Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to Traquair

Reenactor Arran Johnston as Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to Traquair! PIcture; Ian Georgeson Photography
Reenactor Arran Johnston as Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to Traquair! PIcture; Ian Georgeson Photography

It is well known that Bonnie Prince Charlie visited Traquair in 1745 to recruit support, and as he left the earl closed the famous Bear Gates at the top of the avenue, vowing they would not be reopened until a Stuart king returned.

Now Traquair is bringing the past to life on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, from 11am-5pm.

Visitors will be able to witness the drama as Charlie rides down to Traquair and just as he joins his supporters, the Redcoats are lying in wait. Alan Breck’s Volunteer Regiment will be setting up camp for the weekend, so visitors can learn about life in a Jacobite army, witness a skirmish as the Redcoats ambush the camp and a battle ensues.

Inside the house there are no less dramatic happenings as past inhabitants tell their stories in a series of short scenarios taking place in various rooms in the property.

You can meet Mary Queen of Scots as she complains about her thoughtless husband, Darnley; hear what it was like to be a daughter at Traquair being sent to Europe to be educated; listen to the elderly Earl of Traquair complaining about his daughter-in-law and experience what life was like for a Catholic priest in the 17th century.

All the stories are drawn from Traquair’s own archives which are rich in letters, accounts and diaries, many already on display in the house.

Current laird Catherine Maxwell Stuart commented: “The history of Traquair is all about the people who lived here and this event gives us the chance to bring those characters back from the past to tell their own stories.”

Traquair’s living history continues with the present family and the present daughter of the house plays her 18th-century counterpart.

Events happen throughout the day and there is no additional charge for this event. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at reduced prices.