Battle of Harlaw

In 1411 there was a great and bloody battle at Harlaw which lies between Inverurie and Bennachie. On the north side of the Urie is the site of the Battle of Harlaw Monument (GR NJ 752 243). The battle was between Donald, Lord of the Isles, and Alexander, Earl of Marr, supported by the Provost and Bailies of Aberdeen. The legend of Harlaw tells a sad tale. Hosie, a local lad, and his bride were in church for their wedding when news arrived that the army of Highlanders was advancing to Harlaw.

Off to battle went Hosie. He fought valiantly, chased after the retreating Highlanders rather too ardently, got himself captured and was taken away to a dungeon in the Hebrides. Escaping many years later, he came home to claim his bride, who had in the meantime married another.

Hosie died of a broken heart and was buried on the slopes of Bennachie close to the Rushmill burn, where Hosie’s well can be seen. “The water that rises in Hosie’s well (GR NJ 682 232) is nothing but Hosie’s tears”.

Map Reference: NJ 752 243 Coordinates: (57.308599,-2.4132912)

For more information please see Bennapedia.