Pentland Rising Memorials and Graves


There are a number of memorials and gravestones to Covenanters associated with the Pentland Rising. These can be found as follows:


Ayr - seven martyrs

Dalry - Covenanter Sculpture


Irvine - two martyrs

Rullion Green - two martyrs



Dalry Covenanter Sculpture which was erected to mark the start of the Pentland Rising

Pentland Rising - 1666


On 13 November 1666 soldiers from the garrison at Dalry were searching for Covenanters and came upon an old man of the name Grier, who had defaulted in payment of a fine. They were mistreating him in the village and were about to brand him with a hot iron when the villagers rose up  against  the soldiers, freeing Grier. The leader in the rising was John MacLellan of Barscobe Castle (NX 660806), who wounded Corporal George Deanes by shooting fragments of a clay pipe at his leg. The Covenanters later stormed the local garrison, killing one of the soldiers. Over 200 Covenanters then rode or marched to Dumfries where they kidnapped Sir James Turner, on 15 November.
 The Covenanters returned to Galloway by way of Glencairn and Dalry, before heading north through Carsphairn to Ayr. From there they marched through Cumnock and Lanark towards Edinburgh. On 28 November at Rullion Green, on the edge of the Pentland Hills, the Covenanter force of around 900  were met by around 3,000 soldiers. A battle ensued in which 100 Covenanters  were reported killed on the field, and a further 300 as they tried to escape. Around 120 Covenanters were taken prisoner and sentenced to death. Many were executed in Edinburgh, but a number were sentenced to hang back in south-west Scotland as a warning to others against future risings. Accordingly, seven Covenanters were hanged in Ayr, including James Smith, John Short and John Graham, who belonged to Dalry.