YOU’VE all seen photies of Glenfinnan, in particular perhaps the peculiar pinnacle standing proud amidst quintessential Highland scenery of loch and mountain. Or maybe you’re more familiar with the railway viaduct, particularly if you’ve an interest in sorcery.

The name Glenfinnan was once associated with Charles Edward Stuart (better known as Bonnie Prince Eddie), but is now also linked with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, after the Jacobites’ defeat at the hands of highly trained Muggles in 1746.

I’m getting muxed ip here. To clarify obliquely: Glenfinnan is a clachan, monument, viaduct and railway station. First, we focus on the monument.

Bit of geography aboot where it is: Glenfinnan, the place, is halfway between the disgracefully named Fort William and Mallaig, in yonder Lochaber. It was here, near the shore at the head of Loch Shiel, on 19 August 1745, that Bonnie Prince Eddie raised his standard at the beginning of a campaign to make him King of Britain, Ireland and Whatnot.

Around 1,200 Highlanders gathered (armies back in the day were little bigger than football gangs) – MacDonalds, Camerons, Macfies, MacDonnells and so forth – to pledge allegiance to the vaguely mental project, cheering loudly as the complimentary brandy was dished out. Thus began one of the most momentous events in Scottish history – with a wee bevvy.

As educated readers know, it all ended in disaster, Scotland’s default position. Having made surprising progress south, the Jacobite army bricked it at Derby before returning tired and hungry to be defeated on the bleak moor of Culloden by an overfed Englishman and his army of salivating psychopaths.

During his flight to evade the Empire’s troopers, Bonnie PC returned to the Glenfinnan area, shouted “Frigate!”, and shortly thereafter boarded a French vessel of that class on the shores of Loch nan Uamh, near where he’d so cataclysmically landed from France, via Eriskay, in the first place.

The Young Dissembler never set foot on Scottish soil again, but spent the rest of his life in Rome, where he developed an avid interest in wine. The Prince's Cairn, erected in 1956 by the 1745 Association (and not, as untrustworthy histories claim, in 1745 by the 1956 Association), marks the spot from where he departed into exile.

After widely applauded Hanoverian atrocities, and the vilification of Gaelic culture, things settled down, decades passed, and an odd thing happened: no longer a threat, Jacobitism was slowly rehabilitated, not as a practical or desirable monarchical reshuffle, but as romantic story and heroic defeat, a proud tradition continued today in Scotland’s football team.

In 1815, Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale had a 60ft memorial monument erected at the head of the loch to commemorate the Great Daftness. The tower was designed by eminent Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham, and a statue of a lone, kilted Highlander, made by John Greenshields, was bunged atop it in 1835. One website describes the figure as “sombre looking”, when obviously he should be tittering.

The monument is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, which offers guided tours to the top, and runs a visitor centre and the Viaduct View Cafe (open spring to autumn) boasting “the tastiest chips around, decadent burgers and artisan hot dogs”. I see.

Serendipitously, this brings us nicely to the viaduct. What a place: an uprising and a viaduct! How many other joints can offer that?

The Glenfinnan Viaduct was built by “Concrete Bob” McAlpine, later Sir Concrete Bob. A hard act to follow, between July 1897 and October 1898 his engineering firm erected the viaduct’s 21 arches, the tallest of which stands more than 100 feet above the valley floor.

The cost of the project was £18,904, which would get you a Ford Fiesta nowadays (£20k if you want wheels). The 1,200ft-long structure, carrying the Fort William to Mallaig line across the Glenfinnan Valley, is the longest mass concrete railway bridge in Scotland and part of what is said to be “the greatest railway journey in the world”, which is probably not true.

However, the viaduct is associated with the greatest wizard in the world – Potter, H. – as it appears in a couple of the films adapted from JK Rowling’s much loved novels. The train tootling along upon it, the Hogwarts Express, was in reality-style life the Jacobite Steam Train, the engine for which is now docked, if that is the term, at Warner Bros Studios in that London.

However, similar steam trains with some of the film’s carriages run as part of a tourist service on the line from April to October. If getting steamed up isn’t your thing, Scotrail also runs a regular-ish service.

We should point out that Harry Potter was not the first time Glenfinnan’s braw landscape had featured in film. The train taking Graham Merrill to Scotland in 1969’s lovely Ring of Bright Water is briefly seen passing over the viaduct.

There’s a station at Glenfinnan, with a museum run by a local charitable trust, which tells the story of the West Highland Railway. Two of the Museum’s historic vehicles provide accommodation and facilities for eating scran.

Glenfinnan isn’t all about movie sets, monuments and museums, though. It’s also home to nearly 100 people who make up the local community. The community council is not unnaturally proud of its “very special place … almost hallowed ground for many Scots”.

Thousands of visitors come from all over the world to experience the “special atmosphere and stunning scenery” and, once they’ve finished poking the locals in the stomach and asking them questions, they may wish to seek spiritual solace in the Church of St Mary and St Finnan, designed by that Pugin.

I’ve seen it described as Gothic, though “Wee Gothic” might be more apt. Spectacularly located, it’s a chapel dedicated to the aforementioned MacDonalds of Glenaladale, and contains a memorial to the Prince.

Speaking of whom, every year on the Saturday closest to 19 August – date, you recall, when he raised his standard – the Glenfinnan Gathering and Games take place, providing a grand day oot if you enjoy watching men bunging cabers aboot.