Since the reorganisation of the paths on Culloden Battlefield and the removal of the path between the Jacobite Line and the Clan Donald and Keppoch stones, it has been difficult to find these stones. They are now accessible only via the Government/Hanoverian Line. Until recently there has been no sign to them on Culloden Battlefield, but the National Trust for Scotland has now (March 2010) put up some temporary notices and commissioned some permanent ones. The sketch map below shows how to find them:
The Clan Donald and Keppoch stones are set in the ground on Culloden Battlefield and commemorate the members of the different branches of the Clan who fought and died on that fateful day in 1746.
The origin of the Keppoch Stone appears to be unknown and is what is known as an ‘erratic’ stone by the National Trust for Scotland.
It has been recorded that a stone commemorating all members of Clan Donald who fell on the battlefield was unveiled by the 7th Lord Macdonald, Macdonald of Macdonald, father of the present High Chief, in 1966, and this is the present Clan Donald Stone. This stone and a memorial plaque beside it were made possible by the generosity of Clan Donald members worldwide; the fund being set in motion initially by Ethel MacDonald, USA, and Alastair MacDonald, Nova Scotia: see Clan Donald Magazine No.4, 1968. The photograph below, taken in the mid-1970s, shows a young Scott McDonald and both the stone and the plaque. There is no plaque there now.
A previously unknown to us low-lying stone, inscribed ‘Clan Donald’ was identified by David Allcock and his brother Michael in April 2003, very close to the Keppoch Stone. This has now been brought to the attention of the National Trust for Scotland which has agreed to clear the undergrowth round it. Apparently it is also an ‘erratic’ stone.
Following many worldwide representations to the National Trust for Scotland by Clan Donald members expressing dissatisfaction with the access to the Clan Donald stones being solely via the Hanoverian/Government Line, the High Council now understands that the NTS intends to build a path between the Main Cairn and the Clan Donald Stone in the next few years. This is to be greatly welcomed and would mean that Clan Donald would no longer have the ignominy of having to walk down the Hanoverian Line in order to reach its stones.
At the end of the Jacobite Line which is near to the road, there used to be a wooden marker in memory of, Glengarry, Glencoe and Keppoch. This has been replaced by a stone plinth which states that to the left of that point stood Clan Chattan, Farquharsons, MacLachlan, MacLeans, MacLeods, Chisholms, Clanranald, Keppoch, Glen Garry (sic), Glenbucket, Duke of Perth’s.
Each year, on the nearest Saturday to the 16th of April, the Gaelic Society of Inverness holds a ceremony at the Main Cairn, after which a Clan Donald contingent, led by Piper Sandy MacDonell, marches to the Keppoch and Clan Donald Stones to pay its respects, which includes the laying of wreaths. Afterwards an individually-seated lunch is held at the nearby Drumossie Hotel. Any Donald interested in joining this group should contact Donald M. Macdonald at email@example.com
Prepared by Donald M. Macdonald and Lois MacDonell of Glengarry
The Clan Donald Stone,
(Click on the thumbnails above to enlarge the photos for viewing)