The battle that defined a nation

Picture of battle of Bannockburn

King Robert wields an axe and King Edward is ready to run

The Battle of Bannockburn, fought over two days in the summer of 1314, was when the Scots came of age, and Robert the Bruce cemented his hold on the Scottish throne, and sent Edward II’s English army packing.

The field on which the most famous of battles between England and Scotland was fought, is visible from the walls of Stirling castle. Needless to say, a museum stands on the site. Lots has been written about the events surrounding the great battle, so I’m not going to repeat it here. You’ll find an interesting potted version on Wikipedia, and if you like historical fiction I unreservedly recommend N. Gemini Sasson’s Bruce trilogy. I wrote a review of the second book, in which Bannockburn is the pivotal drama.

picture of statue of Robert the BruceAs a tourist, you can go to the museum site and gaze at the statue of Robert on his warhorse. It stands at the end of a grassy slope, with Stirling castle visible in the background. The besieged English would have watched events unfold from the castle walls.photo of Bannockburn from the castle

picture of a knight in helmet and mailThen go inside and discover the Scots didn’t actually fight in kilts and blue paint. (Braveheart wasn’t entirely accurate, no.) And let me tell you, that helmet is HEAVY.

2 thoughts on “The battle that defined a nation

  1. MonaKarel

    Was it the Celts who fought au naturel? Or did the Highlanders continue that practice? It always seemed kind of odd to be fighting with important appendages dangling in the breeze

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