Mercat Cross

A feature of most Scottish towns, and larger villages, was a Mercat Cross, an indication that the town or village had been granted the right to hold a market. The history of these is here, and there are 126 surviving ones in Scotland, although many have had substantial renovations.

One of the better known is that at Culross in Fife, which featured in the Outlander TV series and also in the 1971 version of the Robert Louis Stevenson Classic “Kidnapped”. The Culross Mercat Cross is below.

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Dismounted Jacobite Commanders

My Jacobite Infantry Brigade Commanders are on foot, but all of my senior Jacobite Commanders and staff are mounted, as shown below, with from the left, an Army command sabot containing Prince Charles, Col O’Sullivan and a Standard Bearer, a Divisional command sabot containing Lord George Murray and his ADC, and another Divisional command sabot containing the Duke of Perth and his ADC.

However, at Prestonpans all of the Jacobite commanders were on foot, so I decided to model some alternative dismounted figures for these.

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On 20th September 1745, the day before the main battle of Prestonpans, a Jacobite detachment of Camerons occupied the church and churchyard, just to the north of the village of Tranent. This detachment successfully ambushed a reconnaissance by the Customs Officer Walter Grosset, who had volunteered to help General Cope. The Cameron detachment had been placed there by Colonel O’Sullivan, without consulting Lord George Murray. It was a perfectly sensible military precaution to occupy such an advanced position, but Lord George Murray ordered them to be withdrawn. The church is shown on this map.

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Wooden Railway Track

One feature of the Prestonpans battlefield was a wooden railway track. This ran from the open-cast coalmines at Tranent down to the port at Cockenzie, using coal wagons pulled by horses, similar to the pit-ponies used in underground mines. The history of this railway track, or waggonway, is here.

The railway track is shown on this map of the battlefield (from the Osprey “The Jacobite Rebellion 1745-46” by Gregory Fremont-Barnes).

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