age of Reason - Prestonpans
- Celebration Song by Adam Skirving (1746)
- Sir Walter Scott's Journal (1837 / 1890 / 1972)
- Bankton House Restoration (1992-1995)
- Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of Hon. Col. James Gardiner

Scott, Stevenson and the Battle of Prestonpans

Victory @ Prestonpans - Christopher Duffy [2007]



In May 2006, the Prestoungrange Arts Festival in association with the Prestonpans Community Council, the 1745 Association and the Royal Stuart Society, with the patronage of descendants of 10 Chiefs and Hanoverian leaders present at the battle on September 21st, determined that a wholly more effective 'interpretation and presentation' of the Battle for visitors and indwellers alike was required. They launched the Battle of Prestonpans [1745] Heritage Trust and applied for it to be registered as a Charity. They further resolved to create an interpretive Dream of how the Battle site might be presented for launch to the nation on September 21st 2006 prior to raising funding. They explored all the options under the auspices of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufacture& Commerce's and Starbucks 2006 CoffeeHouse Challenge, and the outcomes are linked below:

RSA CoffeeHouse Challenge Report & Action Lines

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