Site of the Battle of Bannockburn, in 1314, where Robert the Bruce led a Highland Army and fought against the English knights on this boggy ground. The site was chosen carefully — the soft, marshy ground was deadly to the mounted English knights, whose horses foundered in the mud and allowed the Scots army to kill them. It rained a little as we walked out to the field in the blustery wind.
The movie Braveheart ends with a voice-over from Robert the Bruce about the Battle of Bannockburn, although the events in the movie are not historically accurate. We got a lot of questions from locals as to whether we though the movie was good, and if we thought it was accurate. Good? Yes. Accurate? Not so much. That seemed to please our new friends. One group that we met at the Wallace Monument (the statue, not the tall folly) noted that he “didn’t look much like Mel Gibson.”
The Heritage Center provides an audio-visual experience about the battle, and is very interesting. We were lucky enough to follow a group of school children inside and were invited to watch the presentation, done by a local actor who dramatized the day of the battle. We had a blast, sitting along with the second and third graders.
There is a new, state-of-the-art 3D visitors center now, where you can recreate the battle and direct your own strategy. Looks pretty cool!
There isn’t much to see at the battlesite — just a round, modern monument that seems out of place in the huge field, and a statue of Robert the Bruce. The ground is stark and you can see the imposing bulk of Stirling Castle in the distance.