Robert McNair (letters, December 24) concludes his comments on the Battle Trust’s plans for a statue to Bonnie Prince Charlie with the suggestion it would be inappropriate since he was a criminal and traitor in Scotland. How so?

His father, James III and VIII, was seen in 1745 by many as the rightful Stuart heir to the thrones of Scotland and England and the prince’s campaign sought his restoration.

From that perspective, the traitorous behaviour had occurred in England in 1688 when his grandfather James II and VII had been overthrown in the name of his Protestant daughters Mary, then Anne, because of the birth of a son to his Catholic second wife.

Whatever perspective one takes on the Jacobites’ several attempts to restore the Scottish royal Stuart line to the thrones, the fact remains that, at Prestonpans on September 21, 1745, a most significant battle took place which created a considerable cultural heritage.

The Battle Trust’s charitable objective is to protect, conserve and interpret the battlefield so that the debate one readily envisages having with Mr McNair can be widely held and understood across our community.

We already seek to do this with schools and many visiting groups, not least through our Prestonpans Tapestry, publications, walkers’ app, online features and spectacular re-enactments.

The new community at Blindwells is being constructed on the designated battlefield, across the Riggonhead Defile, along which the prince’s tactically significant night march took place.

The prince’s name has already been given to the loch that is being created there and the trust is ambitious to build a new centre for which the statue will be a remarkable feature.

We believe it will help that new community as it develops to have and to share its battle heritage, giving it a strong sense of place.

We do not say to ignore the 20th-century open-cast coal mining that occurred at Blindwells, which should certainly also be shared and understood.

Turning such disrupted land into homes for a new community is an achievement requiring very considerable geological skill, at which Hargreaves are acknowledged leaders.

Dr Gordon Prestoungrange

Joint Chairman

Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Heritage Trust