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Prestonpans eCommunity
Cockenzie & Port Seton in Bloom

275th Anniversary of Battle of Prestonpans will see focus on its Cultural Legacies

2020 Vision is for all ….and it's the 10th Anniversary of the Prestonpans Tapestry as well


2020 marks not only the 275th anniversary of the last Jacobite Rising but also 300 years since the birth of the man who set it in motion, the victor of Prestonpans and one of Scotland’s most iconic historical figures, Charles Edward Stuart. In addition, it is the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Prestonpans Tapestry, a significant and inspiring community artwork.

The Battle of Prestonpans was an event of international significance, and its story combines fascinating personalities, dramatic events, sacrifice and heroism, and a rich cultural legacy. It has sustained popular interest over three centuries and continues to do so today. Despite being registered on the nation’s Inventory of Historic Battlefields, the site of the battle remains vulnerable to development pressure, giving all endeavours to promote access and understanding of the battlefield additional importance.

This programme aims to commemorate these anniversaries and maximise the opportunity they present to significantly increase the profile and reach of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust. The Trust will take the national lead in marking the 275th anniversary, positioning the events at Prestonpans at the forefront of understanding of the 1745 Rising and driving interest and visitors towards the battlefield. Through this increase in programming and outreach, the Trust will be able to increase its capacity to perpetuate activity by creating new opportunities to engage new audiences, develop lasting resources, and secure the support of an enthusiastic volunteer base.

In addition to the main objectives outlined below, the Trust will continue its long-standing commitment to enhancing the visitor experience of the core battlefield area. This will include undertaking essential maintenance to existing interpretation panels, engaging with stakeholders for the improvement of access to the viewpoint area and wagonway fields, and for the first-time developing access policies to guide our ongoing and future operations. The project will also demonstrate the Trust’s capacity to plan and operate ongoing activity programmes with high-quality outputs as befits the ambitions of the charity and the significance of the heritage.

This programme will run throughout 2020, which will focus on outreach activities and touring exhibitions until the anniversary events in September. Thereafter, into 2021 the Trust will work to harness the momentum created over the anniversary year to work within the local community raising interest and engagement through volunteering opportunities and smaller scale projects, ahead of the three-yearly living history and re-enactment weekend which falls due in September 2021.


1: “Victory Hope & Ambition”:

This is an ambitious open art and literature project for young people of school age, celebrating and perpetuating the rich and diverse cultural legacy of the Battle of Prestonpans; resulting in a publication and the presentation of new works as part of other events and exhibitions within the project programme.

2: “Friends of the Prince”:

Sees development and implementation of a social media strategy and campaign, aimed at recruiting and engaging a network of proactive Friends to support the work of the Trust, including the training of volunteer guides.

3: Taking the Battle online:

Sees engagement with pupils and students at a local school and college in the development of new digital content and resources, enhancing the existing Battlefield APP and broadening its use and appeal; and creating a dynamic online presence for the heritage and associated activities.

4: Prestonpans Tapestry 10th Anniversary Tour:

The 105m community embroidery returns for its first full tour in several years, to celebrate ten years since the creation of this remarkable piece of historical interpretation. Supported by special events, the tapestry will be hold its main exhibition at the Garioch Centre near the 1745 battlefield of Inverurie for three months, followed by a special series of short exhibitions in community venues around Scotland.

5: 275th Anniversary Weekend:

Marking the anniversary itself with music, poetry, commemoration and remembrance. From a public conference of leading Jacobite historians to performances by community groups and developed in concert with our engagement activities, the battle and its legacy will be presented in a more diverse and imaginative series of events than ever before, reaching deeper into our communities and highlighting the local connections to past events of international significance.

6: Prestonpans 275 Exhibition

An exhibition in winter 2020 with East Lothian Council Museums service, to be held at the John Gray Centre in Haddington, exploring how the story of the battle has been told over the last 275 years, and how the physical landscapes and communities of the battlefield have evolved.

Published Date: November 26th 2019

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