It WAS Scotland’s bloodiest and most famous victory over the English. But now, the Battle of Bannockburn has inspired a fashion range to mark its 700th anniversary next year.
Hoodies, T-shirts and baseball caps – which come in black, grey and blood red – have been unveiled by the heritage body responsible for the famous battlefield and its historic monuments.
It is the first time dedicated merchandise has been created to celebrate one of the defining moments in Scottish history, when Robert the Bruce routed the English forces of King Edward II.
The National Trust for Scotland’s “Battle of Bannockburn Collection” – said to be designed to allow the whole family to celebrate the landmark anniversary – is on sale via the trust’s online shop, with prices ranging from £10 for a children’s baseball cap to £35 for an extra large hoodie.
NTS officials say the clothing is also available at a temporary exhibition space which has been set up at the battlefield site to “add to the experience and heighten audience anticipation” ahead of a major new visitor centre opening next year.
The merchandise will be on sale to coincide with the anniversary celebrations at the site, just outside Stirling, in June.
A new “Bannockburn brand”, which was unveiled last year shortly after building work on the new centre got under way, features on all the merchandise.
A NTS spokeswoman said: “This exciting new range of branded clothing and accessories has been designed and produced exclusively for us to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and increase awareness of the brand.
“A wider, exciting new range of retail products is currently in development, and will be available as the new visitor centre opens in the spring of next year.
“Products will range from authentic replica weapons and armour, to handcrafted jewellery based on intricate chainmail designs, to 3D characters.”
Three days of events are expected to provide the centrepiece of the Year of Homecoming celebrations in 2014, which First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to launch next week.
The NTS, which is responsible for monuments like the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce, has joined forces with Historic Scotland to build the £9 million visitor centre.
The latest 3D and “motion capture” technology will allow visitors to experience what medieval warfare would have been like. The new facilities replace an outdated 1960s visitor centre, which was demolished in October.
Tom Sharp, creative director of The Beautiful Meme, the York-based agency behind the “Bannockburn brand,” added: “We set out to create a visual identity that was both brutal and playful, full of meaning yet instantly accessible, and fresh without eschewing tradition.”
A spokeswoman for Visit Scotland said: “This new range of Bannockburn clothing is absolutely fantastic and the contemporary design is an inspiring way of bringing history and popular culture together to celebrate this landmark anniversary in 2014.”