Secret Stirling: Sheriffmuir – discover Jacobite gathering stones, hidden in a forest

One of the most significant battle sites in Scotland is off-the-beaten path, out of the view of the many tourists who explore the countryside: at Sheriffmuir.

This is where a bloody battle raged between the Jacobites who wanted to restore full control of Stirling Castle back from supporters of Hanoverian King George II in 1715. The Battle was the subject of “The Battle of Sherramuir“, one of the most famous songs written by Robert Burns in the late 1700s. 

Steeped in history, hidden in the hills

Sheriffmuir is also a place hidden in the hills with several interesting, varied walking routes – including a path that takes you to the gathering stones, which served as a marker for the clansmen. You’ll see cattle, and forests, and you can also expect to encounter many different types of birds – from multi-coloured grouse to eagles – when you walk in the Sheriffmuir area.

Sheriffmuir, Stirling: A great walk out – with your friends or four-legged companion

Listen! Dog walker Kerry shares a secret walking spot, at Sheriffmuir, near Stirling

In this podcast, professional dog walker Kerry Warren shares the details of one of her favourite walks near Stirling – a place the locals call Sheriffmuir. The Mucky Muzzles proprietor chats to Jackie Cameron of Castle Walk Bed & Breakfast, Stirling about how to get to Sheriffmuir and what you can expect on a walk in the area. Listen!

The Jacobites 

The Jacobites (Latin for James) were a group of mostly Highland Clans in the 17th and 18th centuries who fought to restore King James VII – known as King James II in England – to the British throne as well as his descendants. 

This is an easy walk across gentle terrain. There are several walking trails in the area, of varying degrees of difficulty and duration.

The battle

A Hanoverian garrison was positioned on the banks of the Forth River, close to Stirling Castle. The Jacobites wanted to dislodge them. After a battle at Kinbuck Muir, the warring sides moved about 2 miles away to Sheriffmuir. Historians tell us there were about 7,000 Jacobites and, although they outnumbered the 3,000 in the government forces, the latter were better trained. Abut 1,600 died in the failed Jacobite uprising.

After the battle at Sheriffmuir, the British Government passed Disarming Act (1716) – which banned broadswords, muskets and other weapons for war being held by the Highland clans, says Battlefields of Britain.

Adrian, one of your hosts at Castle Walk Bed & Breakfast, Stirling, takes Roxie for a walk to find the Jacobite Gathering Stones.

Published by Jackie Cameron

Journalist, podcaster, content strategy, content marketing.

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