Six artists shortlisted to create new Stirling Bridge statue

Kenny Hunter's design for the Stirling Bridge sculptures. Picture: Contributed
Kenny Hunter's design for the Stirling Bridge sculptures. Picture: Contributed
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CONTENDERS for a new memorial to commemorate one of the most celebrated battles in Scottish history have been unveiled.

Six artists have been shortlisted for the creation of new landmark honouring William Wallace, Andrew de Moray and the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

It is planned to be installed at Bridgehaugh, on the north side of the existing “Old Bridge” over the River Forth, near where the two men are believed to have stood in battle in September 1297.

Their designs have gone on display at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling ahead of an expert panel announcing the winning concept next month.

The £150,000 project, which has been in the planning for four years, has been instigated by an independent trust of experts and historians.

It has pledged to take public feedback into account over the six contenders for the first ever memorial to honour both Wallace and de Moray, who led a Scottish army to a resounding victory over the English.

• READ MORE: Scotland’s forgotten hero Andrew de Moray honoured

It would be the first new work of public art in Stirling since the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce was unveiled at Bannockburn in 1964.

The Scots had been vastly outnumbered at Stirling Bridge by Edward I’s English army, which was under the command of John de Warenne and Hugh de Cressingham.

Supporters of the memorial say it will give long-overdue recognition to the contribution of de Moray, whose role was completely overlooked in the Hollywood blockbuster ­Braveheart.

Although arts agency Creative Scotland rejected a plea to support the project, it is hoped the funding will be in place to allow the new memorial to be completed and erected in time for the 820th anniversary of the battle in 2017.

Among those shortlisted are Kenny Hunter, who is best known for his firefighter statue outside Glasgow’s Central Station and the Monument to a Mouse at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire, and David Annand, the artist behind the sculpture of poet Robert Fergusson outside the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh.

Alan Herriot previously designed a new statue of Robert the Bruce, which was unveiled outside Marischal College in Aberdeen five years ago, as well as a nearby tribute to Scottish football legend Denis Law. Kate Robinson was the designer of the statue of Jimmy Johnstone outside Celtic Park.

Malcolm Robertson’s previous work includes the tribute to Dundee’s Jute Women, while Doug Cocker created the memorial to the Tay Bridge Disaster in the same city.

More than 20 artists had submitted ideas for the Battle of Stirling Bridge memorial.