Robert the Bruce, father of a nation
In the heart of the Galloway Forest Park, near Loch Trool, is a stone.
This huge granite boulder marks the place of a battle that took place in the First War of Scottish Independence in March 1307. The man who led the Scottish troops was Robert the Bruce, recently made King Robert the first of Scotland after killing his only rival, John Comyn, at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries. Some dispute this account of events and suggest that Bruce only wounded Comyn and that it was his companion Kirkpatrick who went back in to make sure Comyn was dead. In any case, Bruce was subsequently excommunicated by the Pope for killing someone in a holy place.
Robert The Bruce won the Battle of Glen Trool because he was from the South West of Scotland, so he knew the terrain and people well. The English soldiers knew that he was stationed at the head of Loch Trool and in order to engage him, were forced to approach via a narrow track that was bordered by a steep slope. King Robert sent some of his men up the slope to loosen blocks of granite and push them down on top of the approaching soldiers before engaging them with arrows and hand to hand combat. With little room to manouevre many of the English soldiers were killed and the rest withdrew.
This was the beginning of the re-birth of Scotland as a nation. Eventually, the army of Edward the second was routed at Bannockburn.
Loch Trool, Glentrool, Newton Stewart DG8 6SU
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