On the exact date of the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, a lone piper plays for a full hour, the duration of the battle itself. In 2008, the 262nd anniversary is made all the poignant with the opening of a £9 million visitor centre.
The centre is largest project ever undertaken by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), and to mark the opening a worldwide search was launched to find descendents of those who fought on that fateful day, 16 April 1746.
Scott Hay, an eleven-year-old descendent of William Hay of the Glenbucket Regiment, along with six-year-old Phillip Nicol, cut the ribbons to open the centre. Peter Pipinski, a descendent of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, described the event as "sobering".
Shonaig Macpherson of the NTS says: "One of the things that we are very keen to do at the NTS is to use our properties to help people have a better understanding of our history, and put the facts forward in a way to inspire people to learn an awful lot more."
Genealogist Dr Nick Barratt adds: "It's real living history, and that is exactly the sort of thing we need to encourage our youngsters to do. So many people say to me, 'Oh, history was boring at school.' It should be fresh, it should be imaginative, it should be real and living."
The Culloden visitor centre is designed to blend into the background, letting the battleground and its remarkable story take centre stage.