Robert the Bruce Bannockburn statue to be restored

THE familiar sight of the green Robert the Bruce statue at Bannockburn will be restored to its original bronze finish as the battlefield’s historic monuments are repaired.

The 1960’s statue by Pilkington Jackson, the rotunda and flagpole will be restored as part of the £9.1m project to provide a new visitor centre to mark the Battle of Bannockburn.

National Trust for Scotland Bannockburn project director David McAllister said: “From the start of this project it has been crucial for us to balance the commemoration of the site alongside the telling of the story of the battle.

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“This site has attracted memorials and tributes for centuries. Our plans will use three dimensional technology to create an unrivalled experience, but the essence of what we are doing is part of a well established tradition.

“Now that we have confirmation of £4.1m funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £5m from the Scottish Government we can finalise our plans for the repairs to the monuments.”

Residents of Bannockburn will be given a preview of the work to come at a community event held at the current visitor centre on Tuesday March 13 at 4.30pm.

The project team will be able to show artists impressions of the new visitor centre and landscaping work.

Chris McGregor, Historic Scotland Head of Major Projects added: “The current centre sits directly in the line of sight between the entrance to the centre and the monument so we have deliberately planned the new building to sit off to the side to open up the view to the monument from the road and focus the visitors attention as it was intended to do.

“The feedback we had the last time we met with the community was overwhelmingly positive and I really hope they are as impressed with the progress we have made since then.

“Work will start on the rotunda, flagpole and the Bruce statue as part of the main building contract. Due to corrosion over the decades most people immediately assume that the statue was always intended to be green but the specialist conservators will return this beautiful sculpture to its original bronze finish.”

This month the Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre opened for the final visitor season using the current building.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:

“The soldiers that fought at Bannockburn were the ‘armed forces’ of their day. They fought for a cause they believed in and many thousands died as a result. These monuments commemorate those efforts and it is only right that they are restored to reflect their individual and collective sacrifices, and our nation’s respect.”

The new centre will open in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014, the second Year of Homecoming and the year that Scotland will host the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.