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Story of famous Scots battle to be brought to life at Stirling Castle

10 September 2012

The story of one of Scotland’s most famous battles, The Battle of Bannockburn, is to be brought to life at Stirling Castle.

The events leading up to the Battle are to be told at the castle later this month, as part of the build up to the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014.

Historic Scotland, which runs the castle, is planning to hold a series of events leading up to the anniversary which will tell the different aspects of the battle’s story.

The first event, which will take place over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd September, will tell the story of the Wars of Independence, William Wallace and the early career of Robert the Bruce.

The castle played a key role in the Wars of Independence, changing hands eight times between 1296 and 1342. In the ten years leading up to the battle the castle was held by the English. Under siege by the Scots, King Edward II of England led a 17,000-strong army to Stirling to relieve the castle siege before being defeated by Robert the Bruce’s army at Bannockburn, in sight of Stirling Castle.

Key highlights at the event will include a living encampment set up within the castle grounds and the opportunity to meet historical re-enactors playing key characters from the period including Robert The Bruce and Sir William Oliphant, Captain of the Castle, who will tell how he and thirty men tried to hold the castle against the might of Edward I.

Visitors can also learn about the weaponry used in the wars including combat demonstrations by re-enactors.

Gillian Urquhart, Events Manager at Historic Scotland said;

“Stirling Castle has played a key role in some of the most famous events in Scottish history,

including the Wars of Independence, so it is a fitting setting to tell the story of this most infamous of battles.

“Visitors are fascinated to know more about this intriguing part of Scotland’s history and through this series of special events we’ll explore difference aspects of the story.

“This initial event is designed to introduce visitors to the background to the Wars of Independence and its key characters who played a huge part in Scotland’s history, in a way that will entertain and inform young and old alike.”

Historic Scotland is currently working with The National Trust for Scotland on a £5 million project to create a new visitor centre at Bannockburn in time for the 700th anniversary.  This landmark project will see Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland work in partnership, on behalf of the Scottish Government to deliver a world class visitor attraction incorporating an immersive digital experience designed to transport visitors back in time to the fourteenth century battle.

Gillian continued;

“It’s a very exciting time for Stirling as a destination.

“Stirling Castle was recently voted the UK’s best heritage attraction, after a £12 million investment to return the palace to how it may have looked at the time of a young Mary, Queen of Scots.

“This, alongside all the exciting plans to commemorate the battle at the new visitor centre at Bannockburn in 2014, makes the area an attractive proposition for visitors, placing Stirling at the heart of Scotland’s story.”

Notes for editors:

  • For all the latest on what is happening at Stirling Castle, visit our website at www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk and sign up for our free e-newsletter.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places.


  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at: www.visitscotland.com/creative

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at  www.visitscotland.org/yearofcreativescotland-toolkit

                                                         Year of Creative Scotland 2012


For further information


Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858
iona.matheson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk