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Record details

Type of record:Battlefield
Name:Battle site, Lamentation Hill, Carbisdale


Article  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 73 KB)Article  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 458 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 37 KB)Plan  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 97 KB)
Grid Reference:NH 5734 9429
Map Sheet:NH59SE
Geographical Area:SUTHERLAND

Monument Types

Protected Status:Historic Battlefield (Inventory) Carbisdale: Carbisdale, 27 April 1650

Other References/Statuses

  • Historic Environment Record: MHG9159
  • NMRS NUMLINK Reference: 13060
  • NMRS Record Details: NH59SE3 CARBISDALE FARM
  • Old SMR Reference Number: NH59SE0003

Full description

Battle area given on rising slopes to W of Carbisdale Farm (LC19 farm building). This could be the general area professional troops retreated to if they wished to withdraw to higher ground to avoid cavalry. According to reports of the battle they retreated into Scroggie Wood on higher land - name no longer applied in the area or on C19 maps. This location/route would take them over the hills towards Assynt.
According to sources quoted as Wishart's Deeds of Montrose "deep entrenchments and breastwork" from the battle were still visible long after the battle. Although Wishart's text was published in 1893, it was first published in c1647 and so could not describe battle structures of 1650. There are no current indications of location of the entrenchments, the lower flat lands above the river are heavily improved and now cut by the railway - the only earthworks (slight) are opposite Mains Farm and these do not appear defensive. The lower slopes have seen various levels of agricultural improvement, but in a general check of the area no early earthwork features were seen. Only structures are dyke walls (ruinous) abutting some of the road.
According to another source the Orcadian troops passed beyond the defences and then were drowned in the river, these two things seem contradictory according to locations of both.
According to other sources the bodies from the battle were buried in the Carn non Conach (NH59SE0004) at Rhelonie. If true, this is some distance away to the S. There are also reports of undated bodies from the peat (laid out in rows) "at Culrain".
If the descriptions are true that hidden cavalry landed at Wester Fearn attacked Montrose's army as they approached onto the flat area and skirmishing stretched back as far as Carbisdale Farm and onto higher land and also to the Rhelonie area then the battle site will have occurred over an extremely large area.
Needs fuller assessment of the primary sources against the natural topography - HAW 04/2005

NH59SE 3 568 945.
(Name centred NH 563 958) Lamentation Hill (Site of Battle fought A.D. 1650) (NAT) OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 1st ed., (1881).

(Name centred NH 568 945) Site of Battle (NR) fought AD 1650. OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., (1907).

Lamentation Hill is site of last battle of Marquis of Montrose, in April 1650. Name Book 1875.

Montrose was surprised on level ground, near a pass called Invercharron (Invercharron Hill - NH 5791), on Saturday, 27 April 1650. Montrose tried to reach a wooded, craggy hill in his rear but was overtaken and defeated by Lt-Col. Strachan. "The ground where the battle was fought … took its present name, Craigcaoineadhan, which may be translated the Rock of Lamentation, - from the event …".
(Creag a'Choineachan is name applied to area on OS 6" 1907 which is named Lamentation Hill, etc. on OS 6" 1881. If Lamentation Hill is indeed the hill towards which Montrose was retreating the 1907 OS site could well be that of final engagement, and could thus be accepted as the site of the battle, the 1881 OS site being more commemorative than factual.)
NSA 1845 (Rev H Allan)

Site of (NAT) Battle (NR) (AD 1650) OS 1:10,000map, (1971)

No further information. Visited by OS (J M) 3 November 1976.

This site has now been added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields. See the link to Historic Scotland's website for full information. <1>

Name Book (County), Object Name Books of the Ordnance Survey, Book No. 34, 43 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG3366.

NSA, 1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, Vol. 14., Ross-shire, 406-7 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2597.

<1> Historic Scotland, 2011, Inventory of Historic Battlefields: Carbisdale (Text/Designation Notification/Inventory of HBs). SHG25677.

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