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Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Bonnie Prince Charlie monument 'mistake'
The Glenfinnan monument
The monument was erected in 1815
New evidence that one of Scotland's most famous monuments may have been sited in the wrong place is being examined by heritage experts.

The Glenfinnan Tower was erected in 1815 to commemorate the moment Bonnie Prince Charlie launched the 1745 Jacobite rising, the last Scottish campaign on English soil.

A plaque on the 65ft monument, which stands west of Fort William at Loch Shiel, says: "Here, in the name of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Raising of the Standard was finally celebrated."

But local historian Iain Thornber has called the statement into question after discovering a series of carved stones a quarter of a mile away which were uncovered by a moorland fire.

Glennfinnan monument
Thousands of tourists visit the site annually
The National Trust for Scotland said it was taking the new find seriously, but said there was no question of relocating the monument if the stones turned out to be the correct spot.

Trust spokesman Simon Walton said: "We interpret the plaque to refer to Glenfinnan as the place where Prince Charlie raised the standard, rather than the exact piece of turf where the monument stands.

"We are aware of the stones and it is something we are interested in.

"We are always looking at new evidence about the sites we care for and explaining Scotland's history and heritage is an important part of what the trust does."

He added: "It is not a new academic debate - it has been going on for quite a while and it mirrors to a lesser extent the debate that goes on about Bannockburn."

Infamous battle

Mr Walton said the Glenfinnan monument would remain unchanged, but the historical importance of the stones would be recognised if it was appropriate.

The 1745 uprising, which was started by the Prince 255 years ago on Saturday, ended in defeat for the Scots in the infamous battle of Culloden a year later.

Experts have speculated the standard may have been raised on higher ground than the site of the monument so that the clansmen could look up to their prince.

The debate over the spot echoes similar difficulties historians have had in pinning down the site of the Battle of Bannockburn, near Stirling, in 1314.

Last month councillors came under fire for planning a housing development on a field which was cited as one of the possible sites for the battle, in which an army led by Robert the Bruce defeated the forces of Edward II.

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Historical treasures unveiled
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