Edinburgh Photo Library
- Robert the Bruce and William Wallace
It is fitting that the two greatest heroes in Scottish history should look down from the walls on either side of the entrance to Edinburgh Castle. The bronze statues were placed on niches in the gatehouse of the castle in 1929.
Sir William Wallace (on the right above) was the first leader of the Scots to rebel against the rule of the English King Edward I who had over-run Scotland in 1296. After a geurilla campaign, Wallace appeared to be successful when he defeated the English army at Stirling Bridge in 1297. But the freedom was short-lived and Wallace and the Scots army were defeated at Falkirk in 1298. It is important to remember that Wallace was not fighting to gain the throne of Scotland but in order to free the country from English domination. It is for that reason, as well as the heroic battles, that he has been put on a pedestal over the years (both literally, with many statues, and metaphorically).
Robert the Bruce was initially prepared to kneel before King Edward of England but in 1306 he declared himself king of Scotland. His fight against the English was long and hard and it took until the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 to fully set Scotland free - at least for a time.
See also Famous Scots - Robert the Bruce> and Famous Scots - William Wallace> for more information and illustrations.
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