Tour 8 – Montrose and
Alasdair Mac Colla
Alasdair mhic Cholla ghasda
Làmh dheas ri sgoltadh nan caisteal,
Chuir thu ruig’ n air Gallaibh glasa
’s ma dh’ òl iad càil chuir thu ast’ e!
THE Duke of Montrose is seen as a great Scottish military hero, fighting valiantly and brilliantly in the interests of King Charles I in the wars that engulfed the whole of the United Kingdom in the 17th Century.
But less well known is that his victories were the architect of one man – Alasdair MacColla, the greatest warrior the Gaels ever produced. Not only was he of huge stature, strength and agility, but he was also a brilliant tactician who invented the famous 'Highland charge' and whose battlefield skills helped to secure domination of Scotland for Montrose in 1645.
This tour examines the role played by MacColla, giving you a clear understanding of the complexity of the conflicts between Highland and Lowland, Clan Donald and Campbell, Covenanter and Cavalier. You will visit the sites of spectacular Montrose victories at Tippermore, Inverurie and Auldern. We will take particular interest in Inverlochy Castle where you’ll hear the triumphant tones of Ian Lom, Bard of Clan Donald in celebration of their shattering defeat of Clan Campbell.
Click on the Listen button below to hear the poem sung by Seumas C. M. Caimbeul as part of BBC Alba's Song for the Day
Alasdair son of excellent Colla,
hand expert at rending asunder castles,
You put the grey faced Lowlanders to flight
and took out of them all that they had drunk