History of Glenfinnan

In the highlands
of Scotland lies the village of Glenfinnan, tucked neatly in the Lochaber area. Glenfinnan is rich in history and beauty as it sits at the northern end of the Loch Shiel.

Among the histories of this fine village are the Glenfinnan Monument and Memorial, Railway Station and the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Situated at the head of Loch Shiel is the Glenfinnan Monument.

The monument was erected in 1815 marking the location where “Bonnie Prince Charlie” raised his standard at the beginning of the Jacobite Rising in 1745 claiming the Scottish and English thrones in the name
of his father.

With the Jacobite Cause no longer being a political threat in 1815 the memorial tower was built by Alexander McDonald along with an anonymous Highlander to commemorate the raising of the standard.

Head of Loch ShielLoch ShielEvery August 19th hundreds of Jacobite enthusiasts gather. Since 1938 the monument has been taken care of by the National Trust for Scotland and today a visitor center can be found providing tickets, information, exhibits, shops and café as well as toilets for your visit.

The Glenfinnan Railway Station runs between Fort William and Mallaig; about half way around the scenic West Highland Railway line. Trains including the Jacobite Steam Train run this route and from the direction of Fort William a spectacular viaduct is crossed. Loch Shiel

Built between the years 1897 and 1901 by Sir Robert McAlpine, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is a pictorial wonder with 21 arches reaching as high as 30m (100ft).

Today people might recognize this viaduct as well as the Jacobite Steam Train from the hit film Harry Potter. The train was transformed into Hogwart’s Express and the Glenfinnan Viaduct is the picturesque viaduct the Hogwart’s Express crosses in the films.

Additional to the natural and fictional histories of Glenfinnan are fictional accounts and histories. In the film and story Highlander the characters of Connor and Duncan MacLeod both were born in Glenfinnan Scotland in the respective years of 1518 and 1592.

Highlander includes a number of films and television series as well as comic books animated movies and series and novels making it a universe unto itself with many of its followers.

Glenfinnan is rich in both natural history as well as fictional histories. One major cinema sensation features the Glenfinnan Viaduct as well as the Jacobite Steam Train; chances are you have seen it!