Planned A9 expansion threatens historic site

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Planned expansion of the A9 in Scotland would run through the middle of the Killiecrankie. Killiecrankie was the first battle of the Jacobite rebellion.

Part of what makes Outlander such a successful television series is the picturesque landscapes of Scotland that really take the fans of the show back in time to the 18th century. Being that it’s three centuries after the events showcased in Outlander were supposedly to have taken place, it doesn’t come as a surprise as real estate developments and modern infrastructure begin to take foot over previously under developed ground. The A9 in Scotland is no different.

There is a supposed expansion of the route being planned to run right through Killiecrankie Battlefield. A group of protesters known as Killiecrankie1689 are doing everything in their power to prevent the divided highway expansion into the battlefield.

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The Battle of Killiecrankie took place in 1689. It is seen as the first battle of the Jacobite rebellion, which occurs during the timeline of the Outlander series. This was a particularly bloody battle, where 2,000 men died in the course of an hour. Expansion of the A9 would run through obvious hallowed ground. The route’s expansion is obviously controversial for that reason.

Expanding a country’s highway system is totally understandable. It’s not like the human population across the globe is shrinking any time soon. However, to do so at the expense of desecrating hallowed ground can’t sit well with historians or natives of the area. One would think a divided highway would be a poor way of honoring those that gave their life that day.

As painful as it sounds, many of the picturesque Scottish landscapes associated with the Outlander series could be gone soon. It’s always difficult to preserve the past in a modern world. However, Killiecrankie1689 will do its best to keep this proposed A9 expansion from happening. They have started a petition in the last week. Maybe their upheaval about the whole thing could get some good traction here soon.

As Outlander grows in popularity, more and more people will want to visit the Scottish Highlands. That being said, some of these areas aren’t overly accessible. Getting to them is difficult and they aren’t exactly equipped for tourists.

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Expanding the A9 could be big for Scottish infrastructure. However, doing so at the expense of going over the Killiecrankie battlefield will come at a price. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.