Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Paths could retrace Jacobite night march of 1746

March re-enactment
The march was re-enacted on its anniversary last April

Parts of routes believed to have been followed by Jacobites attempting a night assault could be recreated in a new network of public footpaths.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) said elements of the ill-fated night march of April 1746 could be a feature of the project at Culloden.

However, the trust stressed the paths idea was still in the early stages.

Supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie tried to march from Culloden to Nairn to attack Hanoverian troops.

Last year, the night march was re-enacted for the first time to give historians an insight into what the Jacobite soldiers endured.

The aim of the project would be to highlight the wider social and natural landscape in that area
NTS spokeswoman

NTS said routes thought to have been taken could be part of the proposed paths network, but no decisions have been taken so far on the project.

A spokeswoman said: "We are working with the Forestry Commission Scotland and Highland Council to explore the long-term possibility of developing a network of footpaths around the Culloden area.

"The aim of the project would be to highlight the wider social and natural landscape in that area. The project is at a very early stage at present."

Last April's re-enactment aimed to follow as closely as possible the original routes taken to and from the outskirts of Nairn, and within the same timeframe.

Twelve of the 20 who set out to retrace the attempted surprise attack of 15 April, 1746, completed a round trip of about 24 miles.

Effect on morale

Two men ended up in hospital with foot injuries, while most others had blisters and sore thighs and ankles.

The project showed how far the Jacobite forces could have reached.

Archaeologist and Culloden expert Dr Tony Pollard, from the University of Glasgow, said it also shed light on the endurance of the marchers, many of whom were to fight at the Battle of Culloden the following day, and the effect on morale when they were ordered to abort the planned attack on government troops camped on the edge of Nairn.

Dr Pollard said after the attempt: "It is incredible to think that many of those who completed the original night march went on to fight at Culloden."

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