Dolina Maclennan, a major figure in the Gaelic cultural world, has become a trustee of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust. The news comes as the Trust announces a new programme of Gaelic activity, supported by funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Dolina is a singer, actress, writer, broadcaster and cultural and political campaigner, who has worked tirelessly for the enrichment of Scottish culture and particularly of her native Gaelic language and song. In recognition of her significant contribution to Scotland’s life and culture, she received the Saltire Society’s Fletcher of Saltoun Award and was also presented with an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh University.

Dolina Maclennan said:

“I’m delighted to be involved with the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Trust and provide a way of raising awareness of the importance of Gaelic language and culture in the legacy of the battle. The project being developed is a great example of drawing people together to share Gaelic as part of our shared culture.”

Dr Gordon Prestoungrange Joint Chair of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said:

“We’re honoured to have Dolina’s involvement in the Trust. Gaelic was at the centre of the Battle of Prestonpans, as the language spoken by the great majority of Highlanders as well as some of those on Hanoverian side. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s shock victory at Prestonpans caused such a storm that there really was a cultural flowering after that time: from song and poetry to prose and visual art. This continues to this day and Gaelic is a key part of this.

The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust works to protect, promote and interpret the Battle of Prestonpans.

The Trust received a £9,000 grant from Bòrd na Gàidhligto support Gaelic programming with events already planned in Haddington and Prestonpans in the summer and autumn of 2021. These will include workshops and concerts marking the Battle of Prestonpans in literature and song, which will take place in Gaelic with translation into English. Workshops will also take place to train tour guides, battle re-enactors and local community representatives to help spread understanding of the relevance of the Gaelic language in the context of the battle.

Gordon Prestoungrange continued:

“We’re extremely grateful to Bòrd na Gàidhligfor their recognition of Gaelic at the Battle of Prestonpans and the continued importance of its cultural legacy. We are now developing a series of Gaelic-focused events and Dolina’s involvement will help guide this.  However, we’re extremely keen to engage even more widely with the Gaelic community and would be keen to hear from Gaelic speakers in the Lothians who would be interested in supporting and participating in the future events calendar.”

Gaelic speakers who are interested in getting involved in this project should contact Gordon Prestoungrange at

Steven Kellow, Funding and Projects Officer at Bòrd na Gàidhligsaid:

“We congratulate Dolina MacLennan in her new role as a member of the Trust and we are encouraged by the organisation’s vision for Gaelic as part of its work.  There has been progress for Gaelic in the Lothians in recent years and we look forward to working with the Trust and other groups to create new opportunities to speak Gaelic there.”