Inspiration

We hope that some of the resources and ideas on this page might help you find inspiration for your own creative works.

As well as browsing this page and its links, you should check out our Videos page. We are posting content there which should be really interesting for all ages – including some animated films and our “Jaco-Bits” video shorts.

The coronavirus lockdown has prevented us from sending out physical Inspiration Packs for schools, but these will be available again on request after the summer holidays. In the meantime we have moved most of the information and links onto this page instead.

For some inspiration on how to engage with some of these resources with class activities, have a look at these ideas:

If you want to start by exploring the history, there is a great starter guide we have available aimed at young readers. A hard copy would be in every Inspiration Pack, but you can download it here in the meantime.


SONGS, POETRY & PROSE

A wealth of creativity has flowed from the Battle of Prestonpans ever since the day it was fought, when local the farmer-poet Adam Skirving visited the battlefield (and had his pockets rifled by Highlanders!).

We have put together a collection of many of the songs and poems which mention the battle, along with few short selections from important 19th century historical novels. You can download the whole collection as one .pdf here for free. It includes some interesting illustrations too! It should be really useful for teachers, and a great starting point for thinking about what you might create yourself.

As well as watching the animated version on our Video page, you can also download a (Powerpoint) slideshow of the whole Prestonpans Tapestry:


IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Our education team have put together some ideas for how you might engage pupils with some of the material above.

PHOTOS & IMAGES

You should check our Facebook and Instagram galleries for some great photos of locations and events, as well as the gallery of images from cameo re-enactments which you can find on our main website here. The re-enactors of the Alan Breck’s Regiment also have some great images of their activities.

Over the years, we have commissioned paintings by a number of local artists including Kate Hunter, Ronald Elliott, and of course Andrew Hillhouse who produced a fantastic series of dramatic – sometimes even a bit gruesome – large scale paintings of the battle. You can download a leaflet showing most of these artworks below:

Tom Ewing also painted a mural during our 2015 re-enactments, now mounted on the wall at our headquarters, giving an atmospheric impression of the action (a detail from it is shown on the left).

There are other, older images of the battle too. The most famous is “The Field of Prestonpans” by Sir William Allan, which was so popular it was copied and printed many times in the 19th century. Here’s a link to a print of it from 1852.


RE-ENACTMENT VIDEOS

Our own YouTube channel (here) holds archive footage from some of our re-enactments, and our partners at the Scottish Battlefields Trust have some great videos from our 2018 event which we have shared below, along with a short film imagining Bonnie Prince Charlie’s thoughts immediately after the battle. It was filmed at Pinkie House, where he stayed that afternoon.

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