Jacobite Festival: 16-25 August 2024

We’re very excited to bring you Scotland’s first Jacobite Festival, which will take place across multiple locations all over the country from 16th to 25th August 2024. The purpose of the Festival is to highlight the huge range of sites, attractions and collections which help us to understand the events of the Jacobite period, from 1688 to 1746 (and beyond!).

From Inverness and the Isle of Skye all the way down to Edinburgh and the Borders, we have brought together a programme of independently-managed events which will shine a light on different aspects of this fascinating and significant period of our history.

Festival Events List

Throughout the Festival: “A Family Divided” exhibition, Blair Castle

An exhibition reflecting the trials and tribulations that the Atholl family and the Castle endured during the Jacobite rebellions. How the Jacobite attempts to restore the Stuart monarchy in the first half of the 18th century led to a dangerous period of intrigue and plots. Members of the Atholl family supported different sides of the political divide: father opposed son and brother fought brother, resulting in the last siege on British soil. The family and Blair Castle survived the turmoil and by the 1750s emerged united. The exhibition tells the stories of the family, the people on the estate and the Castle using original documents and objects.

Normal admission charges apply.

Details and visitor information at  https://atholl-estates.co.uk/blair-castle/visitor-information/

Throughout the Festival: Jacobite Propaganda & Literature display, Museum of the Isles (Armadale Castle, Skye)

Supplementing our incredible display of Jacobite militaria and artefacts relating to the Jacobite cause, this special display of pamphlets and items from our store will be an additional highlight in our Jacobite gallery. Begins on 12 August. Included in the standard admission to Armadale Castle, Garden & Museum

(Adult £14, Concession £12, Children 5-17 £8), Local resident discount applies.

For further information please visit www.armadalecastle.com or email museum@armadalecastle.com

16 August: A Jacobite Evening at the Museum, West Highland Museum (PH33 6AJ)

The evening will begin with a welcome in the Governors Room by the Curator and Board members of the West Highland Museum. This will be followed by a bespoke Jacobite tour of the museum’s collection, including objects not currently on display. The evening will conclude with a drink tasting event hosted by Drambuie, alongside a traditional Scottish finger buffet.

Tickets £35

Follow the museum’s social media channels or check the website for more information on how to book.

Contact: Karen on community@westhighlandmuseum.org.uk – 07855 260840

17 August: Glenfinnan Gathering & Games, Monument Field, Glenfinnan (PH37 4LT)

The West Highland Museum will have a stand at the Glenfinnan Gathering with objects to view, information about the museum, and perhaps even have our VR (Virtual Reality) equipment. Come along, say hello and find out more about this gem of a museum with nationally important Jacobite collections. 

Contact: Karen on community@westhighlandmuseum.org.uk – 07855 260840

17-25 August: Living History performances, Urquhart Castle (IV63 6XJ)

Included in standard admission. Details to be confirmed by Historic Environment Scotland

17-21 August: Private Jacobite Tours, Traquair House (EH44 6PW)

Tours at 11am and 1pm, for 2-6 people.

Join us for a private guided tour of Scotland’s most southerly Jacobite stronghold, with a particular emphasis on the many Jacobite associations with Traquair and a chance to see some original documents from the archives – including the iconic coded Jacobite letter.

Cost: £20.00 per person

Must be booked in advance at www.traquair.co.uk

Contact: 01896  830323 or enquiries@traquair.co.uk

18 August, 10am-5.30pm: Jacobite Day, Scone Palace (PH2 6BD)

Step back in time and join us at Scone Palace for a celebration of our rich Jacobite history! Discover the Mansfield family’s connection with the Jacobite movement as you tour the Palace and explore our historic grounds. Take part in family-friendly activities in the Murray Star Maze, where adventure awaits around every corner and meet Jamie Murray, our very own Jacobite, as he rallies troops and prepares for rebellion. It’s a day filled with history, fun, and a touch of rebellion—perfect for all ages!

Standard Admission Price (see website for details www.scone-palace.co.uk/visit )

Contact: www.scone-palace.co.uk/event/jacobite-day

19 August: Jacobite Storytelling for Children, West Highland Museum (PH33 6AJ)

Visit the West Highland Museum in Fort William, where costumed storytellers will tell bring Jacobite history to life for the wee ones.

Free event. Follow our social media channels or check our website for more information on how to book this event. Contact: Karen on community@westhighlandmuseum.org.uk – 07855 260840

19 August, 7pm: ‘The Lives of Lord Lovat and Duncan Forbes’, Online talk

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, and Duncan Forbes of Culloden were central to the story of Jacobite Risings and at the heart of many of the 18th century’s most tumultuous events. Join Highland Archive Service Family Historian, Anne Fraser, and Community Engagement Officer, Lorna Steele-McGinn, to hear about their fascinating lives and dramatic deaths – one on the scaffold and the other of ‘heartbreak’.

Tickets by donation. Please book at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/929623026497?aff=oddtdtcreator

Contact: Lorna Steele-McGinn, lorna.steele@highlifehighland.com

19 August, 11am-3pm: Hands-On History, Palace of Holyroodhouse (EH8 8DX)

Join us in the Family Room to get up close to some historical and replica objects connected to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. Handle these special pieces and see if you can guess what they were used for. Included with the standard admissions ticket or 1-year pass. Palace of Holyroodhouse (rct.uk)

19 August, 11am-3pm: A Prince’s Portrait, Palace of Holyroodhouse (EH8 8DX)

Take inspiration from a special Jacobite portrait, together with items of clothing, to
create your own portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie to take home.
Included in the Palace ticket or 1-year pass.
Palace of Holyroodhouse (rct.uk)

20 August, 11am-12.30pm & 2pm-3.30pm: Jacobite Collections Day, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery (IV2 3EB)

To celebrate the homecoming of ‘Battle of Culloden’, a large and dramatic painting which needed specialist conservation treatment, the museum’s Jacobite gallery has been redisplayed. During this event visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the painting’s surprising history, meet the Collections team behind the re-display, and handle some real and replica artefacts from the museum collection – including musket balls from Culloden battlefield and a letter written by Flora MacDonald.

Free (donations welcome). Contact: 01349 781730 or inverness.museum@highlifehighland.com

20 August, 1pm: “Culloden to Carolina: Jacobite tales in the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry” talk, Battle of Prestonpans Museum (EH32 9AY)

As the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry celebrates its tenth anniversary, this illustrated talk reveals the stories of the Jacobite diaspora stitched into some of its panels. Talk by Dr Arran Johnston, curator of the museum, who also stitched two of the panels within the tapestry.

Tickets: £5, which includes access to the exhibitions

21 August, 6 times: Battle of Dunkeld walk and weapons display, Dunkeld (PH8 0AN)

This tour and weapons display, starting in Stanley Hill Park, will tell the story of the dramatic Battle of Dunkeld which took place on Wednesday 21 August 1689. Three costumed re-enactors will take you step-by-step through the story of the battle, which took place only 25 days after the Jacobite victory at Killiecrankie and ended with the destruction of the town and a Jacobite defeat: a critical moment in Scottish history which played a significant role in shaping the country’s future. Organised by Dunkeld Chapter House Museum.

Cost: £5 per ticket – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-battle-of-dunkeld-the-first-jacobite-rising-tickets-929010694997?aff=oddtdtcreator

Contact: 01350 727786 or manager@historicdunkeld.org.uk

21 August, 2pm-4pm: Jacobite Document Exhibition, Highland Archive Centre (IV3 5SS)

At Highland Archive Centre, Bught Road, Inverness, IV3 5SS

This is a drop-in event providing the opportunity to look at documents from the Highland Archive Centre’s collections relating the Jacobite Risings, including church records, letters, and battle plans.

Free (donations welcome). Follow our social media channels or check our website for more information on this event –https://www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/whats-on/

Contact: Lorna Steele-McGinn, lorna.steele@highlifehighland.com

21 August, 2pm-4pm: Jacobite Document Exhibition, Lochaber Archive Centre (PH33 6RQ)

At Lochaber Archive Centre, Alexander Ross House, Achintore Road, Fort William, PH33 6RQ

This is a drop-in event providing the opportunity to look at documents from the Lochaber Archive Centre’s collections relating the Jacobite Risings, including a letter from Bonnie Prince Charlie asking for supporting from clan leaders at the raising of the standard at Glenfinnan.

Follow our social media channels or check our website for more information on this event https://www.highlifehighland.com/archives-service/whats-on/

Free (donations welcome). Contact: Rory Green, rory.green@highlifehighland.com

21 August, 11am: “The Prince at the Palace” short talk, Palace of Holyroodhouse (EH8 8DX)

On 17 September 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. He set up court for six weeks and brought the palace to life. In this short talk, learn about how the prince used various rooms within the Palace which can still be visited today. Included in the Palace ticket or 1-year pass.

21 August, 7pm: The Clothes of the Jacobites, 1689-1746, Online talk

An online (Zoom) talk by Jenn Scott, author of I am Minded to Rise and The Men of Warre, who takes us through the evolution of the appearance of Jacobite soldiers in Scotland across the period. Online tickets £2 (free for Scottish Battlefields Trust members).

22 August, 11am: “The Prince at the Palace” short talk, Palace of Holyroodhouse (EH8 8DX)

On 17 September 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. He set up court for six weeks and brought the palace to life. In this short talk, learn about how the prince used various rooms within the Palace which can still be visited today. Included in the Palace ticket or 1-year pass.

22 August, 7pm: “Disputed Dynasties” talk, Battle of Prestonpans Museum (EH32 9AY)

Join curator Dr Arran Johnston for an engaging journey through the royal family tree, discovering the characters and causes behind the dynastic crisis of the Jacobite era. Includes welcome drink and a chance to view the Battle of Prestonpans exhibition.

24 August, 11am & 2pm: Jacobite Perth walking tour, Perth Museum (PH1 5SZ)

Walking through the modern city, your guide will take you back in time with stories of the 1700s and what life would have been like for those fighting for and against the Jacobite cause in Perth. Find out where the Bonnie Prince took up residence during his stay here, and of Perth’s gift to the victorious Duke of Cumberland. The tour begins and ends outside Perth Museum (North Entrance). Please be aware this is an outdoor event and may include steps or uneven surfaces. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Tickets £9: hello@perthshireboxoffice.com; https://www.perthshireboxoffice.com/whats-on/jacobite-city-tours

24 August, 12-4pm: “Georgians, Jacobites and Redcoats” living history, Black Watch Museum (PH1 5HR)

This family day will see Jacobite and redcoat re-enactors setting up camp on the lawn, historical characters, specialised tours, and children’s crafts and trails.

Cost: £7.50 per person. Family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children) £25.00 

Contact: enquiries@theblackwatch.co.uk

24 August: Tea at the Castle, Fingask Castle (PH2 7SA)

Tea at Fingask Castle, to include the arrival of the Threipland Coach. An opportunity to visit a Jacobite stronghold – home to Sir Stuart Threipland, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s physician – and eat lemon posset made from his mother’s recipe book. The original 17th century manuscript, in Lady Katherine’s own hand, will be on display along with other family heirlooms.

Price: £20. Tickets from EVENTBRITE . More info from from Helen@fingaskcastle.com

25 August, 1pm: “Bonnie Prince Charlie on the big screen” film & talk, Battle of Prestonpans Museum (EH32 9AY)

Join us for a special viewing of David Niven’s charmingly romantic 1948 portrayal of Bonnie Prince Charlie. The film will be introduced by a short talk considering the ways the prince has been interpreted on screen, and a display of memorabilia relating to the film. Free entry, donations welcome

Related post-Festival events

13 September: “Teaching Bonnie Prince Charlie”, Palace of Holyrood House (EH8 8DX)

This special event offers teachers across all Levels an opportunity to join Emma Stead, Curator of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, for an in-depth look at Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army as well as a guided tour of the rooms he stayed in when his Jacobite army arrived at the Palace in September 1745. Afterwards, join our Learning Team for refreshments, an interactive craft, and further information about resources available for teaching this topic. Free but booking essential: please e-mail, holyroodlearning@rct.uk

21-22 September: Battle of Prestonpans Re-enactment Weekend, Prestonpans, East Lothian

Witness history unfolding as Jacobites and Redcoats clash at the Battle of Prestonpans. Can the Highland charge overcome the cannons and cavalry of the British army? Explore the encampments, meet the Prince, and discover the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s first and finest battlefield victory.

Tickets: Adult £5, Children £3