This provides lots of interest. The Mackays captured the French and the gold from the Melness shipwreck here. This all happened three weeks before Culloden and was seen as a crucial “final straw” for the demoralised and hungry supporters of Charles Edward Stuart.
Lochan Hakel (below the crags of Ben Loyal) is a tranquil wee loch in the shadow of craggy Ben Loyal, a few miles south of Tongue on the north Sutherland coast. Its tranquillity today belies its vital part in the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden.
Join the Ranger for a short walk to see the cup and ring marker stone at Lochan Hakel and hear about the Jacobite gold. Talbot marches south with the Prince’s gold, down the west shore of the Kyle of Tongue.
Mackay charges south also, down the east shore. Ben Loyal towers high above them, and in its shadow, at the head of the Kyle, the tranquil wooded shore of Lochan Hakel is a tempting resting spot for the Prince’s weary followers.
Another feature is the probable Celtic traces of building on the small island. Cup and Ring carvings on two large boulders on the shore can be seen. These having religious or magical significance number at least 30 (dated bronze age, 3-4,000 years ago).