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Battle of Drumclog

 

 

 

 

 

Monument thumb-1



 


 

 

 

 

 

 


A few miles from Kilmarnock, near the village of Darvel, stands Loudoun Hill. This imposing volcanic plug offers the best vantage point across the Irvine Valley and as such has always provided a strong strategic advantage. Near the bottom of the south-east slope is the remains of an Iron Age fort or homestead and nearby at Allanton Beg is evidence of another fort built by the Romans during the Flavian period.

 

Loudon Hill was the scene of the Battle of Loudon Hill, in 1296 and a  skirmish between Government troops and Covenanter forces also took place there in 1679.

 

 Covenanters had gathered for an outlawed religious service or 'conventicle'. However, news of this meeting had reached the ears of Sir John Graham of Claverhouse who had been recently commanded by the king to suppress such events.

 

Claverhouse mustered his dragoons and clashed with the Covenanters. This was to become known as the Battle of Drumclog and ended with Claverhouse's dragoons being soundly defeated.

 

The victory spurred the Covenanters on to greater things. Several thousand stormed Glasgow, drove out the occupying garrison and by 6 June had taken command of the city. Their success was to be short-lived. Within two weeks the tide would turn against them.

 

 
The 19th century painting 'Battle of Drumclog' by George Harvey gives a false impression of the incident. Given the numbers involved, particularly on the government side, this can be considered little more than a skirmish, despite the significance of its repercussions. According to Smurthwaite the rebels deployed behind a marsh. According to Black, and supported by the limited terrain evidence collected for this report, they were behind a ditch and with marshes all around. This effective selection of terrain by the rebels precluded a cavalry attack and so Claverhouse’s dragoons dismounted and advanced on foot to within pistol shot. In response the rebels charged against the centre and left flank of the government deployment. Heavily outnumbered, the government forces broke and fled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Covenanters Section
Contents
 
  • The Killing Times
  • Battle of Bothwell Brig
  • The Wreck of The Crown
  • Henry & Francis
  • Jamie Douglas - poem
  • Incident at Martyrs Moss
  • Col James Douglas
  • Battle of Drumclog
  • List of Covenanters
  •  

     

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    Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017