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6th July 2014 - Event closed




Battle of Bannockburn by Brian Palmer


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 Robert Bruce had been elected guardian of Scotland in 1298, replacing William Wallace as the leader of the long campaign against the English attempt to conquer Scotland. After the devastating defeat of Wallace at Falkirk (Falkirk, 1298) and then Bruce’s own defeat at Methven (Perth & Kinross, 1306), much of Bruce’s campaign took the form of guerrilla warfare, avoiding as far as possible major set piece battles. In this way he completely changed the balance of power in Scotland, through the progressive reduction of English garrisons.

By 1314 just two major strategic fortresses remained in English hands: that on the border at Berwick and that controlling the crossing of the Forth at Stirling. But the Stirling garrison finally agreed to surrender if the English king did not arrive with a relieving force by 24th June 1314. In response Edward II mustered an army of about 12-13,000 at Berwick, marching north in May and reaching Falkirk on the 22nd June.

Bruce deployed his forces in woodland south west of Stirling, through which the major road approached the town. He carefully prepared his chosen ground, beside the Bannock burn and, as the English advanced againt him, over two days of fighting achieved a dramatic victory.

At Bannockburn, James Douglas, 'The Good', commanded the left wing with Walter the Steward, and received the singular honour of being created a Knight banneret by the king, Robert the Bruce, a distinction only ever conferred on the battlefield. He was later to be given lands, and thus began the ascendancy of the Douglases.


2014 is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, and there will be an opportunity to visit the battlefield, which is in the care of the National trust for Scotland.

We will visit Stirling Castle on the same day, Sunday 6th June.

Entry to both will be by private arrangement.

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