Tayside and Central Scotland

Road works could reveal Battle of Killiecrankie relics

Killiecrankie Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Killiecrankie was the scene of a battle between Jacobite and government armies

Work to dual the A9 between Inverness and Perth could uncover relics of a battle fought more than 300 years ago.

Improvements to the trunk road between Killiecrankie and Pitagowan have been unveiled by Transport Minister Derek Mackay.

Killiecrankie was the scene of a Jacobite victory over a government army on 27 July 1689.

Mr Mackay said a metal detecting survey will be done at the battlefield later this summer.

The results of the survey will guide Transport Scotland's plans for the new stretch of dual carriageway.

Weapons and other items from the battle may also be found by the metal detectors.

Mr Mackay said: "The surveys will provide valuable information to allow us to refine designs for the road's upgrade, but could also unearth more hidden battlefield treasures.

"Previous finds here at Killiecrankie include the first grenades ever used on a battlefield in the UK and there is every chance of more of these types of finds which could shed new light on the battle here at the Pass of Killiecrankie all those years ago."

Image copyright Transport scotland
Image caption An illustration of the proposed dual carriageway between Killiecrankie and Pitagowan

National Trust for Scotland looks after the battlefield.

Iain Reid, the trust's interim chief executive, said: "Killiecrankie is one of Scotland's most famous and fateful battlefields and it is an honour for the National Trust for Scotland to care for it.

"We welcome the partnership with Transport Scotland as they conduct an archaeological survey of the wider area in preparation for the dualling of the A9.

"This is a fantastic opportunity as, hopefully, the survey will uncover artefacts and new information that will allow us to understand more about the events of 27 July 1689."

Killiecrankie was the first and most significant battle of the first Jacobite rebellion.

The Jacobites defeated the government force but at the loss of a third of their number, including their leader John Graham of Claverhouse, also known as Bonnie Dundee.

During the clash a soldier escaped by jumping across the River Garry at a spot now known as Soldier's Leap.

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