SCOTLAND'S FORGOTTEN BATTLEFIELDS; Bid to Shine a Light on the Lesser Known Conflicts in Our History

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), May 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

SCOTLAND'S FORGOTTEN BATTLEFIELDS; Bid to Shine a Light on the Lesser Known Conflicts in Our History


THEY are the bloodstained battlefields which helped shape modern Scotland, but which have been forgotten.

Now academics such as archaeologists Dr Iain Banks and Tony Pollard, of Glasgow University, have created a list of locations in need of attention.

Historic Scotland have launched consultation to assess a crop of the forgotten sites, with the successful names to be added to a definitive Inventory of Historic Battlefields later this year.

They include early stages of the Wars of Independence and even a leg of the English Civil War played out in Perthshire.

Dr Banks said: "Some of these may be smaller battles than the better known examples but they all play an important part in Scottish history."

Dr Pollard said: "They represent the stage upon which a series of very complex events took place."

Roslin (1303) ONE of Scotland's greatest victories over the English.

An army led by John Comyn, an arch-rival of Robert the Bruce and who was later killed by Bruce, led an attack of 8000 mounted Scots against a 30,000-strong camp of English soldiers at Roslin, Midlothian.

He emerged victorious but considering that history was later written by Bruce as the victorious King of Scotland, his rival's achievement was underplayed.

Langside (1568) THIS was a fight between Mary Queen of Scots and her rivals in the aristocracy, as she was intercepted en route to Dumbarton.

The battle, fought mainly in the hills of what is now Queen's Park, Glasgow, was lost, and Mary was forced into exile in England where she was eventually executed.

Dr Pollard said: "This is important because it is the end of Mary's freedom."

Loudoun Hill (1307) THIS was Robert the Bruce's second success, and saw him gain a key victory against Edward's English army as part of his campaign and build-up to victory at Bannockburn.

Dr Banks said: "This is very important because in some ways it looked like a dry run for Bannockburn, with the use of digging pits and trenches to counter the English cavalry. Those were tactics Bruce used to great success at Bannockburn. He tanked them."

Inverlochy I (1431) The battle came after Lord of the Isles Alexander Macdonald was captured by James I's army.

Macdonald was the counterbalance to the throne and ruled the West Highlands and Islands.

His men came at James's army from the north and the south at Inverlochy Castle and defeated James's men.

Dr Banks said: "This was 20 years after a similar battle ended up a score draw. On this occasion, the Macdonalds stuffed the king's army."

Dunkeld (1689) DURING the Jacobite rising, they attacked the government troops and redcoats in Dunkeld.

About 3000 Jacobites fought day and night through the streets and were on the verge of victory, with the government troops holed up in the cathedral about to run out of ammunition, until the Jacobites suddenly withdrew.

"It's like a Scottish version of Zulu, with the Jacobites the Zulus, and you can still see the musket ball holes in the wall. It's a rare example of street fighting in Scotland."

THIS was James son James Glenlivet (1594) ESSENTIALLY a religion-fuelled clan war between the Catholic Marquess of Huntly fighting the Protestant Campbells, but there were also political elements as Huntly was said to be in league with the Spanish to overthrow James V. …

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