Public engagement project

Inside Forensic Science Podcast: Series 3

This season of Inside Forensic Science delves into our most complicated case yet: The Ardlamont Trial. We examine this historical case with modern-day forensic scientists and ask them, ‘what would you do differently today?’

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Start date

June 2024

Each series of the Inside Forensic Science podcast focuses on a historic criminal case from Scotland and asks experts in forensic science, law and medicine today – what has changed? What might be done differently now and could we have solved it? 

Series 3 delves into the world-famous Ardlamont trial. On the 10th of August 1893 Windsor Dudley Cecil Hambrough died under mysterious circumstances at the Ardlamont Estate in Argyllshire - the full events of which are still unknown to this day. The case and susequent trial caused a media storm including the publication numerous books and articles, making it one of the most infamous murder trials in Victorian Britain. In this series we focus on the evidence presented in court. 



The Inside Forensic Science podcast is available to download via all major podcast providers.

Join us in our Facebook group to discuss the podcast. 

The podcast was commissioned by the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) at the University of Dundee and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. 

Inside Forensic Science is an Adventurous Audio production. The series is written and narrated by Pennie Stuart, the story consultants and series researchers are Heather Doran (Public Engagement Manager, LRCFS) and Clara Morriss (Public Engagement Coordinator, LRCFS). The sound mix was by Steve Bull.


  • Dr Richard Shepherd, Forensic Pathologist
  • Duncan Mackenzie, Deer Stalker
  • Dr Miles Mack, Dingwall Medical Group
  • Rachel Aiken, Scottish Police Authority Forensic Services 
  • Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee
  • Vincenzo Rinaldi, Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee
  • Rachel Sharpe, Scottish Police Authority Forensic Services 
  • Ashley Edwards KC
  • Elizabeth Norledge, Police Scotland

Thank you to all of our voice actors: Paul Murray, Alan Richardson, Mark Stephen, Sam Young, Jake Lee, Jana Millar, Pam McIntosh, Neil Wallace, David Stenhouse, Chris Dolan, Joe Reilly, David Stuart, Kenny Smith, Donald Peterkin, Andrew Thomson, Craig Swan, Ian Boffey, Andrew Lever, Dan Holland and Andrew Thomson.

The Ardlamont murder trial - a scene in the High Court of Justiciary, Parliament House, Edinburgh. The prisoner sits towards the front with a policeman on either side.

Sketch of the Ardlamont murder trial in the High Court of Justiciary, Parliament House, Edinburgh by William G. Miller (1893). ©Mary Evans Picture Library.

Episode 1: A Death 

The early morning of Thursday 10 August 1893, a party of three men leave to hunt rabbits on the Ardlamont estate in Tighnabruaich. Only two return. The youngest, Lieutenant Dudley Cecil Hambrough has died from a bullet to the back of his head. The local doctor decrees the death an accident, but is the story really so clear cut? 

In this episode, we question what evidence might have been lost following Hambrough’s death and what steps investigators take today to confirm whether a death was accidental or the result of a crime. 

Additional resources for Episode 1:  

Episode 2: The Scene

The police believe the death of Cecil Hambrough was no accident. His tutor Alfred John Monson is arrested for his murder 20 days after the incident. Scott, the last member of the hunting party has disappeared. Now it is up to the experts to gather what evidence they can from the scene. But after all that time, is there any evidence left to find?

This episode discusses what evidence may have been lost from the Ardlamont scene and what steps we take today to preserve a crime scene.

Additional resources for Episode 2: 

Episode 3: The Postmortem and the Gun

Content warning: this episode contains graphic descriptions of the autopsy process 

Lieutenant Dudley Cecil Hambrough has been shot dead on a hunting trip; his two hunting companions are suspected of murder. With Monson arrested and Scott in the wind, attention turns to the body. What can an autopsy tell us about how someone died? Can the postmortem and knowledge of ballistics tell us whether this death was truly a murder or an accident? 


Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science