Hundreds in bid to find Battle of Bannockburn site

Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in an archaeological effort to find the exact location of the Battle of Bannockburn.

Neil Oliver and Dr Tony Pollard will present the BBC show. Picture: Jane Barlow

Stirling residents turned out in force for the “big dig” over the weekend, exactly one year ahead the 700th anniversary of the decisive battle in Scotland’s medieval wars of independence

Five families lent their back gardens to the project yesterday as test pits, allowing a search for objects lost during or after the fighting in previously uncovered areas.

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The battle took place over two days on 23-24 June 1314 but its exact location is disputed by historians and archaeologists.


David McAllister, director of the Battle of Bannockburn Project, said: “Community outreach is an integral part of the project and the turnout of volunteers was excellent.

“Historians and archaeologists often have conflicting views as to where parts of the battle took place, and we hope that this work will bring new evidence to life. Our aim is to tell the story of the Battle of Bannockburn as accurately as possible at the new visitor centre opening in 2014.”

The dig is part of an on-going project by the National Trust for Scotland in association with Glasgow University’s Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, Stirling Council, GUARD Archaeology Ltd and BBC Scotland.

Part of the dig was filmed for a two-part BBC Scotland series presented by “Two Men in a Trech” documentary makers Neil Oliver and Dr Tony Pollard, due for release in spring 2014.

Mr Oliver said: “This has to be one of the most potentially exciting archaeological digs in Scotland that there has ever been.”