Battle of Invernahavon

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Battle of Invernahoven
Part of Clan Cameron-Clan Mackintosh feud
The Spey at Boinne Dhubh looking downstream - - 785303.jpg
The River Spey at the point where itis joined by the River Truim (on the right), where the battle is said to have taken place
Date 1386,[1] 1370
Location Invernahovon in the upper Spey valley
grid reference NN689962[1]
Coordinates: 57°2′20″N 4°9′36″W / 57.03889°N 4.16000°W / 57.03889; -4.16000
Result Chattan (Mackintosh) victory
Clan Cameron Chattan Confederation
led by Clan Mackintosh
Commanders and leaders
Charles MacGilony Lachlan, Laird of MacIntosh
400 Somewhat more than 400
Casualties and losses
High Unknown

The Battle of Invernahoven was a Scottish clan battle between the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan Mackintosh, Clan Macpherson and Clan Davidson.[2] Some sources give the date as 1386,[1] others as 1370.[2]


Around 400 men of the Clan Cameron were returning from a raid on Badenoch, the area around Kingussie. Travelling southwest up the Spey valley, they were overtaken at Invernahavon by a body of Chattan Confederation led by Lachlan, Laird of MacIntosh. Invernahovon lies southwest of Newtonmore in the headwaters of the River Spey, at the point where it is joined by the River Truim. It appears that the Camerons were trying to cross the Truim to continue home towards Fort William, following the route of the modern A86 road but on the opposite side of the Spey.


The Chattan Confederation forces consisted of the Mackintoshes, Davidsons and Macphersons. As a result of a disagreement as to whether the Davidsons or Macphersons would occupy the right wing, which was the post of honour, the Macphersons withdrew in disgust from the army. The combined Clan Chattan had outnumbered the Camerons but with the loss of the Macphersons the Camerons now had the greater number. The battle resulted in a defeat for the remaining Clan Chattan forces. It is said that an ally of Cameron known as Charles MacGilony led the clan into battle; he is believed to have changed the outcome of the day with his uncanny ability as an archer.

At this point, or possibly the next morning, the Macphersons changed their minds and decided to rejoin the Chattan confederation, attacking the Camerons with such vigour that they turned defeat into victory for Clan Chattan, albeit a day late. The Camerons were “put to flight” up the Truim valley towards Drumochter, turning homeward at Dalwhinnie, west towards Loch Treig.

The Mackintoshes later claimed that the Macphersons were coaxed into the battle by a man from Clan Mackintosh who turned up at the Macphersons’ camp pretending to be from Clan Cameron and calling the Macphersons cowards. The Macphersons then attacked the Camerons’ camp, making a dreadful slaughter of them—even killing Charles MacGilony, the Camerons' top archer—at a place now called Charles’s Valley (in Gaelic Coire Thearlaich).[2]


  1. ^ a b c Site Record for Invernahavon, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland 
  2. ^ a b c Battle of