The huge Cumberland Stone sits in woodland very close to Culloden Moor. It is said that the Duke of Cumberland (the king’s son and leader of the government troops) ate his lunch, or in some accounts his breakfast, sitting atop the stone on the day of battle in 1746. It’s also said that he watched the battle from there.
There are steps hammered into the side of the rock, so we can all climb up on it. For fun. Not for battle watching. And it’s probably not the comfiest place to sit and eat lunch either!
I can attest to it being quite fun.
The stone is a remnant of the ice age, having been carried by the great ice sheet that covered most of Scotland, and then deposited when the ice melted 16,000 years ago.
The nearby memorial bench, inscription in Gaelic and English:
When researching for Fireflies and Chocolate, it interested me that the kidnappers’ ship, The Planter, sailed just three years before the battle of Culloden. Some local people must have been impacted by both events, surely? So, I gave the main character, Elizabeth, a Jacobite for a father, and she is deeply invested in the rebellion as is shown in this quote from the book:
I’m buying special treats at the market for us to have at Christmas when I hear it being said and exclaimed about by two wifies: The Jacobites have marched South. I rush to Mr Franklin’s shop, and not just to get chocolate this time. Surely he will know more details. He does, but not many. The Young Pretender, as they’re calling Bonnie Prince Charlie, landed in Scotland in the summer. The Jacobite army has taken Edinburgh and defeated the British troops in a battle at Prestonpans.
They’re winning! They’re actually winning! We could have a new king next year.
We all know what happened in the end, on that moor. I posted more about it here: Culloden and Clava
But let’s finish with a happier image. Some beautiful Jacobean glassware from the visitor centre at Culloden. The white rose was one of their symbols.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, out April 1st, was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!
See the publisher’s Press Release here