Selkirk starts William Wallace celebrations with procession

A statue of William Wallace. Pic Ian Rutherford
A statue of William Wallace. Pic Ian Rutherford
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Tourism chiefs are promoting links to Sir William Wallace in a bid to attract more visitors to an historic town.

Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders, held its first day of celebrations marking the medieval hero’s unique links to the town.

It included a “medieval procession” and re-enactment of the ceremony in which Wallace was knighted and made Guardian of Scotland.

Historian Dr Fiona Watson, who attended the events, said today that Selkirk merited a place on the “Wallace trail”.

She said: “This is where Wallace went to recruit and train men. There is no doubt he was in Selkirk for several weeks in the summer of 1297.

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William Wallace pageant-held-in-Selkirk-circa-1950

William Wallace pageant-held-in-Selkirk-circa-1950

“Following the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September that year, there is a tradition that he was knighted and made Guardian of Scotland at Selkirk.

“The great and the good would have been there.”

The event at the weekend followed the recent discovery of the remains of the church where Wallace was made the de facto head of Scotland in September 1297.

The historic event took place in Selkirk’s Kirk O’ the Forest after Wallace defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The scene was depicted in Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic Braveheart, but the real site where nobles and clergy gathered to recognise Wallace was lost.

Archaeologists located its remains within the town’s 18th century Auld Kirk.

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The inaugural event aimed to raise awareness of Selkirk’s historic significance and attract tourism.

Borders Councillor Ron Smith said: “Hopefully this is just the start of efforts to make the most of this important link, which has the potential to attract many more tourists to Selkirk.”