11/09/1297- The Battle of Stirling Bridge and Wallace & Moray- The Dynamic Duo


“You gotta pay the toll troll!”

“We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and set our country free. Let your masters come and attack us: we are ready to meet them beard to beard.”

These are the (apparent) words of William Wallace (Uilleam Uallas), the resistance leader, knight and Guardian of Scotland during the Scottish Wars of Independence. The quote is attributed to him on the eve of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, which happens to have happened 717 years ago today (11/09/1297), in which Scottish forces under Andrew de Moray and Wallace led an incredible victory over the English army on the waters of the River Forth. The Battle is one of the most incredible battles to take place in the history of the British Isles, and is one of the most famous examples of the Scottish “Underdog” victories over the English during the First War of Independence, a particular chapter of Scottish history I’m fascinated by. Unfortunately, horribly inaccurate and over-simplified depictions of Wallace and this battle in particular is all too pervasive, so I thought for the anniversary I’d look at both the men in charge and the battle, and maybe show you a  glimpse of why Scottish history is so much more incredible, bloody, brutal and strange than anything you’d ever find in Game of Thrones. First, let’s look at the big men in charge- William Wallace (obviously) and the under-regarded often forgotten partner in crime: Andrew de Moray.

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The Raasay Mines


As you guys may or may not know, I come from a very small and relatively remote island called Raasay. It’s an awesome place to have grown up, and it’s stuffed full of history and interesting sites. One such obsession I’ve had is with the Raasay Iron Mines, which were worked on the island during the First World War. There are miles of mineshafts running underneath the island, and my friend recently went exploring in some of them. These tunnels are almost 100 years old, and have probably only been seen a handful of times since the mines were closed. You can look through the album below on the Raasay Facebook page I help run, and I’ve included a history of the mines in the captions of the photos. Enjoy! I love the history of the Islands, and hopefully I’ll post more stuff here soon. Until then, there’s a new post on the Raasay Facebook page every day- photos, history and news, so if you enjoy that kind of stuff, give us a like! We’ve already got over twice as many likes as there are people living on the island as it is.