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Jacobite Trail Colloquium November 5th 2019: Summary & Next Steps in 2020

Jacobite Trail Colloquium Report and Action Lines now proposed

This Report has gone to all those who attended our
Jacobite Trail Colloquium in Edinburgh on 5 November
and to those who could not attend but expressed an interest in being kept up to date.

"The whole day had a very positive atmosphere and it is obvious that there is general support for and momentum towards the creation of a 'Jacobite Trail for Scotland'. The following Notes attempt to distil what were sometimes quite complex points into a series of simple(ish) bullets. Please note that these are unattributed and may not occur in the order in which they popped up in discussion.

"The key source list for a listing of Jacobite 'sites' was acknowledged as being the Jacobite Studies Trust's Jacobite Gazetteer @

"This was compiled by Dr Alan Hobson and was finished in 2013. One useful outcome from the meeting was the willingness to use and develop this resource. Dr Hobson would be interested in receiving additional or updated information for the gazetteer which can be emailed to him at "

Please note that the key criteria for inclusion are unchanged:

"Firstly, the Gazetteer only includes sites that are open to the public. Secondly, a site is only included if it still has an extant Jacobite connection. If, for example, a hall belonging to a Jacobite once stood upon a site, but that hall has now been entirely replaced by a later building, then the site will not be included (unless there are plaques or other devices recording the Jacobite link). Please note that the Gazetteer entries are summaries and so any additional information should be focused and brief.

"Finally, the Battle Trust in Prestonpans, which convened the Colloquium, now intends to hold preliminary discussions with VisitScotland to discuss how they might give support including deliberate steps to create a website analogous to that already created for Outlander. Its functionalities would not only include links to 'destination' websites but also such Jacobite related events as are occurring at each.

"This will clearly offer considerable scope in 2020 for celebration of the 300th Birthday of Prince Charles Edward and the 275th Anniversary of his victory at Prestonpans."

Mike Taylor, who convened the Colloquium for the Prestonpans 1745 Battle Trust gave this summary of the proceedings:

As well as the Jacobite Studies Trust, Other gazetteers include:

* …. and a Jacobite Officer Database:

2016 Jacobite Trail (26 sites) produced in conjunction with a major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland is now available only as an ebook:

VisitScotland with Sony has produced an Outlander trail (73 film locations)

There is a Jacobite Trail for the city of Aberdeen (7 sites) which includes local collections

There is a Bonnie Prince Charlie Trail in the Outer Hebrides (20 sites) where locations can be selected to make an itinerary:

Ireland has a Williamite Trail produced by the Grand Orange Lodge (20 sites) with an online pdf leaflet:

On a smaller scale and aimed at school groups and families a Jacobite Trail Quiz within Edinburgh Castle is available as a downloadable pdf files with 14 language options:

* National Records of Scotland has much Jacobite data e.g. Home Robertsons of Paxton guilty of treason after Preston in 1715.

Meeting Notes prepared

Please note that the very wide-ranging discussions from the day and the three introductory presentations have been transcribed as bullet points to aid reading. None have been attributed.

The ‘Outlander’ Trail

A ‘free’ opportunity for promotion and partnership
Film locations not always actual Jacobite sites
Chance to link to the Scottish landscape

Audience :
Females age 40+
Travel as group with friends and/or partners
Fans of the books/films
Original market USA/Canada
Often ‘a trip of a lifetime’ so emotional and financial investment
Spin off into ancestral tourism

Want to:
Visit location
Take part in experiences
Engage with fellow fans (often on social media)
Hear stories and engage with locals

Best Practice Suggestions:
o Trail needs
o Clear aims/objectives
o A budget
o A defined target audience / users
o Online and printed product
o Selected sites to feature
o Consistent level of information to feature
o Design of content
o Distribution and promotion
o Monitoring and evaluation
• Foreign language versions available
• Site entries became more sophisticated; can now search online eg by site type and by series (now four series, soon to be five)
• 65,000 page views last year
• £5-8,000 will give 50 thousand print copies.
• VisitScotland had dedicated design, content and PR teams (all doing other projects too).
• Estimated 3-4 months to create the latest trail map but less work in future

The Brittany Jacobite Trail still in development

Shows international dimension and interest in Jacobites
Based on new research
Important as the base for both Prince Charles Edward’s voyage to Scotland and the recue mission that brought him back so strong potential link to Scottish trail(s)
Brittany link to Jacobite exiles from Ireland after 1690 including main shipowner in Nantes
English sources need translation to French and Breton
No plaques etc yet – sponsorship and official local government approval needed

General discussion

• There was support from attendees for the principle of a Jacobite Trail
• That it should be more than a ‘footfall-generating’ exercise
• What role Education Scotland? Undoubted educational interest but should trail be ‘educational’ per se. Is the return worth it given the lack of capacity for travel of schools in particular? Often dependent on local level of interest. Target teachers with publicity and get them and their families to visit sites.
• Unlike ‘Outlander’ any trail(s) should include all the Jacobite risings
• The date range covers from 1686 the plans for the ‘In-Glorious Revolution’ to the death of Charles [III] Edward’s brother Cardinal Henry Benedict [IX] in 1807
• The broad term Jacobite is not understood by many; but in any case the trail should include sites associated with the Hanoverians too.
• Knowing the potential audience (eg who is searching online) is essential
• Information gleaned from groups on social media may help define audience
• The trail does not need to be a ‘trail’ as such. Acting as an inventory of ‘go-to’ sites is important as is the potential of selecting personal itineraries/trails
• Use of IT essential
• Needs to be a coordinated project – get groundwork in place. Scoping needed
• The interest in ‘Outlander’ provides a window of opportunity to promote idea of Jacobite Trail
• Audience is key for VisitScotland
• Also ties into ‘ancestral tourism’ and growing market for ‘DNA’ tourism
• Trail data would also provide local information to staffs of hotels etc enabling them to enhance their clients’ experience

• Criteria for inclusion should be simple
o A clear link to the Jacobite risings
o Open/accessible to the public
and would include landscape features where there is a link
• Definition of ‘sites’ should include collections
• Is there a role for ‘hubs’ ?
• Include Gaelic groups and language

• Should get on and organise quickly and seek resources
• Sustainable funding essential. Thee year project (?) and then how afterwards?
• ‘Brand Scotland’ should be capable of attracting corporate sponsorship
• How costly? Would the scale help to raise money in small amounts if needed?
• Need ‘constituted group’ to enable funding to be sought
• Is the ‘Jacobite Story’ a strong enough impetus to drive the project? The NMS exhibition was the impetus for the 2016 trail
• Any mileage in building on/using the 2020 commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath
• What (if any) role for government – a Jacobite Fund for schools to bid into?
• Scoping should consider what resources are on the potential trail already

• At most simple form the trail might consist of a map and the existing (known) sites (Map and 100 word synopsis for each site
• Academic research resource is more about networks and information sharing. Sharing knowledge and expertise
• Potential for a ‘Jacobite Portraits’ Trail
• Trail should include ‘mutual signposting’ and be regarded as a partnership between participants.
• Useful resources on Scottish Local History Forum Website - add your own

Published Date: November 25th 2019

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