Campaign group hopes to halt A9 dualling programme’s advance on Killiecrankie battlefield

An historic Perthshire battlefield is being readied for fresh conflict and may halt the advance of the giant A9 dualling project.

A major new campaign group has been set up to oppose a controversial section of new road between Killiecrankie and Glen Garry that would encroach upon the site of the fight.

© DC Thomson
Soldiers march at the opening of last year’s soldiers of Killiecrankie re-enactment event. Now locals are ready for their own fight with the battlefield under threat.

The first shots of the 1689 Jacobite Rebellion were fired in Killiecrankie Pass and the modern-day visitor centre is the fifth-largest visitor attraction in Perthshire and considered as important as Culloden.

The battlefield Historic Environment Scotland protection and KilliecrAnkie1689 has been set up to stop a mile of the road going over the most sensitive part of the battlefield.

Its members have launched a website, started a petition, lodged an objection and started a crowd-funding initiative to support their campaign.

Mid-Scotland and Fife Conservative MSP, Murdo Fraser has, separately, lodged a motion in Parliament for a Holyrood debate on the matter.

He backs the overall A9 project but said: “The Battle of Killiecrankie is one of the most important moments in Scottish History and the site remains relatively undisturbed, possessing huge archaeological potential.”

A KilliecrAnkie1689  spokesperson said: “We are in favour of the project to upgrade the A9 in the interests of safety, but want the best route for the local community and for the historic battle site.

“The entire battlefield is a large area and is officially designated for protection but the bloody field where most of the fighting was concentrated is relatively small.”

Objections can be submitted to Transport Scotland until January 22 and the campaign group hopes to force the government agency into a rethink.

It is understood that statutory consultees such as Perth and Kinross Council, Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and Historic Environment Scotland have yet to submit opinions. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has no objection.

Highland SNP Councillor Mike Williamson said: “Culturally and historically it is a huge asset to Perthshire and even at that I think it has been underplayed.

“Encroaching upon the battlefield in this fashion could harm the site and could damage any future possibility of building upon its tourism value.”

Transport Scotland has been approached for comment.