The Cumberland Stone near Culloden Moor

Cumberland Stone, by Culloden in the Scottish Highlands

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!

Steps on the Cumberland Stone by Culloden

I can attest to it being quite fun.

Metal rung on the Cumberland Stone near Culloden Moor

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:

Memorial bench beside the Cumberland Stone at Culloden.

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

Flag on Culloden Moor

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.

Jacobite wine glasses at Culloden visitor centre
Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE 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

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Review from the Historical Novel Society


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My Other Books

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

Set in 1st century Scotland, my latest novel, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodiverse main character and some rather complicated romance!

See the press release here

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Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'

Taking place mainly in a fictional castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

See the press release here

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From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

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51 Replies to “The Cumberland Stone near Culloden Moor”

          1. Thank you, I’m glad you like it, it means a lot to me … You were there by the stone … you felt it.. just like I felt ours … maybe the amazing old stones are connected … leylines 🙂 or…some with the field of inspiration…across the globe…You KNOW

            …sometimes writing is as if you reached hand to sky and brought something from don’t know HOW … but you know you caught it right !

            Stay strong, beatiful and creative, my Lady.

  1. I’d never come across that stone before – it’s wonderful. Reminds me of the Bowder Stone here in Cumbria (which I think translates as the ‘boulder’ stone. Whoever named it took things literally!!

  2. Your photos are always beautiful. I just finished The Mermaid and the Bear and loved it. I’ve recommended it to my reading friends. Looking forward to Fireflies and Chocolate! Thanks for writing such wonderful stories!

  3. I’m sorry we missed seeing the Cumberland Stone. But when we visited Culloden Moor a few years ago, I was spooked. I have goosebumps now, just thinking about it. There’s something really sad going on there, so tragic. Looking forward to ‘Fireflies and Chocolate’. Hope you’re keeping well xx

    1. Culloden is an atmospheric place. I was once shocked to see a band of historical highlanders emerging from the mist. They were re-enactors, but for a moment it was ghostly!

  4. A bit of my trivia for you:
    I live in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee, US. It is said that many Scotsmen who came to the US shortly after the Revolutionary War against English married Cherokee women in these mountains..

  5. Loving your posts, I am going to invest in your books, I will then pass them to my daughter I believe she will also really enjoy them xx

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