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Work completed to protect historic gravestone at Culloden from mass of Outlander fans

The Fraser stone site at Culloden battlefield has been repaired.
The Fraser stone site at Culloden battlefield has been repaired.

Works to protect one of the most popular spots of a historic battlefield has been completed.

Thousands of visitors flock to Culloden Battlefield every year, including a strong allegiance of Outlander fans keen to see a gravestone dedicated to Clan Fraser.

One of the main characters in the books and TV series is Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior who meets a nurse from the future and becomes caught up in the war between Scotland and England during the 1700s.

Now the National Trust for Scotland has completed work to protect the popular stone, which is is one of a number of ancient battle gravestones that act as a reminder of the Battle of Culloden that took place more than 275 years ago.

‘We need to make this sensitive site more resilient to physical damage’

The site was originally roped off in 2019 because of wet weather and an increase in footfall due to renewed interest because of the Outlander series. Although there is a dedicated path through the battlefield, visitors were leaving it to get a closer look at the historic markers.

A new path has now been installed to protect the landmark for generations to come.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, operations manager of the Culloden Battlefield cluster, said: “We are really happy with the work to consolidate the paths around the Fraser Stone and Grave markers at Culloden Battlefield. The footfall is returning to the battlefield and we need to make this sensitive site more resilient to physical damage.

“We are not at 2019 levels yet when we had 300,000 visitors, but the car park is filling up most days now. Back in 2019, people had worn away the grass around the Fraser Stone and Grave Markers and it turned into a mud bath when it rained.

The site around the historic Fraser stone has been repaired because of previous damage.

“The site is a scheduled ancient monument so we spoke to Historic Environment Scotland about potential ways to deal with the wear and tear. They gave official consent to laying landscape fabric on the surface which will limit the damage to the landscape and it also keeps the underground archaeology intact.

“Many fans of the Outlander books and TV series make a pilgrimage to the Fraser Stone, which is why we have laid an additional gravel path to manage the footfall pressure.”

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