History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The Prince set sail from France in a hired ship, the De Tallay, and landed at Eriskay. From there he sailed to Loch nan Uamh, about 15 miles west of Glenfinnan. He anticipated a large welcome from the Highland clans, but was disappointed by the low numbers of supporters ready to welcome him. However, the grand moment was yet to come. Word was semt to Jacobite supporters across the Highlands and in Edinburgh that the Prince had arrived. Supporters were called to Glenfinnan for the raising of the Stauart standard. The act of raising a standard was a symbolic one; it had no real significance except that it gave notice to the Prince's supporters and his enemies that he officially claimed the throne for his father, and called on all who supported him to join his army.
As for the monument itself, it was built in 1815 by Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale, a local landowner, whose father's cousin was the chief with whom the prince stayed the night before the standard was raised. Macdonald himself died the same year the Monument was built, after a life given to pleasureable pursuits and way too much drinking. Much of his life seems to have been given over to the grand, theatrical gesture - much like the prince he sought to commemorate.
The column is entered by a porticoed doorway in the base, which gives onto an internal spiral stair. The stair leads to a platform surmounted by a huge statue of a man in Highland dress. Though the statue may represent Bonnie Prince Charlie, it may equally be meant to represent a generic Highland chief. Interestingly, the monument did not initially have a statue on top; that was added during a second phase of work in the 1830s. It was designed by sculptor John Greenshields.
The base of the statue is surrounded by a low stone wall, into which are set plaques detailing the purpose of the monument in three languages; Latin, Gaelic, and English.
Though you can climb the monument and look out over Loch Shiel from the top, by far the best way to get the full impact of the Glenfinnan Monument is to climb the low hill behind the visitor centre. This hill, which may be the very one where the prince's standard was raised, gives you wonderful views over the loch and the monument below, and up the glen to the viaduct.
One of Scotland's truly iconic sights; come in the early morning and see the mist rolling across the head of the loch, shrouding the memorial on its slender column.
About Glenfinnan Monument
Address: NTS Information Centre, Glenfinnan, Lochaber, Highlands , Highland, Scotland, PH37 4LT
Attraction Type: Historic Building - Monument
Location: On the A830, 18 ½ miles (30 km) west of Fort William
Website: Glenfinnan Monument
Phone: 01397 722250
National Trust for Scotland
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Glenfinnan Viaduct - 0 miles (Countryside)
Prince's Walk, Kinlochmoidart - 12.8 miles (Countryside)
West Highland Museum - 13.2 miles (Museum)
Road to the Isles - 13.2 miles (Countryside)
Old Inverlochy Castle - 14 miles (Castle)
Castle Tioram - 15.5 miles (Castle)
Clan Cameron Museum - 18.2 miles (Museum)
Glen Coe - 20.1 miles (Countryside)
Nearest Accommodation to Glenfinnan Monument:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Glenfinnan Monument. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.
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