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Battle of Bannockburn

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The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre is situated two miles south of Stirling centre.

The Monument can be visited any time free, with the Visitor Centre open in Summer, 9.30am to 5.30pm. Winter, 10am to 5pm, with an entrance fee. Postcode: FK7 0PN

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The image top is from the entrance to the Visitor Centre with the path leading up past the Centre to the Monument.

The second image is of the Monument behind the Visitor Centre.

This circular construction has a Flag Pole and Memorial Cairn in the centre. The Monument was built in 1964 for the 650th anniversary of the Battle. The Flag Pole is said to be where Robert the Bruce planted his Standard the night before the Battle. The Monument was restored around the time the new Visitor Centre was built in 2014.

Inscriptions on the Cairn state: For God and St Andrew / Robert the Bruce / King of Scots/ planted his standard near this spot when the Scottish Patriots under his command vanquished the army of Edward II of England at the Battle of Bannockburn 24th June 1314.

The Statue of King Robert the Bruce on his War Horse was created in 1964, restored in 2013.

Hop On Hop Off Buses run between Stirling, The Battle of Bannockburn Experience, Stirling Castle, & the Wallace Monument.

These buses may not be running to the Bannockburn Museum just now, check the website. Bus Information

The Visitor Centre has large 3D Screens that take you into the Battle, with Arrows flying past and Knights on Horses running at you.

There is also a War Room where you can try Commanding the Battle yourself.

There are also a number of Costumes and Weapons to use for Period Photos.

The Cafe is at the rear of the Visitor Centre with views over the Battlefield, also with large images of the Battle.

The King Robert Hotel is right next to the Battle of Bannockburn Experience. The Hotels Bistro serves Tea, Coffee, and Meals throughout the day.

Battle of Bannockburn History

1286 - the death of the Scottish King Alexander III, and that of his sole heir, the four year old Princess Margaret four years later, led to the English King Edward I trying to take control of Scotland.

The Scottish Nobles where at that time fighting amongst themselves to see who would become the next King of Scotland.

1292 - John Balliol was chosen by the Scottish Nobles to serve as their King. Edward I is said to have played a part in the Nobles choosing Balliol, as Edward believed he could control Balliol.

1294 - War breaks out between England and France that lasts four years.

1295 - Edward I requests John Balliol make Scottish forces available for the War with France. Balliol refuses and signs an agreement with France instead.

1296 March 26th - Balliol forces attack Carlisle Castle in the northwest of England, but fail to capture the large Fortress.

1296 March 30th - forces of Edward I massacre most of the population of Berwick in southeast Scotland.

1296 April - Edward I forces defeat Scots at Dunbar and Imprison Balliol in the Tower of London.

1297 11th September - William Wallace lead about 15,000 Scots against an English army, about 30,000 strong, that were on route to the English held Stirling Castle. The Scots won that Battle by making the most of the boggy terrain and old narrow Stirling Bridge.

1298 - William Wallace’s army was defeated by a massive English army led by Edward I at Falkirk. Wallace escaped that Battle only to be captured in Glasgow 5th August 1305, and Executed in London 18 days later.

1314 - Robert the Bruce's brother, Edward Bruce, besieged Stirling Castle that was under the control of English forces.

1314 June - an English army travels north to confront the Scots forces besieging Stirling Castle.

1314 June 23rd - the Scots army led by Robert the Bruce, engaged the English led by King Edward II (son of Edward I who died in 1307) in the area of Bannockburn, about 2 miles south of Stirling Castle.

The Scots army was said to be around 7,000 men, the English about 12,000 men.

The Bruce had selected this area for the Battle as it was narrow with waterways, woodland and hills, an ideal area for a smaller army to have a chance in defeating a larger army.

The Scots set about rearranging the Terrain by blocking roads and digging pits with spikes to help combat the large number of English Cavalry.

The Scots also trained with Schiltroms, large circles of men with 15ft Pikes, and positioned themselves where trees gave cover from English Archers.

On the first day of the Battle, the English Knights charged the Scots Schiltroms on a number of occasions, each time resulting in a large number of English casualties.

During a lull in the Battle, The Bruce took a Pony down close to the English forces to view their strength. A young English Knight named Henry De Bohun recognized The Bruce, so set off on his Heavy Horse with his Lance aimed at the Scots King.

The Bruce held his ground until the last second, then turned his Pony to the side, stood up on his stirrups, and split open the young Knight's head with a mighty blow from his Battle Axe.

The following day, the English Cavalry began another series of charges at the Scots Schiltroms. These attacks again led to a large number of English casualties.

The English Archers managed to get into a good position during the Cavalry attacks, but began hitting their own Knights as well as the Scots.

Before the Scots could advance to finnish off the English, The Bruce gave the order for his Cavalry to charge out Woodlands to scatter the English Archers.

With the English Archers fleeing the Scots Cavalry, the English Cavalry retreating, and Scots forces pursuing the English troops, Edward II was led from the Battlefield for his own safety.

The English forces that survived, set off back to England.

The Scots soon took control of Stirling Castle and demolished its defenses so the English could not use it as a stronghold again.

The Scotland / England war continued for a further 14 years, until the treaty of Edinburgh was signed 17th March 1328. The Bruce then became King of an Independent Scotland.

The Bruce died at Cardross, probably from leprosy 7th June 1329.

1932 - the National Trust for Scotland acquired land at the Battle of Bannockburn.

1960 and 1965 - more land was acquired for the creation of a Visitor Centre and Memorial.

1960s - the original Visitor Centre is built.

1964 - the Memorial and Statue of King Robert the Bruce are built.

2014 - the new Visitor Centre is built.

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