Bannockburn Anniversary Marked

24 June 2014, 05:52 | Updated: 24 June 2014, 05:54

More than 100 people have taken part in a torchlight procession to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.


Led by the National Trust for Scotland, the group set off at midnight walking from the battlefield visitor centre to the Rotunda monument, home to the Borestone where Robert the Bruce is said to have planted his standard the night before the 1314 battle.

The rotunda and statue of the victorious Robert the Bruce were lit up as the group approached holding lanterns to guide them.

A poem by Scottish writer Kathleen Jamie, commissioned for the anniversary, was read to the crowd before a prayer of commemoration and moment of contemplation led by the Ministers of St Ninian's Old Parish Church and Allan Church, close to Bannockburn.

Commemorating the thousands of men that lost their lives at the battle, a lone piper, Craig Muirhead, Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, played a lament at the Bruce statue.

The battle of Bannockburn was only one in a prolonged conflict between Scotland and England 700 years ago.

Edward II led an army through Scotland to lift the siege of his garrison at Stirling Castle as he attempted to retain control over the country but Bruce and his army knew the land and won the two-day battle despite being outnumbered.

The National Trust for Scotland have looked after the battlefield since the 1930s.

Chairman Sir Kenneth Calman said: "The Battle of Bannockburn has been remembered here for centuries. Tonight, we continue that tradition of commemoration at a place of huge significance to our heritage.

"With the new centre and restored monuments, the Trust and its partners are confident that it is fit for the renewed focus that the 700th anniversary has brought.''

The Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre opened in March this year and has welcomed over 23,000 visitors so far.