Monday, July 16, 2012

The Glenfinnan Monument

By Alexa Bourne
Yes, folks, I'm taking you back to my "happy place", Glenfinnan, Scotland, one last time. Today were going to take a look at the Glenfinnan Monument.
The monument sits at the northern end of Loch Shiel. It is a stone structure with an anonymous kilted Highlander standing at the top. I often thought about it as if he was guarding the lands. The monument was built in 1815 by Alexander Macdonald to honor the men who showed courage and walked with Bonnie Prince Charlie in his attempt to regain Scotland for his father. It also commemorates the site where the Bonnie Prince raised his royal standard in 1745, which marked the beginning of the rebellion that ended in the final defeat of the Scots on the battlefield of Culloden in April 1746. Now, the monument is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

I had visited Glenfinnan a couple of times before I realized you could actually go into the stone structure, climb the stairs and come out at the top. It requires a small fee for a ticket, which you get at the Visitors' Centre nearby. I remember feeling very uncomfortable at the top. Yes, the view was spectacular and being close to the kilted Highlander stucture made me realize how much bigger it was than I'd thought. But the height of the monument and the small space for walking up top combined to make me dizzy. In reality, one person up there was probably okay, but two would have been crowding.

The view of the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel is often photographed and used in various promotional materials. Too, if you remember, the view was used in one of the Harry Potter films. (Can you remember which one?) It is also the site where hundreds of Jacobite enthusiasts gather each year on August 19th to commemorate the raising of the royal standard all those years ago. For more details about Glenfinnan or the monument, Undiscovered Scotland has great information and pictures.

I hope you've enjoyed our virtual visit to Glenfinnan over the last few months. Next month, we'll be heading to a new location. Where, you ask? For that you'll have to come back!


Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

What a lovely place, Alexa! I can see why it's used in so many promotional materials. Thank you for sharing this little piece of heaven with us!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of Glenfinnan with us, Alexa. I could never climb to the top of the monument. I have a terrible fear of heights. :)

MK said...

Great post Alexa! I have such fond memories of my visit there. I was actually staying in Grantown-on-Spey up by Inverness, so it was a bit of a drive, but I was determined because I always remembered the line from the Highlander movies--'I'm Connor McLeod of the Clan McCleod. I was born in Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel . . . :)

Alexa said...

Renee, whenever I can I go on and on about Glenfinnan! Glad you liked it.

Dawn Marie, I too have a fear of heights but not as bad as most. I will still do things that require a climb. I'll just complain a lot. :-)

MK, I LOVE that movie! That was actually what first drew me to Glenfinnan.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

You never let us down with your beautiful posts, Alexa. Beautiful photos and how interesting about the monument. I can't wait to see where you take us next.

Alexa said...

Thanks so much, Paisley! And as for where I'll take you, I can't wait to see either!