Sunday, June 26, 2011

Auldearn The Movie

360 from the summit of Garlic Hill.

Auldearn Battlefield

Auldearn has got to be one of the smallest battlefields I've ever been on.  This means that the butchers bill must have been pretty high where the action was (though a good lot of the covenanter casualties must have occurred during the rout.

Walking the terrain was good for although the hills are not that big the main three (Garlic, Castle and hill of the town) controlled not only what could be seen from any given point but also the nature of the drainage.

On either side of Garlic hill the ground is still marshy today (even with modern drainage).  This would have helped funnel the government troops along the axis of the hill, pushing MaColla and the Irish back towards the town.

However, the curve of the hill veers towards the present high street where most of the oldest houses of the village are situated. Here the land rises up again into both the town and towards the Castle hill.

From the summit of Garlic hill it is impossible to see anything other than the town and it's hills.  so the strength and position of the royalist army would have been hidden.  However, from the top of the Castle Hill, the royalist command would have been able to see most of the Covenanters and would have noticed how the regiments where stacked on top of each other, unable to bring their superior numbers to bear on the assault occurring in the village.

Garlic Hill from Castle Hill

The Doocoot on top of Castle Hill - this is a 18th century structure replacing the one which stood here during the battle

The view down the main road of Auldearn towards the front of the village - the fighting would have been down at the bottom end.

View towards Auldearn from the summit of Garlic Hill.  The Royalists would have been able to assemble their forces behind the village without the Hurry seeing how many where there and where they would be deployed. Main road into Auldearn is on the left.

Castle Hill with the doocoot on the summit.  The field below and to the other side of the road is still marshy.  The royalist cavalry swung round behind this emerging to the left to flank the government troops.

Public Information

Visited the battlefield during my holiday and the weather was even nice!  Was surprised to see signposts announcing the battlefield on the main road and even more surprised to see the two signs below.  The first was at the bus-stop, just outside the Covenanters Inn (where we stayed).  The second was on top of Eren's hill, the old motte of the medieval castle upon which a doocoot stood.  This had a bit more detail and some illustrations from Stuart Reids Osprey campaign book!