Inventory Battlefield

Battle of AuldearnBTL3

Date of Battle: 9 May 1645

Status: Designated


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Designation Record and Full Report Contents

  • Name
  • Summary Information
  • Overview and Statement of Significance
  • Inventory Boundary
  • Historical Background to the Battle
    • The Armies
    • Numbers
    • Losses
    • Action
    • Aftermath and Consequences
  • Events and Participants
    • Context
  • Battlefield Landscape
    • Location
    • Terrain
    • Condition
  • Archaeological and Physical Remains and Potential
  • Cultural Association
    • Commemoration and Interpretation
  • References


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
NH 91289 55259
291289, 855259

Overview and Statement of Significance

Auldearn is significant as the first time that the Marquis of Montrose's Royalist forces had faced an experienced Covenanter army. Due to brilliant military tactics he was able to inflict a heavy defeat on them despite being outnumbered. The battle is often viewed as Montrose's greatest victory and is a significant Royalist success story at the point when their fortunes in England were less inspiring. Auldearn is also notable for being one of the last battles in Europe where there was significant use of the bow. Bows had become largely obsolete in England and in Europe by the 16th century, but some Highlanders still used them at this time. Currently no other 17th century battlefields in Europe have produced evidence for significant use of bows.

The Battle of Auldearn was a major victory for the Scottish Royalists over the Covenanter army during the Civil Wars. It was the fourth battle of the campaign of the Marquis of Montrose on behalf of Charles I and was central to his reputation as a highly skilled commander. Despite insufficient intelligence and a smaller army, Montrose was able to inflict an utterly devastating defeat on the Covenanter army under Sir John Hurry.

Inventory Boundary

The Inventory boundary defines the area in which the main events of the battle are considered to have taken place (landscape context) and where associated physical remains and archaeological evidence occur or may be expected (specific qualities). The landscape context is described under battlefield landscape: it encompasses areas of fighting, key movements of troops across the landscape and other important locations, such as the positions of camps or vantage points. Although the landscape has changed since the time of the battle, key characteristics of the terrain at the time of the battle can normally still be identified, enabling events to be more fully understood and interpreted in their landscape context. Specific qualities are described under physical remains and potential: these include landscape features that played a significant role in the battle, other physical remains, such as enclosures or built structures, and areas of known or potential archaeological evidence.

The Inventory boundary for the Battle of Auldearn is defined on the accompanying map and includes the following areas:

  • Land to the west of Auldearn village, as the direction of the advance of the Covenanter army and their initial organisation into battle formation around the farm of Kinnudie.
  • Auldearn Village, including the position of the Royalist troops within the village 'enclosures', the parkland of Boath House and the left flank to the south of Dooket Hill.
  • The terrain surrounding Dooket Hill and views to the monument from the Royalist positions in the village. This landscape feature is key to understanding how Montrose effectively exploited the terrain to outmanoeuvre the Covenanter army.
  • Lands to the south-west and south of Auldearn village including the summit and southern slopes of Garlic Hill and Dead Wood. The probable direction of the Covenanter's rout.

Historical Background

Montrose had been retreating northwards after attempting to besiege Dundee. He was pursued by a Covenanter army under William Baillie, but a second, smaller army had been sent to outflank him. This army, under Sir John Hurry, beat him to Inverness and fought a rearguard action to keep Montrose from the town. Montrose retreated to Auldearn, but wanted to deal with Hurry before Baillie could arrive and surround him. However, during the night of 8 May, Hurry advanced on Auldearn under the cover of bad weather. Unfortunately, because of the wet conditions, the Covenanter troops fired their muskets to clear the barrels, which was heard by Montrose's scouts and the alarm was raised.

By morning, Hurry was drawn up to the west of Auldearn with an army of at least 3,000 men including regulars and levies and at least 300 cavalry; some of the primary sources put Hurry's strength at around 5,000. Montrose had around 2,000 men consisting of a mixture of recruits and experienced Irish infantry with 300-600 cavalry. Montrose had Alasdair Mac Colla, his most experienced infantry officer, on the right wing at Boath House (a mansion house located to the north of the village) with the vanguard of two regiments, roughly 400 men; he placed a small body of experienced infantry in the enclosures at the centre of his line, together with his artillery and the royal standard. The standard was intended to persuade the Covenanters to focus on the centre and right. The remainder of Montrose's army were on the left, including all of the cavalry. They were largely hidden from the view of the Covenanters.

Mac Colla on the right and the troops in the centre were ordered by Montrose to hold their position at all costs. However, Mac Colla appears to have disobeyed this order. As the Covenanters attacked the Royalist right, as Montrose had intended, Mac Colla made a charge to drive them back. However, the Covenanter vanguard was too strong and he had to fall back into the enclosures. He then appears to have made a second sally, but was again heavily counter-attacked by the Covenanter vanguard and was pushed back to the enclosures for a second time; Montrose's judgement that these positions were virtually impregnable appears to have been justified by these events.

The Covenanter vanguard paused at this point to allow the main body of the army to join them, but this gave Montrose time to get his left wing out to the battlefield and charge the Covenanters. The cavalry under Lord Gordon broke the Covenanter cavalry, who scattered and left the infantry unprotected. The Covenanter infantry stood their ground, however, and may have been able to fight off the assault. However, the right wing of the Covenanter cavalry wheeled in the wrong direction and disrupted their own infantry line. As the Royalist cavalry started to break through the Covenanter infantry, Mac Colla charged from the enclosures. Hurry's infantry broke and ran, the rout soon turning into a bloody execution as the Royalist cavalry pressed home the pursuit. In the aftermath of the battle, the commander of the Covenanter cavalry on the right flank, Captain Drummond, was blamed for the defeat. It was believed that he had deliberately ridden his men into the infantry, disrupting the line and allowing the Royalists to break through. Part of the reason for this belief was the defection of Sir John Hurry, who was seen as the instigator of the cavalry action, to the Royalist cause. Whether or not there was any truth in the allegation, Drummond was executed for his mistake.

The Armies

The troops on both sides seem to have been largely equipped, trained and to have fought according to contemporary European practice, rather than with the Highlanders' equipment and tactics seen in some later battles. The exception was the Royalist right, where Alistair Mac Colla's (the Royalist army's most experienced infantry officer) action may have been less ordered, and where some infantry, at least on the Covenanter left, carried bows rather than muskets (MacBain & Kennedy, 1892). According to Gordon, at least some of the Royalist horse was armed with both pistols and carbines, while the army was also able to deploy some artillery.


There is some dispute over the numbers engaged, with primary and secondary sources giving significantly different numbers for each side. The issue is reviewed by Stevenson and by Reid, upon whose assessment the following are based.

Royalist: c.2,000, comprising 1,440 foot and 600 cavalry, a mixture of experienced Highland and Irish troops together with raw recruits. Primary accounts give: 1400 horse and foot (Montrose, 1645); 2,000 foot, 300 horse all being gentlemen (Gordon & Dunn, 1844). 1,500 foot, 2500 horse (Wishart, 1720).

Covenanter: c.3,000, comprising 1,700 regular & 1,300 local foot; and 300 horse. Primary accounts give: Laver's, Buchanan's, Lothien's, Lowdon's foot regiments plus 300 horse making 4-5,000 troops (Montrose 1645). 3 regiments of well trained foot numbering 4,000 and 6-700 horse, all common men; also states that Covenanter reports quote at least 3000 foot and 700 horse (Gordon and Dunn, 1844). 3500 foot, 400 horse (Wishart, 1720). Fraser simply states that Hurry greatly outnumbered Montrose (Fraser and Mackay, 1905).


Primary sources suggest that 2-3,000 Covenanter soldiers were killed, together with many officers killed or captured. Royalist losses were put at 24 for the Scottish troops and a few Irish losses. Both sets of numbers appear rather unlikely. More recently, Reid's account has suggested very different figures; 500 Covenanters against c.200 Royalists.


Though the scouts raised the alarm, the Royalists were still hard pressed to deploy in time, with Mac Colla only able to get two regiments drawn up, one his Irish troops, the other Huntlie's, before the Covenanters came within sight. Though one report suggests he placed his army 'in good posture' to take the Covenanter attack (Spalding 1792), Stevenson claims that Montrose's forces were in disarray, with troops from different regiments being drawn hurriedly together, explaining the mixing up of the Gordon and the Irish infantry (Montrose 1645; MacBain & Kennedy 1892; Stevenson 1980). Meanwhile, Montrose formed up the rest of the troops in the dead ground to the east, in a hollow shielded from enemy view by the ridge on which the village sat and by other small hillocks. Mac Colla is said to have held off the first Covenanter attack while Montrose formed up to face the main body of the enemy (Fraser & Mackay 1905; Gordon & Dunn 1844). The Covenanters, whether marching from Nairn or along the direct route from Inverness via Howeford, will have approached Auldearn from the west, explaining why they are described as drawing up their forces into battle formation in the land 'about Kinudie' (Fraser & Mackay 1905).

Because of the shortage of numbers, in front of the village Montrose deployed no centre to the south of Mac Colla; he just placed a small body of troops, experienced foot together with artillery, under the cover of the dykes, presumably walled enclosures on the western edge of the village, to give the impression of a central body. He ordered both Mac Colla and the troops before the village not to quit their position, which was strong against horse or foot, and with them he placed the royal standard to draw the main attack on this almost impregnable position. This enabled Montrose to concentrate the majority of his troops in the left wing, in the main body under his personal command. Because his force was so small there was no opportunity to deploy a reserve (Wishart 1720). Under Gordon's overall command the horse were drawn up, presumably on either side of Montrose's main infantry deployment, in two bodies of about 100 each, with James Gordon, the Viscount Aboyne, on the right and Lord Gordon on the left (Gordon & Dunn, 1844).

As Montrose had intended, the Covenanters did indeed launch their initial assault against Mac Colla's wing and on the centre, with a regiment of foot and two troops of horse (Gordon & Dunn, 1844). However, it appears that, instead of holding his position while Montrose formed up and launched his attack on the left, Mac Colla sallied out from the enclosure against a far stronger enemy force of both horse and foot. Fraser is clear that it was Mac Colla who made the first Royalist assault and that, after a fire-fight, was driven back in disorder, saved only by retreating 'to a neighbouring enclosure' (Wishart 1720). This is described as the walled garden from which he had originally advanced (MacBain & Kennedy, 1892), which seems not to be a small village enclosure but is almost certainly the garden to Boath House. However, Gordon describes Mac Colla as retiring to 'some yeards of the town' from which he fired on the enemy, though perhaps he is confusing the action of the other troops deployed to the south of Mac Colla. It seems likely that Fraser and the Clanranald account provide more correct evidence, and that Gordon's account confuses action involving troops to the south of Mac Colla.

Gordon's account would indicate that Mac Colla then made a second sally from the enclosure, but that 'the ground upon his left had being all quagyre and bushes' and so was unable to march forward in order. There, Mac Colla was charged by two regiments 'in a full body, flanked with horsemen', their main battle following, one regiment seconding another. Mac Colla was forced to retire again, the enemy nearly encompassing his two regiments. But the enemy horse were unable to assault him behind the 'dycks of the yeards' which he retreated into, although the enemy foot were about to encompass him.

It seems that when their attack failed to carry the Royalist positions, the Covenanter vanguard drew back and stood briefly, waiting for their main body to come up to second them. This seems to have given Montrose time to deploy his forces in two wings, which he wrote was as much as the ground would allow (Montrose 1645). Presumably, this meant him bringing up the main body from behind the village to form up on the south-west side, facing the main body of the Covenanter army, probably towards the latter's right flank.

It is clear that Mac Colla's and Montrose's initial actions were out of view of each other, which accords well with them being on either side of Dooket (or Castle) Hill, which overshadows all the ground. Montrose ordered Gordon's cavalry charge on the left and these soon broke Hurry's right wing of horse, leaving the infantry flank unprotected. However, the Covenanter foot still stood in good order to take Montrose's infantry charge. Fraser's account makes clear that the critical action was far more complex than any Royalist account indicates. As the main Royalist body on the left (south), described by Fraser as the Strathbogie regiment, advanced to the attack, Captain Drummond who commanded the Covenanter right wing of horse wheeled to left instead of right and disordered the main body of his own foot. It was this, according to Fraser, that not only put their cavalry at a disadvantage and presumably unable to meet Gordon's attack, but most importantly, opened up the Covenanter infantry body to Montrose's infantry attack. So critical was this event to the outcome of the battle that Drummond, on orders from Edinburgh, was later executed for his mistake, though Fraser claims Drummond was following a genuine order by the turncoat Hurry to destroy his own army, for soon after Auldearn, Hurry joined the Royalist cause.

Gordon's account claims that it was the bravery of Mac Colla and his men, supported by Lord Gordon's cavalry, that carried the day, but the other accounts suggest it was Drummond's mistaken action followed up by Montrose's attack with the main body that actually relieved Mac Colla. Only when he saw Royalist forces advancing from behind the enemy did Mac Colla sally out from the garden for the last time. Thus attacked on both sides, the Covenanter regiments of Lawers stood and fought and 'fell in their ranks', though Fraser seems to indicate that Mac Colla began the assault first and that only then did Montrose launch the main attack. Though Stevenson has demonstrated that the exact positioning of Montrose's main body and the direction of his attack as described by Gardiner is wrong, the fact that such an attack took place cannot be disputed. Indeed, now that the historic terrain is better understood and thus the deployments more accurately placed in the landscape, it would appear that such a sweeping move by Montrose around the back of the Covenanters could explain why it was Gordon who attacked the Covenanter left, not Aboyne. Wishart described Montrose driving on and, after defeating the main body, wheeling to the right towards Mac Colla's position. When the enemy assaulting Mac Colla in the enclosure saw Montrose advancing against them, the horse fled, but the foot stood and fought bravely (Wishart, 1720). Loudon's, Lothian's, Lair's and Buchanan's regiments were thus 'cut off' and fought to the death, killed in rank and file as they stood, according to most accounts. However, Montrose wrote that after hot salvos from his musketeers, together with sword and pike action, the Covenanters fled in disorder.

Though they kept good order, the Covenanter infantry that stood and fought at the end appear to have been slaughtered, for the Royalists gave no quarter. The Royalists cited earlier atrocities by their enemies, but in reality this abandonment of what had become normal practice through most of the Civil Wars was typical of Montrose's whole campaign, particularly where the Irish troops were involved. Such barbarity would ultimately contribute to the destruction of the Royalist cause in Scotland. It would also have an impact on the treatment of Jacobite prisoners during the Jacobite wars.

Fraser goes on to say that many Covenanters were killed among the banks and bushes about Kinnudie, Kinstary and Brightmony. This was used by Stevenson to argue for a Covenanter attack from the south-west, in an attempt to demolish Gardiner's interpretation of the battle. However, such flight in this south-east direction might equally be explained by Montrose sweeping around to the right, across the battlefield, and attacking the remaining Covenanter regiments from the west, as Mac Colla attacked out of the enclosure from the east. In this situation some Covenanter troops may well have broken and fled south eastward towards Kinsteary.

Though Reid suggests the battle probably lasted much of the day, with periods of intense fighting interspersed by lulls, there is little in the primary accounts to suggest that it was any longer than the two or three hours which was the norm for major Civil War battles, though Montrose does indicate that after the first assault there was a brief lull as the Covenanter vanguard waited for the main body to advance in support. The one exception is Lord Fraser's brief comment that the battle was fought 'the space of tuelff hours.' (Thomson, 1843).

Aftermath & Consequences

At Auldearn, Montrose had defeated a significantly stronger force and, though the numbers involved were relatively small, the battle was central to Montrose's reputation as a highly skilled commander. It set the scene for a series of new Royalist victories, as the campaign moved south towards the Lowlands, and Montrose's campaign was the one significant Royalist success story in the later stages of the First Civil War. Auldearn has always been viewed as Montrose's greatest victory, but aware of the threat posed by the advance of the other Covenanter army under Baillie, he had no time to enjoy the success. After briefly plundering and destroying the surrounding territory, the next day Montrose's army marched eastward across the Spey. It is also the first battle in which Montrose had a significant number of cavalry and these he used to good effect.

In choosing to quarter at Auldearn, Montrose seemed to be choosing ground on which he felt confident of fighting Hurry, something that he decided must be done before the two Covenanter forces were united. It was a strong position, with the main road from the west flanked by the marsh, forcing the Covenanters to fight in a constricted space and unable to exploit their advantage in numbers. The marsh and the walled enclosures of Boath and of the village of Auldearn, together with the steep and unapproachable Dooket (or Castle) Hill, presented an ideal ground for the defensive tactics that Montrose employed.

The failure of intelligence prior to the battle, seen throughout Montrose's campaign and a common problem with Royalist armies right across both kingdoms, was more than outweighed by the tactical brilliance he showed in the exploitation of the terrain and in his deception of the enemy with his deployment of small numbers of troops in the enclosures. The choice of ground enabled the Royalists to divide into two unequal wings, Mac Colla's strong position on the right being intended as the strongpoint on which to anchor the deployment. This then enabled Montrose to concentrate his forces into the left, which could operate in more open ground and which, if the initial attack was successful, could sweep around and encircle the enemy.

Events & Participants

James Graham was the fifth Earl of Montrose and the first Marquis of Montrose. He was the chief of Clan Graham. Montrose had been a supporter and signatory of the National Covenant in 1638, but had then become a Royalist, although he was driven by motives other than a desire to impose the Divine Right of Kings upon Scotland. He and Archibald Campbell, the eighth Earl of Argyll, were bitter rivals, and Montrose believed that the Covenant had become nothing more than a vehicle for Argyll's ambition. Always a moderate among the Covenanters, Montrose considered that the agreement in 1641 with Charles that had removed episcopacy from Scotland had fulfilled the demands of the Covenant and that to continue in opposition to him would be breaking that agreement. Following the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant in September 1643, Montrose presented himself to Charles I service at his headquarters in Oxford. On behalf of the King, he then fought a campaign intended to draw Covenanter forces away from supporting the Parliamentarians in England, and in this it was a success. Montrose fought a series of seven battles against Covenanter armies across the Highlands in 1644 and 1645, beginning with Tippermuir and ending at Philiphaugh, where he suffered his only defeat He attempted to do the same on behalf of Charles II in 1650, but on this occasion fought only a single battle at Carbisdale. After his defeat there, he was captured and brought to Edinburgh for trial. On 21 May 1650, he was hanged and then beheaded. His head was fixed to a spike on Edinburgh's Tollbooth, his body quartered, and his limbs were displayed in Stirling, Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen. Following the Restoration of Charles II as king in 1660, Montrose's remains were collected together once more and were interred in the High Kirk of St Giles in Edinburgh in May 1661.

Alasdair Mac Colla was the son of Coll 'Colkitto' MacDonald. He is widely credited with the creation of the 'Highland Charge', a tactic used with such devastating effect by Highlanders throughout the subsequent century, although some of the credit should likely also go to his compatriot Manus O' Cahan. He had fled to Ireland in 1638 to escape Campbell depredations in MacDonald territory within Scotland, and he fought for the MacDonnell Earl of Antrim in the Irish Rebellion of 1641. In 1644, he was dispatched to Scotland with between 1500 and 2000 Ulster and MacDonald troops to support Royalist efforts there, and to attempt to draw Covenanter forces out of Ireland and relieve pressure on the Irish Confederacy. Mac Colla gladly accepted the task, as Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll, was not only the leading Covenanter in Scotland, he was also the clan chief of the Campbells, giving Mac Colla a chance to strike back against his hated foe. He landed in Argyll lands in July, immediately seizing the castle at Mingary. He continued to build his support in the north-west until he finally moved to Blair Atholl, where he joined his forces with Montrose at the end of August. This was the beginning of an immensely successful partnership, with Mac Colla present at the Royalist victories at Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Inverlochy, Auldearn and Kilsyth. However, Mac Colla's focus remained in his homelands in the north-west, so when Montrose moved south towards England, Mac Colla dispatched Manus O' Cahan with 700 of the Irish troops to go with Montrose while he returned to the north-west. After Montrose's defeat at Philiphaugh, Mac Colla continued to fight against the Campbells and the Covenanters in Scotland, with particular brutality displayed to any Campbells he encountered, until a concerted effort to defeat him in 1647 forced him to withdraw back to Ireland in May 1647. Later that year Mac Colla was serving in the Confederate Army of Munster when he was captured and shot at the Battle of Knocknanuss on 13 November.

Manus O'Cahan was the colonel of the Irish regiment that fought in all of Montrose's battles and which was the backbone of all his victories. He was a cousin of Mac Colla, and came over from Ireland with him. He and his regiment were sent to Scotland to ease pressure on the Irish Confederacy, who were fighting Scottish Covenanters and English Parliamentarians in Ireland. As Mac Colla had a recruiting role for the Royalist cause throughout 1644-5, he was occasionally absent in the west seeking fresh troops, but O'Cahan remained with Montrose throughout and was with Montrose for the Battle of Philiphaugh. He was captured after the defeat, his men were executed and he was taken to Edinburgh where he was hanged without trial. He was responsible for the invention of the Highland charge along with Mac Colla, although it is Mac Colla who is generally given sole credit.

Sir John Hurry was in command of the Covenanters in the battle. Hurry had fought in Germany as a young man before returning to Scotland. He had a chequered career, switching sides repeatedly. He first came to prominence in the so-called 'Incident' when Royalists plotted to kidnap the Marquis of Argyll, the Marquis of Hamilton and the Earl of Lanark, who were the leading Covenanter nobles; Hurry betrayed the plot to the Covenanters and joined the Covenanter cause. He fought for the Parliamentarians at Edgehill and Brentford before switching sides to the Royalists for whom he fought at the Battle of Chalgrove Field and at Marston Moor. He switched sides again, and it was as a Covenanter that he led the army sent to bring down Montrose in the Spring of 1645 that was utterly defeated at Auldearn. After losing at Auldearn to Montrose, he drifted back into the Royalist cause, joining the Engagers; this was a faction of Covenanters who signed an agreement with Charles I in 1647 to fight for him against the English Parliamentarians. He was one of the few Covenanter officers to join the Duke of Hamilton's expedition into England and was captured at the Battle of Preston in 1648. He escaped to the Continent, where he fell in with Montrose, and accompanied him on his last adventures; like Montrose, it ended in his execution in Edinburgh, on 29 May 1650.


In 1638 the National Covenant was signed by many in Scotland, pledging opposition to the reforms proposed by Charles I, the King of the two separate nations of England and Scotland. Amongst other proposals Charles wanted to replace the democratic Presbyterian system with a hierarchy of bishops and create a church modelled on High Anglican lines, and to finance his reforms by re-possessing the former land holdings of the Catholic Church which had been sold on at the Reformation and now formed the basis of many landowners' status and wealth. In 1639 and 1640 Charles was defeated in the two Bishop's Wars. Desperately short of finance, Charles was forced to recall the English Parliament, the so-called Long Parliament, and they reached a peace with the Covenanters in the Treaty of London in 1641. However, Charles and the English Parliament remained at odds over who should control the army, and the first English Civil War began in 1642. Initially the Royalists and the Parliamentarians were relatively evenly matched, and the Parliamentarians opened negotiations with the Covenanters for their assistance in breaking the deadlock. In 1643, under the terms of the Solemn League and Covenant, the Covenanter government of Scotland allied itself with the English Parliament and entered the war in England in early 1644, marking a major turning point in the war. Charles attempted unsuccessfully to foment rebellion in Scotland and the Scottish army went on to make a major impact in the campaign for the north of England. Following crushing defeat at Marston Moor on 2 July 1644 the King tried again, appointing James Graham, the 5th Earl of Montrose, as his military commander in Scotland. Montrose had been part of the abortive rebellion and was a former Covenanter himself who had joined the King in 1643. On 28 August 1644, Montrose raised the royal standard and embarked on a campaign against the Covenanter forces in the Highlands (Reid 2003).

Over the next two years, Montrose, with forces which changed constantly in size and composition, won a series of victories over the Covenanters under a number of different commanders, including: Tippermuir (1 September 1644), Aberdeen (13 September 1644), Inverlochy (2 February 1645), Auldearn (9 May 1645), Alford (2 July 1645) and Kilsyth (16 August 1645) and was elevated to 1st Marquis of Montrose by Charles as reward. However, he was defeated at Philiphaugh near Selkirk on 13 September 1645 by much superior Covenanter forces commanded by Lieutenant-General David Leslie. He endeavoured to carry on his campaign in the North-East, and also tried to threaten Glasgow, but lack of co-operation and poor relations between the leading Royalist commanders meant that they achieved little success and Montrose's campaign petered out in early May when his forces besieging Inverness were taken by surprise by Major-General Middleton's advance and fled without a fight. Although Huntly, another Royalist commander, stormed Aberdeen on 14 May, a few weeks later Charles, who had surrendered at Newark on 5 May, ordered his forces in Scotland to lay down their arms. Although Montrose was reluctant to do so, he finally disbanded his forces at Rattray on 30 July after agreeing terms with Middleton and then fled abroad (Reid 2003).

Battlefield Landscape

The general location of the battlefield is well understood through detailed contemporary reports from both the Covenanters and the Royalists. However, due to discrepancies within these primary accounts, compiling an integrated account of the battle is problematic.

It is clear that the Royalist army was billeted in Auldearn on the night of 8 May 1645, while the Covenanters made a night march from Inverness in an attempt to take the Royalists by surprise. This means that there were no camps within the landscape.

The initial Royalist deployment consisted of Mac Colla on the right flank within the wall of Boath House, which protected against cavalry assault and musket fire. The park walls of Boath House may have been rebuilt and are not necessarily on the same line as the 17th century version.

Montrose put a small force in the centre behind what were probably enclosure or garden walls within or immediately adjacent to the village. This area is probably under the modern housing of Auldearn on the south-eastern side of Dooket Hill. Montrose was on the left flank and had the main strength of his army on this flank, although hidden largely behind Dooket Hill; this is all under housing today, but the upstanding earthwork of the motte gives a clear indication of how the Royalist deployment would have worked.

The Covenanters came from the west, either from Nairn or directly from Inverness. From Dooket Hill, the views are open to Nairn and beyond, preserving the view of the battlefield and line of Covenanter approach from the Royalist perspective. The Covenanters drew up to the north-east of Kinnudie across the valley below Garlic Hill, and these areas are largely free of development and remain open fields. The potential lines of the rout, south-west past Kinnudie and south-east past Dead Wood in the direction of Kinsteary, remain largely undeveloped.

The battle was fought within the village of Auldearn and the open countryside which formed its immediate hinterland. The topography of the village played a key role in the manoeuvres of the Royalist troops and, although extensive development has occurred, important landscape features such as Dooket Hill motte have remained essentially unchanged and the overall character of the village and its hinterland at the time of the battle is well preserved. The spatial relationship between surviving elements of the battlefield landscape such as the motte and the enclosed grounds of Boath House and the Covenanters position below Garlic Hill on the open land to the west survive well, allowing for the movements of the initial deployment by the Royalists and the flight of the Covenanters to still be easily read and understood.

The village of Auldearn has expanded considerably and now covers parts of the initial deployment of the Royalists in particular. However, the fighting is likely to have taken place to the west of the modern buildings in areas that are currently fields. The current A96, which bypasses the village, cuts through part of the ground where Mac Colla made his sallies and is likely to have had some impact on evidence of the fighting.


Some early interpretations of the battle provide wildly inaccurate suggestions as to the location of the action. For example, the record in The Old Statistical Account (an account of each parish complied by the local minister in the 1790s) claimed that the enclosures in which Montrose's vanguard of foot were placed, before the village of Auldearn, were at Newmills, where it identifies various 'dykes and ditches' (Sinclair 1791). The modern Ordnance Survey mapping places the battle to the south of Auldearn, but this lies peripheral to all major interpretations of the battle and none of the primary sources or secondary works examined support this location. However, the general location of the battlefield has been well known since Gardiner (Gardiner, 1893).

Based on good topographical evidence in the primary accounts, the action can be securely placed immediately to the west of the settlement of Auldearn. This is supported by the discovery of probable battle related burials on or near Garlic Hill at some time before 1873-4 (1st Edition Ordnance Survey 6-inch mapping). The exact location and extent of troop deployment and action is still disputed, but the primary accounts provide further topographical detail that can be used to assist in the accurate placing of the events, once the historic terrain is understood. This evidence ranges from Lord Fraser's report that the battle was fought 'in a mure neir Aulderne', through to the very specific topographical detail in the Fraser account with its mention of features such as Boath Wood and Dooket (or Castle) Hill (Thomson, 1843, Fraser and Mackay, 1905).

There is conflict between the sources over where and how the Royalist troops were deployed and fought. Gordon has Mac Colla taking the brunt of the Covenanter attack, only at the last moment supported by Montrose. This has caused Stevenson, followed by Reid, to place Mac Colla's troop in a skirmish line across the whole frontage to the west of the village. The other sources suggest a very different situation. They indicate that Mac Colla was deployed with the vanguard of 400 foot, comprising two regiments (Gordon & Dunn 1844; Wishart 1720), on the right wing of the army, on ground 'defended by dykes and ditches, brushwood and rocks', opposite Lawer's infantry (Wishart 1720). The Clanranald account is confused in stating Mac Colla was on the left wing. Fraser's account provides the clearest and probably the most reliable information, for his account correctly names various topographical features. He says that, presumably in the initial stages of the battle, Montrose and Gordon were on 'Castlehill' while Mac Colla was to the north in Boath woods (Fraser and Mackay, 1905). This is supported by the Clanranald account which says Montrose stood on a 'high hill'. Elsewhere Mac Colla is described as attacking from and falling back on and defending a 'garden' (MacBain and Kennedy, 1892), which seems likely to be the walled enclosure of Boath House, shown in the mid eighteenth century as encompassed Boath Wood (Roy, 1747-1755). Immediately to the south west of this is an area of boggy ground, still wet today despite recent drainage. Thus such an interpretation is in accord with Gordon's description: Mac Colla advanced

'a little befor the town, towards a marishe and som bushes, which was a strong ground, and fencible against horsemen'


and there he received the first charge (Gordon and Dunn, 1844).

Historic terrain reconstruction may have resolved some of the uncertainty over both terrain and action, although not all of the elements of the battle accounts are adequately encompassed. The re-analysis suggests that deployments and action extended further north than previously considered likely. It is still unclear whether the former marsh on the south side of the battlefield was still in existence in 1645, and there is doubt over the placing of the enclosures on the western edge of the settlement and the extent of the garden and woods of Boath in 1645. As a result, some uncertainty remains about the exact location and extent of Mac Colla's right wing or of the skirmishers deployed in the village enclosures that formed the phantom centre to the Royalist deployment. In addition, it remains unclear whether Montrose actually brought the main body up alongside Mac Colla, as Gordon's account suggest, or if he deployed immediately south of the settlement, as Gardiner believed, retaining the 'centre' with just the skirmishers in the village enclosures. If the southern marsh existed, then this would mean that Montrose's attack took place from the south-east, with the village on his right and the marsh on his left. Alternatively, his attack may have been launched from immediately to the west of the village.

Only an archaeological survey would have any chance of answering this question, by accurately positioning the main fire-fight on the south side of the battlefield and particularly by identifying any spreads of case-shot. Until such work is undertaken, all three interpretations must be considered as potentially valid:

1. A northern alternative, with the Royalist right wing fighting to the west of Dooket (or Castle) Hill and Boath House and with the Lochlands marsh on its left, and with the Royalist left wing fighting in the Garlic Hill area.

2. The Stevenson/Reid interpretation, with the Royalist right wing fighting in the Garlic Hill area (with Reid placing some of the action further to the west on Garlic Hill) and with Montrose's attack in the same general area.

3. The Gardiner interpretation, with the Royalist right wing fighting in the Garlic Hill area, which would mean the southern area of marsh was the one specified on their left, and with the Royalist left wing to the south of the latter marsh.

Action during the rout, particularly the killing of fleeing Covenanter troops, extended at least as far Kinsteary and Brightmony on the east, and to Kinnudie on the west. There was no concerted pursuit by the Royalist cavalry and so there may not have been significant skirmishing with escaping troops as they fled further westward to cross the river Nairn at Howeford. As no element of the Royalist forces appear to have been routed or driven back beyond their original point of deployment, it is fairly certain that action did not extend to the north-east or east of Auldearn village, though this is significant in being the area where Montrose formed up his main body out of sight before his counter attack, while Boath House may have been the army headquarters while at Auldearn.


A number of very specific topographical details are provided by the primary accounts in connection with the deployments and action at Auldearn. Both Gardiner and Stevenson drew upon published local studies in an attempt to place certain of these topographical details.

Stevenson, for example, emphasised the importance of understanding the road network of 1645 to the correct interpretation of the battle (Stevenson 1980). His analysis draws upon Macfarlane's information on the Forres-Inverness road (Macfarlane et al 1908) and the 1797 map of Auldearn (NAS RHP186). Unfortunately, in both cases, the key elements used have proven to be inaccurate. Research for the present report has enabled a more detailed reconstruction of the historic terrain based on mid to late 18th century mapping, geological mapping and remote sensing data, but significant problems still remain in projecting elements of this into the mid 17th century which requires recourse to any surviving written sources.

The terrain reconstruction here draws upon the Roy map of the 1750s, supplemented by and accurately mapped with referenced to the 1771 map of Belmackardock and Kinnoudie. The latter was drawn in connection with a legal dispute involving enclosure and so is of higher resolution, consistency and probably also accuracy than Roy (NAS RHP1026). The 1771 map extends to the northern and western edge of but not across the battlefield. The other 18th century maps add little immediately relevant detail but do supplement the wider context.

Roy's map shows generalised information for the 1750s, distinguishing areas of field from that of open rough pasture or moor. It also identifies areas of marsh: a single long area to the north, and a string of five smaller areas of marsh to the south of Auldearn. The doo'cot hill is shown as a discrete feature separated from the village by fields, and to its north, abutting Boath House, is a wood encompassed by a park or garden wall. It also shows the road network and a number of settlements, some named and some not. Comparison of Roy's map with the estate map of 1771, about 15 year later, shows that Roy omitted some significant areas of marsh, some arable land, and also some settlements, although showing others that were not on the 1771 map. The alluvial areas on the geological survey, though not a consistent guide to the location and extent of former marsh, does broadly define the marshes as shown on the detailed 1771 mapping, giving confidence that elsewhere at Auldearn it may be a useful guide. The absence of representation of marshes on the Roy map does not confirm their absence, as the evidence of marshes on the 1771 shows.

The probable extent of former marsh adjacent to the village has been crudely defined by reference to the geological mapping. The former marsh immediately west of Auldearn, known locally as Lochlands, has recently been subject to new drainage works (Mrs Philip, pers. comm.). This is probably the marshy ground recorded as lying on Mac Colla's left flank. The evidence also suggests a second area of former marsh on the south side of Garlic Hill. Though the primary accounts of the battle make no specific mention of marsh on the south side of the battlefield, Montrose's comment that the battlefield would only accommodate two wings may indicate that a barrier of some kind did exist on the south. If the marsh suggested by the geological mapping was still in existence in 1645, then this will presumably have significantly constrained Montrose's action, indicating a battlefield of very limited frontage.

As Stevenson noted, the major road from Inverness eastward, via Nairn and Forres, ran in the 18th century close to the coast, a route also depicted in the 1750s by Roy (Taylor and Skinner, 1776). However, the other route noted by Stevenson, from Inverness to Forres through Auldearn as depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 mapping, is a route of a turnpike proposed in 1839 from Wester Breach by Cowdor to Auldearn (NAS RHP46305). The route does appear to have been in existence earlier in the 19th century, for in 1830 the two roads joined on the western bank of the Findhorn river, near to Forres (Thompson 1832). The route shown by Roy is on a different alignment. From Inverness it ran on a now partly abandoned alignment, via the Muir of the Clans (the route via Nairn diverting from it near to Gallows Hill) and on to cross the river Nairn at Howeford. It then approached Auldearn by skirting Kinnoudie on its north side and approaching Auldearn from the west. It then ran on eastward through Penick and Brodie. The 1771 map provides the detailed route, clearly identifying the road immediately north of Kinnudie as the Inverness to Auldearn road. Hence a critical element of Stevenson's reinterpretation of the battle can now be seen to be in error, undermining his whole hypothesis (Stevenson 1980).

A further problem with all analysis of the battle is the uncertainty about the exact layout of Auldearn in the 17th century. Again, the evidence of the Roy map seems to contradict both Stevenson and Gardiner, who have the settlement aligned N-S along the Boath road. It seems clear from Roy's map that, while the plan form of the settlement had been modified by the late 19th century through construction of new properties along the new turnpike road from Nairn to Forres, the surviving road to its north represents the pre-turnpike alignment of the main street. This gives a much smaller area of settlement than suggested by Gardiner and pushes the centre of Montrose's deployment back somewhat from previous interpretations, also giving more room on the south for Montrose's main body or left wing to deploy and engage.

To the north of the settlement there is one major walled enclosure depicted by Roy, which contained Boath Wood. If the Boath walled garden or park was of similar extent in 1645 as it was in the 1750s then it would accord well with the various descriptions of the position held by Mac Colla. Given the extent of the marsh to its north-west, an outflanking move by the Covenanters on this side will have been all but impossible.


Auldearn village has expanded significantly, to the south, south-east and north-west, and a bypass has been constructed skirting the village to the north. The new road and the development on the south and south-west of the village in the 19th and 20th centuries has probably had a significant impact on the battlefield, but despite this the vast majority of the site remains open ground. There are several listed buildings within the village and, immediately to the north-west, a listed dovecote on the scheduled motte. The site of the church in the village is also scheduled.

The battlefield appears to have high potential both for investigation and interpretation, despite the limited losses to modern development. Resolving the remaining uncertainties about the terrain at Auldearn and the way in which the action fitted within it, and testing the interpretation through an investigation of the battle archaeology is particularly important in resolving the fundamental dispute between two camps, championed by Gardiner and Stevenson respectively, as regards the relative abilities of Montrose and Mac Colla. Gardiner has brilliant tactical action by Montrose threatened by hot-headed action of Mac Colla, whereas Stevenson depicts Montrose as a bungler, overtaken by events and only saved by the courage of Mac Colla. As it is upon Auldearn, above all other battles, that Montrose's claim to tactical brilliance is based, resolving the problems of interpretation of the battle will have a major impact on the understanding of the Civil War in Scotland.

Archaeological & Physical Remains and Potential

The only battle-related archaeology identified in the NMRS is the report of human remains noted on the 1st Ed OS map of 1871 as having been found on Garlic Hill. Other human remains are reported on the same map on Gallow Hill, but its position over a kilometre to the east of Auldearn makes an association with the battle unlikely.

Local tradition in the 19th century (Gardiner 1893) was of burial of the dead further to the south from Garlic Hill, which by the late 19th century had been planted with trees and was known as Dead Wood. Gardiner incorrectly locates Dead Wood on Garlic Hill, but it is clearly placed by the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 mapping. This location could accord with the report in the Fraser account of some Covenanter troops being killed while fleeing south-east at the end of the battle, towards Kinsteary and Brightmoney. It is also said locally that those near the Royalist right wing were buried in a hollow below the churchyard wall at the north-west corner and there is also a local tradition that one particular soldier was executed in the old orchard immediately to the north of Kinnudie Farm (Mrs Philip, pers comm). As the battle had a very high number of Covenanter casualties it is likely that further burials will survive within the battlefield area, especially on the probable routes of the rout on the west and south-west side of Auldearn.

The only building standing from the time of the battle is the now ruinous medieval part of Auldearn church. Although the building does not appear to have played any part in the action it was an important building within the village and undoubtedly would have been a focus at points during or in the aftermath of the battle. The churchyard may contain artefacts associated with the battle and may have been the location of the burial of some of the dead. Boath House and its park walls, where Mac Colla's troops stood prior to the battle, were rebuilt in the 19th century. The policies of the house have potential to retain in-situ evidence of Mac Colla's stand.

A small central group of Montrose's army were located on the western edge of the village, within walled enclosures. These enclosure boundaries have almost certainly been replaced or subsumed by later housing but a cartographic study of the village may give an indication of their location and there is potential for the survival of physical evidence of the battle in and around them.

The left flank of Montrose's army was located to the south or south-east of Dooket Hill, a medieval motte with a later 17th century dovecot on the summit. Although no action actually took place on the motte, it was key to the direct manoeuvres of the Royalist troops and it is likely that lands surrounding the castle have potential to contain evidence of the initial deployment.

The growth and development of Auldearn village is likely to have removed evidence of the battle and the likelihood of pockets of undisturbed ground to survive within this area is unknown without further investigation. However, the land to the west of the village appears to have remained fairly undisturbed and the potential for surviving in-situ evidence associated with the battle in these areas is high.

The main form of evidence for the battle will be the distributions of lead shot and personal items such as buttons. Given the frequent reference in the primary accounts to intense fire-fights, the majority of the battlefield is likely to contain distributions of unstratified lead bullets, as well as small quantities of other copper alloy, lead and ferrous artefacts related to the battle, including possibly lead powder box caps. Artillery was present in the enclosures on the west of the village, which means that case shot should also be present in the assemblage. Normally fired at 150 m maximum range, but with bullets typically carrying well over 300 m, there is potential for survival of evidence beyond the developed area, particularly where the centre and northern part of the frontage was located, to the north and west of Dooket Hill and beyond the Auldearn Burn. However, it is almost inevitable in such proximity to an early settlement there is likely to be substantial 'background noise' in the form of unrelated metal artefacts from a wide chronological spread. In addition, some of the Highland levies in the Covenanter army are said to have been armed with, and to have made significant use of, bows, and so the potential exists for substantial numbers of iron arrowheads on the battlefield, at least on the northern side. There would appear to have been no study of a 17th century battlefield which has so far recovered evidence of archery, as the bow was largely obsolete by the 1640s in Western Europe. If the bow was indeed used in significant numbers at Auldearn, as the Clanranald account suggest, then its presence in conjunction with musketry might offer a potential, unusual in Europe in this period, for investigation of ferrous arrowhead survival and distributional patterning relative to lead bullets, with all the implications this may have for the interpretation of earlier battlefields where arrows were the only projectile in use.

Cultural Association

The battlefield is signposted and an interpretation panel has been erected on the top of Dooket Hill, a site maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. This was a vantage point used by Montrose during the early stages of the battle, and is the best place on the battlefield to gain an overall appreciation of the terrain and its influence on the outcome of the action. There are memorials to men who died in the battle at the church at Auldearn, one in the churchyard and the other inside the church itself.

Although there is no ballad about the battle of Auldearn, some of the verses of the Haughs o' Cromdale mention Auldearn. There is also a popular composition for the bagpipes called 'The Battle of Auldearn'.

Overall the battle is not well known, particularly in comparison to Culloden a few miles to the west.

Commemoration & Interpretation

The memorial to fallen Covenanter troops in the church at Auldearn has the following inscription

'This monument is erected by Sir Robert Innes, younger of that ilk, in memorie of Alexander Drummond of Meedhope, Sir Johne Murray, and Master Gideon Murray, who lyes here intered, who fighting waliantly in defence of their Religion, King and Native Country, diet at Auldearn the 9th May 1645.'

It originally stood in the chancel but was removed into the main body of the church when rebuilt in 1883, now replaced in the ruined chancel with a more recent inscribed stone.

In the churchyard (near the sundial) is a gravestone to Captain Bernard Mackenzie who was killed in the battle

'Heir lyeth Captain Bernard Mackenzie who died in defence of his religion and countrie fighting diet at Alderne the 9th of May 1645.'

A well near Boath House is known as Montrose's well, relating to the local tradition that Montrose used Boath House as his headquarters (anon, 1898).



Gardiner, S. R. 1893 History of the Great Civil War: 1644-45. Longman, London.

Reid, S. 2003 Auldearn, 1645: the Marquis of Montrose's Scottish campaign. Osprey, Oxford.

Stevenson, D. 1980 Allastair MacColla and the Highland Problem in the 17th Century. John Donald, Edinburgh.

Information on Sources & Publication

There is one detailed Covenanter report, by Fraser, and several Royalist reports on the battle, by Gordon, Wishart and Montrose and in the Clanranald account, with further minor references such as the report in Hope's diary. They are all available in transcription or translation (the Gaelic Clanranald account) but are not presented in full in any of the main secondary works.

Compiling an integrated account of the battle is problematic in this case. There are always differences in eyewitness accounts because each individual would only have seen a part of the battle, while it is to be expected that there will be differences according to which side the eyewitness was on. At Auldearn, the problem is that there were deep hostilities within the Royalist camp that appear in the accounts. There are two distinct aspects to the Royalist accounts of the battle: one representing Montrose positively, and implying rash action by Mac Colla; the others showing Mac Colla and Lord Gordon as the real architects of victory and Montrose an incompetent commander who caused the problems in the first place and played little part in recovering the situation. Fraser's account, from the Covenanter side, provides a useful control in this difficult situation, while the Clanranald account also appears somewhat more balanced than the other Royalist accounts, even though criticising Montrose's character. These biases are discussed in detail by Stevenson, but from a strongly Mac Colla-centred perspective, while Gardiner takes Montrose's side.

Montrose's account is a brief letter, providing little detail and conflating much into a brief description of the action. The Book of Clanranald gives a detailed description of Mac Colla's troops and of the action of his men, hence is almost solely focussed on the action on the Royalist right wing. Gordon's account is also focussed mainly upon the actions of Mac Colla on the right wing and so, irrespective of partisan biases, provides a partial account of the battle.

Stevenson argues that Montrose intentionally provides a partial account, to cover up his failures of intelligence and the fact that he was taken by surprise. However, the letter is similar to many brief letters from various Civil War commanders describing the events of their major battles and should not be so easily dismissed. Similarly, Stevenson accuses Wishart of presenting a highly partisan account of Auldearn, but fails to acknowledge the far greater degree of bias and partial coverage apparent in the Gordon account.

The first significant secondary work was the study of the battle by Gardiner, upon whose interpretation most of the subsequent descriptions were based (Gardiner 1893). His topographical detail is drawn from a discussion by Shaw, first published in 1775. Gardiner placed Montrose's troops along the road running south from Auldearn, just inside the area of the later landscape park of Kinsteary, with the left flank near Newmill and the right near the Doocot Hill. One important error of fact is his misplacing of Dead Wood onto Garlic Hill, where he confuses it with site of burials found in the nineteenth century. His account is limited by his access to only Wishart's and Gordon's account, and his predominant dependence upon the former.

The most substantial modern discussion of the battle is that by Stevenson who, in 1980, provided a comprehensive re-interpretation. His account is compromised by his concentration on demolishing Gardiner's interpretation, the linked critical assessment of Wishart's account, and his extreme bias towards Mac Colla and against Montrose. A major problem also arises from his partial and mistaken reconstruction of the historic terrain at Auldearn, particularly his mapping of the main Inverness to Forres road, which leads to him suggesting a south-west approach by the Covenanters. His demolition of Gardiner's interpretation is based partly upon this faulty terrain reconstruction, together with his focus upon the Gordon account. It is an argument which cannot be sustained once all the battle accounts are reconsidered in the light of a more detailed historic terrain reconstruction. Hence Gardiner's picture of a major flank attack by Montrose, one of the key tactical moves upon which the latter's status as a gifted commander is based, can be reinstated, at least in general terms. Most other studies are highly derivative and simplified, and generally follow Gardiner's interpretation (Seymour, 1979, Guest & Guest, 1996, Bennett, 1990).

Primary Sources

Book of Clanranald: MacBain, A, and J. Kennedy. Reliquiae Celticae: texts, papers and studies in Gaelic literature and philology (1892). p.49, 51, 53, 55, 57. Translation also published by Danachair (Ó Danachair, 1950).

Fraser, J. & Mackay, W. 1905 Chronicles of the Frasers : the Wardlaw manuscript entitled 'Polichronicon seu policratica temporum, or, The true genealogy of the Frasers', 916-1674. Publications of the Scottish History Society, 47. Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press by T. and A. Constable for the Scottish History Society. 294-97.

Gordon, P. 1844 A Short Abridgement of Britane's Distemper : from the yeare of God MDCXXXIX to MDCXLIX. Spalding Club Series, Aberdeen. 120-27

Montrose, Marquis of 1645 Mercurius Aulicus, 2 July 1645, 1611-12.

Shaw, L. & Gordon, J. F. S. 1882 The History of the Province of Moray: comprising the counties of Elgin and Nairn, the greater part of the county of Inverness and a portion of the county of Banff,–all called the province of Moray before there was a division into counties. Hamilton Adams & co. & T. D. Morrison, London, Glasgow.

Spalding, J. 1792 The History of the Troubles and Memorable Transactions in Scotland, from the year 1624 to 1645: Containing an interesting narrative of the proceedings of the great families in Scotland during that period - rising of the Highland clans in arms - origin and progress of the covenanters, their battles, sieges,

&c. - And many other remarkable particulars of the troubles in the North of Scotland, not contained in any other history of the times. T. Evans, London. 318-21.

Thomson, T. 1843 A Diary of Public Correspondence of Sir Thomas Hope, 1633-45.

Wishart, G. 1720 A Complete History of the Wars in Scotland; under the conduct of the illustrious James Marquis of Montrose. London. 98-103.

Cartographic & Illustrative Sources

Roy, Military Survey of Scotland, 1747-1755

1771 Map of the Controverted Marches between Belmackardoch and Kinnoudie, RHP 1026 Taylor, G. and Skinner, A. (1776).

Thompson, J. (1832)

Secondary Sources

anon 1898 History of the Parish of Auldearn. Auldearn.

Gardiner, S. R. 1893 History of the Great Civil War: 1644-45. Longman, London.

Guest, K. & Guest, D. 1996 British Battles: the front lines of history in colour photographs, HarperCollins 1996, London.

MacBain, A. & Kennedy, J. (1892).

Macfarlane, W., Clark, J. T. & Mitchell, A. 1908 Geographical Collections Relating to Scotland. 3v.

Ó Danachair, C. 1950 Irish Sword. 128-32.

Reid, S. 1990 The Campaigns of Montrose: a military history of the Civil War in Scotland 1639 to 1646. Mercat Press, Edinburgh.

Reid, S. 2003 Auldearn, 1645: the Marquis of Montrose's Scottish campaign. Osprey, Oxford.

Seymour, W. 1979 Battles in Britain and their Political Background, 1066-1746. Book Club Associates, London.

Stevenson, D. 1980 Allastair MacColla and the Highland Problem in the 17th Century. John Donald, Edinburgh.

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