A FESTIVAL to mark the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Prestonpans is moving online this year.

This year’s events will also mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Bonnie Prince Charlie, whose army of Jacobites defeated a Government force in the famous battle on September 21, 1745.

Plans initially were to have events take place in Prestonpans but, due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions currently in place, these have been adjusted and moved online.

Events include an evening of music and storytelling, a programme of talks and a commemoration ceremony.

The programme starts on Wednesday and runs until next Monday (September 21), the anniversary of the battle.

Other events scheduled include an online talk by Dr Arran Johnston on Wednesday at 8pm, which will take place on Zoom and be live streamed on Facebook.

Dr Johnston will talk about the fall of Edinburgh and explore the events which led up to the capture of the Capital.

Next Saturday (September 19) at 7pm, a film titled ‘Beneath the Thorntree’ will be shown live on Facebook and YouTube, promising an evening of music and storytelling.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, filming took place last month across three days in Prestongrange Church and the battlefield, all while sticking to coronavirus guidelines.

More than 40 participants were choreographed in readings, costumed drama, musical recitals and song to help tell the story of the battle from a local perspective.

Next Sunday (September 20), from 11.30am to 4.15pm, people can join Bonnie Prince Charlie and his friends for a virtual festival featuring a 15-minute video presentations hosted live from the battlefield.

Those who tune in can learn about the tactics of the battle, the clans and regiments that fought there, and how rival soldier dressed, with Bonnie Prince Charlie answering questions submitted by local primary schools.

There will also be an 18th-century cooking demonstration.

Next Monday, a commemoration ceremony will take place at the battlefield site at noon remembering those who fell in battle on both sides.

It will feature a minute’s silence, bagpipe lament and wreath laying and will be live streamed; it is hoped people will watch from around the world.

A family exhibition and event day, due to be held in Prestonpans Town Hall this month, will now be held next spring, alongside other exhibitions, talks and events, while a re-enactment of the battle will be held next September.

In the meantime, until December 20, people are invited to mark the battle’s anniversary through art or literature as part of a creative project.

There are two categories, for ages 10-17 and 18-plus. Visit prestonpans275.org/creative-project

For more information on the Prestonpans 275 programme, visit prestonpans275.org