Dunbear illuminated: Five-metre bear sculpture lit up to commemorate the first battle of Dunbar in the Scottish Wars of Independence

The Dunbear sculpture located on the outskirts of Dunbar will be lit up on Tuesday to commemorate the first Battle of Dunbar, a decisive English victory in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

To commemorate the first battle of Dunbar in 1296, the five-metre high DunBear steel sculpture will be illuminated in blue and white on April 27 (Photo: Stalactite Photography).

The invasion into Scotland by the English King occurred on April 27 in 1296 and saw the overthrow of the Balliol regime in Scotland.

It came as King Edward of England wanted to punish King John Balliol for his refusal to support English military action in France.

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Around 100 Scottish knights were captured and held prisoner in England and with Balliol forced to surrender, Edward ripped the royal insignia from his tunic.

To commemorate this battle, the five-metre high DunBear steel sculpture, will be illuminated in blue and white on April 27.

The lights will shine from 5.30pm on Tuesday and will last until 12.30am on Wednesday.

Ken Ross from Hallhill Developments Limited commented: “Being in such a prominent position at the gateway to Dunbar, the stunning DunBear sculpture provides the perfect opportunity to commemorate key events such as the Battle of Dunbar.

“The DunBear has become a much-loved piece of public art, drawing visitors to the area and into Dunbar itself to find out more about John Muir, the pioneering naturalist and conservationist which it is a tribute to.”

Designed by Andy Scott – who also designed the Kelpies – the bear was erected in 2019 and is the focal point for the DunBear Park mixed-use development located beside the A1 at Dunbar.

The bear was erected as a tribute to John Muir, the Dunbar-born naturalist and conservationist who emigrated to America with his family.

John Muir petitioned the President and Congress to form National Parks and through this Yosemite and other National Parks were eventually established.

It is because of National Parks that certain species, such as the brown bear, have survived and thrived.

The bear was recently lit up last week to mark the birth of the naturalist.

It is also lit-up at various points throughout the year, including Remembrance Day when it is illuminated red and St Andrew’s Day when it is illuminated in blue and white.

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