Bonnie Prince Charlie musket balls unearthed near loch

Archaeologists found 15 musket balls, copper alloy coins and gold gilt buttons in the 274-year-old haul.

Bonnie Prince Charlie musket balls unearthed near loch Conflicts of Interest via SWNS

Archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of musket balls believed to have been sent to Bonnie Prince Charlie near a loch in the Highlands.

The hoard, which dates back 274 years, included 215 musket balls, copper alloy coins and gold gilt buttons.

It was found close to the shores of Loch nan Uamh near Arisaig by amateur archaeologist group Conflicts of Interest.

Using metal detectors, they found the cache after just two hours of searching in the area.

The group stumbled across the munitions stockpile at the beginning of September near a ruined croft house which once belonged to the prince’s Gaelic tutor.

They were looking for armaments which were sent from France to support Prince Charlie and the Jacobites in their struggle against the British government.

But the munitions arrived too late, as Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was defeated by British forces at the Battle of Culloden – two weeks before the weapons arrived.

The bloody conflict, fought near Inverness, resulted in the deaths of more than 1500 Jacobites and hundreds were captured.

The Jacobites were battling to return Prince Charlie’s father, James Stuart, to the British throne.

The find has now been reported to Treasure Trove which protects archaeological and cultural finds of significance in Scotland.

Paul Macdonald, 48, was part of the archaeology team which found the hoard.

He said: “We didn’t know quite what to expect. We knew more or less the right sort of location but specifically we didn’t know what we’d find.

“The musket balls tally within the correct calibre which were used by the Jacobites in 1746.

“This is up there as one of our better finds. We were all delighted with making the find.”