What was the Battle of Bannockburn?
The Battle of Bannockburn is a valuable piece of Scottish history and was the last major battle fought during the Wars of Independence. The Battle took place over days and was fought on the 23rd and 24th June in 1314.
The Battle of Bannockburn involved a small Scottish army led by King of Scots, Robert the Bruce who was victorious fighting against a much larger and better English army, led by King Edward II. This victory for Robert the Bruce resulted in an expansion of territory and influence for Scotland.
How did Robert the Bruce win the Battle of Bannockburn?
In order to beat the much bigger English army, led by Edward II, Robert the Bruce had to be clever. He organised his soldiers into large, tight formations which were called schiltrons. This made the Scottish army look like large, deadly hedgehogs when fully formed because the men were armed with long spears and pikes which spread out onto three levels, creating a ‘wall of death’. Creating these schiltrons was vital for the Scottish army as many of them couldn’t afford swords, let alone war horses.
Robert the Bruce was also very clever in the fact that he didn’t rush into battle. On the first day, he kept his army safe and waited for the English army to make their mistakes…
Despite the Scottish army winning the Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce had to wait over 10 years for the King’s son, Edward III, to recognise him as the rightful king of Scotland.
Facts about the Battle of Bannockburn
- The English army was led by King Edward II, known as the ‘Hammer of the Scots’.
- The Scottish army was led by King Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce. He was crowned King of the Scots in 1306 and wanted to gain Scotland’s independence from England.
- The majority of King Edward II’s army consisted of a large number of knights and longbowmen who were highly-professionally trained.
- Robert the Bruce’s army consisted of spearmen who unlike King Edward II’s army, didn’t have proper training and were lacking armour.