Clan Fraser of Lovat Tour – Itinerary
The Clan Fraser of Lovat Tour begins in Inverness with a look at an old Fraser Townhouse. Leaving Inverness we enter Clan Fraser clanlands at Clachnaharry, where we will visit a battle monument and viewpoint. Next are photostops for the exteriors of Fraser properties Bunchrew House and Moniack Castle. Then we can enjoy the Tall Trees walk in Reelig Glen, followed by a visit to the traditional burying ground of the Fraser chiefs – Wardlaugh Mausoleum. If the light is kind we will try to furnish you with a distant view of the clan seat – Beaufort Castle. The Fraser market town was Beauly, where we can lunch and spend time enjoying shops and ruined Priory, before spending the rest of the afternoon at Culloden Battlefield.
Abertarff House, built and owned by the Frasers of Lovat, is tucked away off Church Street. As a result of a construction date in the 1500’s it has both crow-stepped gables and a projecting turnpike stair. The National Trust for Scotland now own it because of its status as Inverness’ oldest surviving house.
The Clachnaharry Monument
The Clachnaharry monument stands atop a rocky cliff, on the western outskirts of Inverness. It commemorates a battle between the Munros and the Mackintoshes, but has Fraser connections. This connection is because the unfolding consequences following the battle led to the long and still-continuing friendship between Clan Munro and Clan Fraser.
Alexander Fraser of Lovat built the first small house here in 1505, but it was greatly enlarged in the early 1600’s by Simon, 6th Lord Lovat. The Frasers sold Bunchrew to the Forbes family in 1673. When the Fraser clansmen heard that Forbes removed the motto “Fraser—Lord Lovat” carved over the front door, 30 Frasers arrived to smash the building’s windows and destroy a mill on the grounds.
Moniack Castle was built by the Frasers in the late 1500’s. It is the only Fraser stronghold to still be held by a branch of the family. The Moniack Frasers are an important cadet branch of the Lovat Frasers. The Castle is still the private home of the Frasers, so we will enjoy an exterior view only.
Reelig Glen is a steep sided gorge with beautiful rushing river and waterfalls. It was, for over 500 years, the property of the Fraser family. One of them, James Fraser, laid out the woodland and walks in the early 1800’s much as you can enjoy them today. You will wander through groves of the tallest trees in Britain, on the well-named Tall Trees Trail.
Wardlaugh Mausoleum in Kirkhill has been the traditional burying ground for Fraser of Lovat chiefs since the 1600’s. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, known as the Old Fox, erected a very fancy memorial. This was ostensibly in praise of his father. Careful reading of the text, however, reveals that he created it because he wanted to applaud himself.
Beauly, a pretty market town, was the main settlement for the Lovat Frasers. The ruined priory, dating from the 1200’s, was in the Outlander books, as was Beauly harbour. Beauly has a wide range of interesting shops and hotels, and the opportunity to visit with some highland cows.
Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle on British soil, stands atop a ridge, four miles from Inverness. Here, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army met a final and chilling end. This story is well-told in the multi-media centre onsite, and you can access specific information on the Frasers. There is a shop and a restaurant as well as the exhibitions. We will also take you on a walk on the battlefield. You’ll see the Well of the Dead, the Main Cairn and the Clan Graves. Your fallen clansmen lie in the grave at the Fraser Stone, and as a result we will spend time there.
Some Clan Fraser of Lovat Snippets
This Norman family, de Friselle, first settled in the disputed lands of the Scottish Borders in the 11th century. Moving north in the 1300’s, their name also underwent a shift to Fraisier from the Fraises (or strawberry flowers) in their armorial crest. The Old Fox, Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat. was executed in 1747, because of his support for Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 Jacobite Rising. The 14th Lord Lovat raised the Lovat Scouts in 1900 for service in the Boer War, and his son Simon the 15th Lord Lovat led the 1st Special Service Brigade on the Normandy Beaches in WWII. The film “The Longest Day” features Lord Lovat, played by Peter Lawford. The present chief (since his succession in 1995) is the 18th Lord Lovat and 25th MacShimidh.
The Yew is the plant badge of the Frasers of Lovat. Je Suis Prest (I am ready) is their motto. The war cry is – Caisteal Dhuni
Clan Fraser of Lovat Tour from Inverness – Price
£415 for the tour
Clan Fraser of Lovat Tour from Inverness – Departure
The tour departs from your Inverness accommodation, or any transport hub, such as bus station, train station or airport. You tell us, and we’ll be there.