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William Wallace's victory set to win iconic status

THE ground where William Wallace won his most famous victory over the English is set to feature in Scotland's "Inventory of Historic Battlefields".

• Across the old wooden bridge at Stirling was the only way north for the English army and it lost thousands of men in the unsuccessful attempt to take it

Historic Scotland revealed in December the first 17 nationally important sites for inclusion, including Bannockburn and Culloden.

Now the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge is under consideration to join them as part of a second batch set to be revealed.

The battle would become the earliest date to feature in the inventory.

Historic Scotland officials and battlefield archaeologists met Stirling Council's archaeologist Lorna Main this week to examine the Stirling Bridge site and begin to establish exactly where the fighting took place.

Although there is little dispute about the rough location of the battle, there have been no recorded artefacts from the site.

Ms Main said: "The English army lined up on the south of the River Forth, in the shadow of Stirling Castle. The Scots under Wallace lined up on the opposite side, and towards the Abbey Craig, where there was a Dark Age fortress at that time and where Wallace Monument now stands."

It is the battle depicted in the 1995 film Braveheart, although the film version bore little resemblance to the real thing.

Meanwhile, Historic Scotland revealed the consultation period for the first tranche of battlefields had been extended by a week.

• Battle of Stirling Bridge: man died trying to cross river

A spokeswoman said: "Due to the poor weather just prior to the consultation opening in early December and the subsequent delivery backlog around Christmas, there was a delay in many stakeholders being informed. While the consultation was due to end on 11 February, we have agreed to extend this to 18 February as a result of this."

She added: "We have so far received a healthy level of interest in and support for the "Inventory of Historic Battlefields".

"At the close of the current consultation period, all the responses we have received will be reviewed and analysed. We will then make any necessary alterations to the 17 sites currently being consulted upon and finalise both our draft texts and defined areas for each battlefield site.

"These 17 sites will then be placed on the Inventory of Historic Battlefields by the end of the 2010 financial year and will be available on the HS web-site."They will become a material consideration in the planning process. Battlefields added to the Inventory in future will be subject to consultation and revision in a similar fashion."

Scottish ministers announced in 2009 that Historic Scotland would prepare a non-statutory inventory that identifies Scotland's nationally important battlefields and provides information on them to make sure they are looked after now and for future generations.

 
 
 

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