Robert the Bruce Statue

Robert the Bruce Statue, Bannockburn

This evening, I am focusing on the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 which was a key watershed in preserving Scotland’s independence from England which lasted until the birth of the United Kingdom in 1707.

Ssince the Norman conquest of England in 1066 the kings of England ran various campaigns and initiatives to make Scotland subservient to English over-lordship with mixed success. It is noteworthy that the two key battles occurred within a few miles of Stirling Castle because this was the ‘buckle in the belt’ of Scotland. To secure Scotland an invading army from England had to cross the plain in central Scotland which Stirling Castle dominates. In 1297 William Wallace (aka ‘Braveheart’ ) had a success against the English at nearby Stirling Bridge but this proved something of a pyrrhic victory because Wallace was subsequently betrayed and executed in London.

In June 1314 Edward II of England amassed a huge army of some 40,000 to crush the still rebellious Scots. The two armies met over two days, June 23rd and June 24th, with the latter being the main battle. The battle site was Bannock Burn. Burn is a Scots word meaning stream. The English were poorly organised and led and with the smaller Scots force taking advantage of their superior knowledge of the local terrain the result was a resounding victory for the Scots. Paradoxically, the current British Royal family are descended from the Scots victor, Robert I through his daughter and the House of Stewart.

The actual site of the battle has been lost in the mists of time but there is a Visitor Centre and Memorial not far from Stirling Castle on what is believed to the general area where the battle was fought.

Last year I provided a battlefields tour  incorporating Bannockburn.

Bannockbrn Memorial, Nr Stirling

Bannockbrn Memorial, Nr Stirling, Scotland

Memorial at Bannockburn

Memorial at Bannockburn, Scotland

Elsewhere today, I have responded to an enquiry for an ancestry themed tour  and received news that a small group tour of Scotland and England scheduled for the autumn is still ‘alive’ with more work to be done next month.

Be Sociable, Share!