Prepare for battle 2014…
The decisive battle between the Scots and the English took place at Bannockburn 1314. Apart form a modern-day re-enactment in the form of a referendum on Scotland’s secession a whole series of festivities are planned to commemorate the 700year anniversary.
Central to the effort is the building of a new visitor centre, which was begun last month. With a budget of more than £9 million funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund the plans are extensive.
To mark the launch of the project, representatives met the other day to celebrate a new website. Complete with a clock ticking down it features a movie-style trailer and invites all the battle-fanatics to sign up for newsletters, battle-training and other re-enactment activities. Whether it will turn out to be a more serious site for reflection complete with educational resources remains to be seen.
David McAllister, project director for site owners, the National Trust for Scotland talked at the launch and said: “The new Bannockburn brand represents what the project is trying to achieve; to educate audiences on the facts behind the Bannockburn story as accurately and compellingly as possible. The Trust takes pride in ensuring that the story of the battle is told in a way which gives every visitor the chance to enjoy the experience while paying respect to this critical point in Scottish history.”
The existing Bannockburn visitor centre is set to close on October 31 and will subsequently be demolished. There will be temporary visitor facilities onsite later in the year, with the Bannockburn team carrying-out an education outreach programme.
At the same time BBC is planning to help solve what is sometimes called the biggest historical mystery, the exact site of the Battle of Bannockburn. Two of television’s foremost archaeologists reunited and on the case – Neil Oliver and Dr Tony Pollard, who first came to fame together in Two Men in a Trench.Neil Oliver will present a special two-part BBC Scotland series – alongside Dr Tony Pollard of University of Glasgow – on the archaeology at the Bannockburn site, which will go out in spring 2014 around the time of the 700th anniversary of the battle when the new Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre will launch to the public. They join Derek Alexander, Head of Archaeological Services at the National Trust for Scotland, and will be filming for the next 18 months, as the archaeology continues, for the series which also include 3D graphics recreating the land at the time, as well as dramatic battle re-enactment footage.
Read about the Scottish Referendum on secession 2014