Pass of Killiecrankie

Just north of Pitlochry on the A9 road is the Pass of Killiecrankie which is a historically significant pass between Ben Vrackie and Tanandry Hill. This river gorge is a great location for a walk along the River Garry and visit the famous site of the Battle of Killiecrankie.

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The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought between Highland Scottish clans supporting King James II and VII and troops supporting King William of Orange on 27 July 1689, during the first Jacobite uprising. Although it was a stunning victory for the Jacobites, it had little overall effect on the outcome of the war and left their leader dead.

The Highland charge of the Jacobites took the government forces under General Hugh MacKay by surprise and completely overwhelmed them in only 10 minutes. Donald MacBean, one of William II of Scotland’s supporters, having lost the contest, is said to have cleared the pass, from one bank to the other, at “The Soldier’s Leap”. One of the most famous leaders of the rebellion John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee was killed in the battle. A Memorial Field to the fallen soldiers lies within the grounds of the category B listed Urrard House. An eponymous folk song, Braes o’ Killiecrankie, commemorates the battle.

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Walking along the trail beside the River Garry you get some great views of the railway line from Perth to Inverness and there is a magnificent viaduct bridge just a short distance away from the Soldier’ Leap.

This viaduct was designed by Joseph Mitchell to carry the Inverness and Perth Junction Rly up the side of Strathtay and opened on 9 September 1863 at a cost of £5,720; it remains in use, leading directly into a tunnel. It is of stone and measures 507 ft (154.6m) in overall length and 54 ft (16.5m) in height; it comprises ten spans of 35 ft (10.7m) and has pseudo-crenellated turrets.

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