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Clachnaharry, Clan Battle Monument

A Category C Listed Building in Inverness West, Highland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.488 / 57°29'16"N

Longitude: -4.2612 / 4°15'40"W

OS Eastings: 264549

OS Northings: 846448

OS Grid: NH645464

Mapcode National: GBR H8VX.WB6

Mapcode Global: WH3FB.J12Z

Entry Name: Clachnaharry, Clan Battle Monument

Listing Date: 29 October 2001

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 395668

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48262

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverness

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Inverness West

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

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South Kessock

Description

1821. Remains of 3-stage pillar monument. Large droved ashlar blocks on flat-coped circular rubble base. Base surmounted by 6 pyramidally-coped square-section pillars alternating with inset, unusual axe-head railings enclosing rectangular-plan plinth inscribed 'CLANCHATTAN' (to S) and 'MUNRO' (to N), also eroded Latin inscription (see Notes).

Statement of Interest

An old photograph shows the plinth surmounted by a stepped cap with tall set-back rectangular-plan 2nd stage giving way to further flat stepped cap and circular 3rd stage with inset figure (see below). Built by Major Hugh Robert Duff of Muirtown House to commemorate a battle between the Munros and MacKintoshes which took place some time between 1333 and 1434. Tradition says that the Munros of Easter Ross were returning home (through MacKintosh territory) after a cattle- raiding expedition in Angus but refused to pay the customary tax on their plunder. As a result they were ambushed at Clachnaharry and in the ensuing battle the MacKintosh chief was killed. The Inverness Journal of 29th June 1821 (quoted in the 1990 Inverness Courier) describes the monument thus "... The column is 26ft high, surmounted by a leaden statue of Fame, gilt, and four feet high, and the whole surrounded by cast-iron railing, representing battle axes; including the rock, the figure is 100 feet above the road."

Other sources describe the pillar as between 14 and 15ft in height, and the figure as Mercury. The monument was damaged during a storm in 1951, and the base and fence restored in 2000. The Latin inscription is thought to read "Between these high, red rocks their bones are collected".

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