Legendary Robert the Bruce tree replanted on Gillies Hill

Gillies Hill. Picture: Jane Barlow

Gillies Hill. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A REPLACEMENT for a lost Scots Pine on which, according to legend, Robert the Bruce’s “sma folk”, or Gillies, hung their headgear before their decisive descent onto the Bannockburn battlefield in 1314, is to be planted this weekend on the Gillies Hill near Stirling where the secret forces hid.

The English thought that the Gilllies - in reality servants and camp followers - were trained reinforcements, and those who had survived the first day of fighting were shattered by their appearance and attempted to flee.

The legend is that before their intervention, which helped turn the tide of history, the Gilllies left their bunnets on the lonesome pine, which became known as “the Bonnety Tree”.

The tree that inherited the title was destroyed by quarrying during the late 20th century, but many villagers in Cambusbarron, near the Gillies Hill, remember it well.

Campaigners hoping to end plans for further quarrying on the hill will be present on Saturday morninbg when an American botanist, Peggy Edwards, said to have “contributed massively over the years in the campaign to save Gillies Hill, especially its flora, from further destruction by quarriers” will plant the new tree with the cooperation of construction company the Ogilvie Group.

READ MORE - Bid to save hill key to Bannockburn battle

Our hope is that this sapling - transplanted from near the Bonnety Tree’s original location - will act as a beacon for the community’s wish to see the end of quarrying in this area.

A spokesman for the Save Gillies Hill campaign

A spokesman for the Save Gillies Hill campaign said: “Our hope is that this sapling - transplanted from near the Bonnety Tree’s original location - will act as a beacon for the community’s wish to see the end of quarrying in this area.”

Top of Gillies Hill, Picture: Jane Barlow

Top of Gillies Hill, Picture: Jane Barlow

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