International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 414–441 | Cite as

Now the Wars are Over: The Past, Present and Future of Scottish Battlefields

  • Tony PollardEmail author
  • Iain Banks


Battlefield archaeology has provided a new way of appreciating historic battlefields. This paper provides a summary of the long history of warfare and conflict in Scotland which has given rise to a large number of battlefield sites. Recent moves to highlight the archaeological importance of these sites, in the form of Historic Scotland’s Battlefields Inventory are discussed, along with some of the problems associated with the preservation and management of these important cultural sites.


Battlefields Conflict Archaeology Management 



The authors would like to thank Glenn Foard, their colleague on the Historic Scotland Inventory Project, for his input into numerous discussions about the subject.


  1. Alcock, L., and Alcock, E. A. (1996). Reconnaissance excavations on Early Historic fortifications and other royal sites in Scotland, 1974–84, 5: Excavations and other fieldwork at Forteviot, Perthshire, 1981; B, Excavations at Urquhart Castle, Inverness-shire, 1983; C, Excavations at Dunnottar, Kincardineshire, 1984. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 122: 215–287.Google Scholar
  2. Banks, I., Pollard, T., and Poller, T. (2006). Leith Open Spaces Project (Leith siege works) Geophysics. GUARD report 2200, Glasgow.Google Scholar
  3. Cooper, J. (2006). The Heart and the Rose: The Battle of Linlithgow Bridge 1526, Partizan, Essex.Google Scholar
  4. Duffy, C. (2003). The ’45: Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Untold Story of the Jacobite Rising, Cassell, London.Google Scholar
  5. Durham, K. (1995). The Border Reivers, Osprey Men-At-Arms, London.Google Scholar
  6. Eisele, J. (1997). Third Battle of Newbury. Unpublished paper delivered at Archaeologists and Development Conference, June 14, 1997, Salisbury Museum. <>.
  7. Foard, G. (2001). The archaeology of attack: Battles and sieges of the English Civil War. In Freeman, P. W. M., and Pollard, T. (eds.), Fields of Conflict: Progress and Prospect in Battlefield Archaeology, British Archaeological Reports (International Series 958), Oxford, pp. 87–104.Google Scholar
  8. Foard, G., and Pardita, T. (2005). Scotland’s Historic Fields of Conflict: an Assessment for Historic Scotland, The Battlefields Trust, Norwich.Google Scholar
  9. Fraser, J. (2005). The Roman Conquest of Scotland: the Battle of Mons Graupius, AD 84, Tempus, Stroud.Google Scholar
  10. Freeman, P. W. M., (2001). Issues concerning the archaeology of battlefields. In Freeman, P. W. M. and Pollard, T. (eds.), Fields of Conflict: Progress and Prospect in Battlefield Archaeology, British Archaeological Reports (International Series 958), Oxford, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  11. Freeman, P. W. M., and Pollard, A. (T.) (eds.) (2001). Fields of Conflict: Progress and Prospect in Battlefield Archaeology. British Archaeological Reports (International Series 958), Oxford.Google Scholar
  12. Harrington, P. (2004). English Civil War Archaeology, English Heritage/B. T Batsford, London.Google Scholar
  13. Hutton, W. (1999). The Battle of Bosworth Field, 2nd ed, Tempus, Stroud. 1813.Google Scholar
  14. Lelong, O., and MacGregor, G. (2008). The Lands of Ancient Lothian, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monographs, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  15. MacDonald Fraser, G. (1971). The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Border Reivers, Barrie and Jenkins, London.Google Scholar
  16. MacKay, E. (1898). The Battle of Sheriffmuir Related from Original Sources. Stirling.Google Scholar
  17. MacSween, A. (2001). Preserving Scotland’s battlefields: Powers, practices and possibilities. In Freeman, P.W.M., and Pollard, T. (eds.), Fields of Conflict: Progress and Prospect in Battlefield Archaeology. British Archaeological Reports (International Series 958), Oxford, pp. 291–296.Google Scholar
  18. Maxwell, G. S. (1990). A Battle Lost: Romans and Caledonians at Mons Graupius, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  19. Page, R., and Main, L. (1997). Stirling ancient bridge (Stirling, Logie parishes), piers of bridge. Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 80–81.Google Scholar
  20. Patten, W. (1548). The Expedicion Into Scotlande of the most woorthely fortunate Prince Edward, Duke of Somerset. London.Google Scholar
  21. Pollard, T. (2003). The value of enmity: re-making and re-visiting historic battlefields in the United States and Britain. Landscapes 4(2): 25–34.Google Scholar
  22. Pollard, T. (2005). Culloden Battlefield: Report on Archaeological Investigation. GUARD report 1981, Glasgow.Google Scholar
  23. Pollard, T. (2006). Sheriffmuir Battlefield: Data Structure Report, GUARD report 2214, Glasgow.Google Scholar
  24. Pollard, T. (2007). Burying the hatchet? The post-conflict appropriation of battlefields. In Purbrick, L. (ed.), Contested Spaces: Representation and the Histories of Conflict, Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp. 121–146.Google Scholar
  25. Pollard, T. (2009a). The archaeology of the Siege of Leith, 1560. Journal of Conflict Archaeology 4: 159–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pollard, T. (2009b). Culloden: The History and Archaeology of the Last Clan Battle, Pen and Sword, Barnsley.Google Scholar
  27. Pollard, T., and Banks, I. (2006). Introduction. In Pollard, T., and Banks, I. (eds.), Past Tense: Studies in the Archaeology of Conflict, Brill Academic, Leiden, pp. vii–xi.Google Scholar
  28. Pollard, T., and Oliver, N. (2002). Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology, The Key to Unlocking the Past, Penguin/Michael Joseph, London.Google Scholar
  29. Pollard, T., and Oliver, N. (2003). Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields, Penguin/Michael Joseph, London.Google Scholar
  30. Reid, S. (2004). Battles of the Scottish Lowland, Battlefield Britain, Pen and Sword, Barnsley.Google Scholar
  31. Salway, P. (1993). A History of Roman Britain, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  32. Scott, D. D., Fox, R. A., Connor, M. A., and Harmon, D. (1989). Archaeological Perspectives on the Battle of the Little Bighorn, University of Oklahoma Press, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  33. Smurthwaite, D. (1995). The Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain, Michael Joseph, London.Google Scholar
  34. Sutherland, T. (2002). The Towton Battlefield Archaeological Survey Web Site <>
  35. Watson, F., and Anderson, A. (2001). The Battle of Bannockburn. Unpublished report for Stirling Council, Stirling.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Battlefield ArchaeologyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations