Dunlichity Church and Burial Grounds

On your travels around Inverness you are sure to come by a lot of Scottish Highlands history. This could be in museums, hotels or even in parks. However you will often be restricted from getting too near it, perhaps blocked by a glass case or a fence. Dunlichity Church and burial grounds, on the other hand, offers you the chance to touch history. Here you can stand in the same spot soldiers once stood who were preparing for battle.


The Road to Culloden

An army sharpens its swords

Dunlichity Church is an ancient place of worship. Its history dates back much further than the current church which was built in the 1500s. As such, it was a well-known spot for peace and calm, something that a group of soldiers on their way to fight at Culloden in 1746 took advantage of. This might have been their last chance of normality before joining the rest of the army. It might have been the last time a group of friends saw each other, or had the chance to talk about their family back home. So they paused here for a while, and took advantage of the stone around them to sharpen their swords.

We know this because we can still see the marks their swords made in stones to this day. You can stand where they stood and imagine doing the same. Draw your arm along the stone as if you were armed, dreaming of your loved ones back home whilst facing up to the battle that was in front of you. This is Culloden history right here.

It is personal, small moments like this that can really bring the history of the Highlands alive.

Clan MacGillivray burial grounds

The burial ground also hosts burial grounds of many members of the MacGillivray Clan, a lot of whom died at the Battle of Culloden. Of particular note is a large gated enclosure which hosts chiefs of the clan. This is a great place to do some family research for those related to this clan.

Keeping an eye over these and all other burials were men situated in the watchtower. This overlooked the site and was where guards were stationed to make sure the bodies of the dead were not dug up and sold on to medical schools for use in their teaching – a most lucrative enterprise, run back in those days by people called ‘resurrectionists’.

How to get to Dunlichity Church and Burial Grounds

The church sits not far off the southern shores of Loch Ness. If you are driving from Inverness, take the B861 south of the city. About five miles along, take the turning for Dunlichity and keep driving until you see the church on your right. The What3Words for the church and burial ground is mondays.insolvent.remotes.

Exploring the history around Inverness

There are many other areas to explore near Inverness to give you a taste of the thousands of years of human history under your feet. Culloden Battlefield would be a good place to visit after spending time at Dunlichity Church. If you would like to explore more burial grounds, we can highly recommend Boleskine. To discover more about the ancient humans that roamed the land, then the Bronze Age Clava Cairns is a great place to visit.



Dunlichity, IV1 2AN

Find Out More

Historical Sites
Read more

Scottish Castles
Read more

Towns & Villages
Read more