IT was the scene of a bloody battle that spelled the beginning of the end of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion.

The aftermath of the Battle of Clifton in Cumbria saw around a dozen of the Prince’s loyal followers meet a particularly gruesome end, hung from an oak tree and buried under its branches.

The events at Clifton were later immortalised in the song The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.

Now, on the 273rd anniversary of the battle – the last on English soil and a forerunner to Prince Charlie’s defeat at Culloden – a new generation of Jacobite followers are preparing to take up arms once again, in a protest over the safe keeping of the historic Rebel Tree.

The Scottish Jacobite Party, led by Helensburghbased campaigner John Black, plan to march on the site of The Oaks housing estate in the village of Clifton, Cumbria, tomorrow, amid claims the developer has failed to address commitments to carry out a £5000 3-D radar scan of the area around the tree, which sits on a roundabout at the entrance to the estate.

It had been hoped the scan might identify the precise location and detail of the final resting place of Jacobite soldiers’ graves.

The campaign group also claims Story Homes failed to spend the required £10,000 on signage and explanatory boards at the site.

Mr Black said: “The Rebel Tree is a Scottish War Cemetery, now reduced to a role in the centre of a roundabout at the entrance to The Oaks.

The developer said: “The ancient Rebel Tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and has purposely been made a focal point in our plans.”