After years of battling the English, Scotland was finally conquered in 1304, it wasn’t until Robert the Bruce laid claim to the throne of Scotland which led to the skirmishes between the two nations arising again. Edward the 2nd came to the throne in 1307, where it was quickly evident that he was not the tactician that his father, Edward the 1st, was which would prove advantageous to Robert the Bruce in his campaign to be King.
Stirling Castle was to be the decisive ground that held the balance of power in the struggle between the two forces as this was the key stop before venturing into the Highlands. It would prove to be a good omen that the battle would take place here due to Stirling being where the noted victory of William Wallace over the English took place at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
With the English forces dwarfing that of the Scots, the exact numbers have been debated a fair bit over the years, the battle took place at Bannockburn over two days, the 23rd and 24th of June. When the English advanced towards the Scottish forces, Robert the Bruce was amongst his soldiers on the battlefield. The English Knight Henry de Bohun saw Bruce and charged him with his lance, which proved to be the wisest of decisions. De Bohun was greeted by Bruce with a swift and hard strike with an axe to his head, splitting it in two. The English were unable to break the Scottish formation and retreated back to camp, the fighting done for one day.
Upon hearing of low English morale, the Scots emerged from the woods of Bannockburn the next morning and decimated the English forces charge! The Scots continued to push English forces back and dealt with the bowman that could have been a risk. Eventually the English ranks broke down to disarray which signalled the loss of the battle, and led Edward the 2nd to retreat from Scotland in haste.
This is a landmark event in Scottish history and can be explored in great detail across a number of sights. Timberbush Tours make trips to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument where you can learn about the great battle in detail whilst exploring some of the wonderful countryside that we have to offer. We hope to see you on the coach soon to share our nations fascinating history with soon, you won’t want to leave as promptly as Edward the 2nd did!