MHG4291 - Site of battle, Blar na Leine


The traditional site of a battle between Clans Cameron and Fraser in the summer of 1544.

Type and Period (2)

  • BATTLE SITE (16th Century - 1544 AD to 1544 AD)
  • BATTLEFIELD (16th Century - 1544 AD to 1544 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Blar Leine. Site of Conflict between the Clans Macdonell and Fraser (NAT).
OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1904)

The battle of Blar-na-Leine (popularly the Field of the Shirts, but really the Gaelic, Blar na Leana, the Field of the Swampy Meadow) was fought in the summer of 1544 (15th July (Anderson and Anderson 1842)) John of Moidart, chief of Clan Ranald, supported by Macdonalds and Camerons, attacked and defeated Hugh, Lord Lovat, and Ranald Gallda and the Frasers who were returning home along the Great Glen after assisting the Earl of Huntly, whose army had penetrated as far as Inverlochy, in an abortive campaign against the Highlanders.
W MacKay 1914; G Anderson and P Anderson 1842. <1><2>

The traditional site of a clan battle between Clan Ranald and their allies Clan Cameron, and Clan Fraser and their allies Clans Grant and Macintosh. It was recorded at the time that of 800 men on the field less than twenty survived. The traditional name of the battle records that due to the heat of the day the men removed their plaids and mail shirts, therefore fighting only in their white undershirts. A metal detecting survey and watching brief that took place to the north-east of the traditional battle site in September 2008 encountered no archaeological remains. <3>

Further details of the battle can be found in <4>.

The battle site is named on 6 inch and 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps dating from 1871-1971. The mapped area is a best estimate based on these sources. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NN 28917 96576 (516m by 531m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NN29NE
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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External Links (3)

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