Stirling District Council has announced ambitious plans for the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014. The announcement follows a long round of negotiations during which Edinburgh, as the capital city, claimed the right to host the celebrations whilst Stirling stuck to its guns in favour of maintaining the local connection.
Scotland's long war of independence came to a climax on 24 June 1314 at Bannockburn near Stirling. Already on the back foot, and with all Scotland north of the Forth now in the hands of King Robert the Bruce, Edward II of England personally marched north to relieve Stirling Castle, still in English hands, and was brought to battle by the Scots close to the town. The English king had brought an enormous host and as commander of the greatest military force in Christendom, it seemed the Scots had little hope of success. All the more dramatic, then, was the outcome of that day which saw a stunning victory for the Scots and the English invaders put to flight, a resounding justification of the generalship of Robert the Bruce and his key lieutenants, Thomas Randolph, James Douglas and Sir Gilbert Hay of Erroll.
Stirling Council has said Bannockburn 700 will be a summer of celebration. The Scottish executive has designated 2014 as a year of the homecoming, following on the success of 2009's homecoming. It will be a great year for Scots and those of Scots descent to visit Scotland from all over the world The Clan Hay will be keeping a close eye on plans as they develop and will provide regular updates for Hays via this website.