Work to restore a statue of Robert the Bruce to its former glory ahead of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn has begun.
• Bid to revitalise statue ahead of 2014 anniversary.
• New visitor centre to be built at site.
Scaffolding has been built around the monument and fencing put up at the ancient battleground near Stirling, where Bruce is said to have defeated King Edward II’s English army to secure an independent monarch for Scotland.
The equestrian statue, which depicts an axe-wielding Bruce and his charge, was originally cast in bronze but it has been weathered over the decades and is slowly turning green.
The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland are to transform the site in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle, which will occur in 2014.
Created by sculptor Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson, the category-A listed monument was unveiled by the Queen in 1964 on the 650th anniversary of the 1314 battle.
A notice pinned to a fence at the site explains: “Work is now under way to clean, repair and fully wax seal the sculpture, following procedures based on best conservation practice.
“This will return the work to its original glory and has been used to good effect recently on the Boer War Memorial to Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Stirling Castle.”
The granite plinth on which the statue sits is also said to be “in need of attention”, as a number of units have moved out of alignment. The masonry has to be realigned to ensure no water enters the structure and causes damage to it.
The work is expected to continue to the middle of next year, while a new visitor centre is also being built at the site in time for the 2014 anniversary.
The Battle of Bannockburn Project is being funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund.