MHG6284 - Battle Site, Blar Na Pairce


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • BATTLE SITE? (Medieval - 1058 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Blar na Pairce. Site of conflict between Macdonalds and MacKenzies about AD1490 {NAT}
OS 6"map, Ross-shire, 2nd ed., 1907

Macdonalds fought MacKenzies at battle of the Park near Loch Kinellan, between 1485 and 1491.
H A Fraser 1917 <1>

No further information Visited by OS (R L) 16 November 1970

A metal detecting survey, to the W of the possible battle site, recorded no finds associated with the battle.

This field is now very boggy, and the battle is likely to have been confined to the areas of drier ground. However, it is possible artefacts associated with the battle could have ended up in the bog rather than being recovered, but these may have been too deep for metal detector detection.

As part of the survey, desk-based research was conducted. David Alston, in Ross and Cromarty: a Historical Guide (1999) states:

Blair na Pairc 1491. Possibly near Dingwall. Defeat of Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh
In 1491 Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh led a raid into Easter Ross and, along with Farquhar, son of the MacIntosh chief, seized the castle of Inverness before being defeated at Blair na Pairc, possibly near Dingwall.

There is a more detailed account of the battle by James Brown in his A History of the Highlands and of the Highland Clans (1837)

Gillespoc, cousin of the Lord of the Isles, at the head of a large body of the islanders, invaded the higher part of Ross, and committed great devastation. The inhabitants, or as many as the shortness of the time would permit, amongst whom the Calnkenzie were chiefly distinguished, speedily assembled, and met the islanders on the banks of the Connan, where a sharp conflict took place. The Clankenzie fought with great valour, and pressed the enemy so hard, that Gillespoc MacDonald was overthrown, and the greater part of his men were slain or drowned in the river about two miles from Braile, thence called Blar-na-Pairc…..It is reported that, before the skirmish, the Clandonald robbed and burned a chapel near the river Connan, not far from the place they fought

If there is any truth in this account, the only candidates to be the chapel burned by the MacDonalds would be Contin parish church, known to have been in use in 1490, or Praes Mairi, a private burial ground associated with St Maelrubha which may have been the site of an early chapel. Both of these are near to the Blackwater rather than the Conon, but are both only 2km from the recorded site of Blar na Pairc. The details given in this account would suggest that the actual battle took place on a river bank. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NH 4732 5689 (50m by 50m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH45NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish CONTIN

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (1)

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