Tour 4 – 'Braveheart' and the
Wars of Independence
BY 1300 AD, it looked very much as if the game was up for Scotland as an independent nation. The country lay prostrate under English garrisons and all resistance had been practically snuffed out by the judicial murder of William Wallace.
The fight for freedom sprang from the Gaelic west and north. Robert the Bruce was born to a Gaelic-speaking mother at Turnberry in 1274 and became Earl of Carrick in 1292. His home milieu in the Firth of Clyde, the Scottish islands and Ireland seem always to have counted for much. Robert Bruce was not the stereotyped Anglo-Norman knight but rather a potentate in the immemorial mould of the western Gaidhealtachd.
This tour will examine the "Braveheart" phenomenon, separating movie myth from reality, uncovering the Gaelic ancestry of Bruce the great liberator king, and the surprising influence of his mother.
We will visit sites such as Stirling Bridge, Falkirk, Bannockburn and Arbroath Abbey associated with the desperate struggle to escape English domination and play proper tribute to the fundamental role of the Celtic west and north in securing Scotland's liberty.