First War of Scottish Independence

Battle of Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1297 Sep 11

Battle of Stirling Bridge

Stirling Old Bridge, Stirling,

On hearing about the start of an aristocratic uprising, Edward I, although engaged in events in France, sent a force of foot soldiers and horsemen under Sir Henry Percy and Sir Robert Clifford to resolve the "Scottish problem".

While laying siege to Dundee Castle, Wallace heard that an English army was again advancing north, this time under John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. Wallace put the leading men of the town of Dundee in charge of the castle's siege and moved to halt the advance of the English army. Wallace and Moray, who had recently combined their forces, deployed on the Ochil Hills overlooking the bridge crossing the River Forth at Stirling and prepared to meet the English in battle.

On 11 September 1297, Scottish forces, under the joint command of Moray and Wallace, met the Earl of Surrey's army, at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The Scottish army deployed to the north-east of the bridge, and let the vanguard of Surrey's army cross the bridge before attacking. The English cavalry proved ineffective on the boggy ground around the bridge, and many of them were killed. The bridge collapsed when English reinforcements were crossing. The English on the opposite side of the river then fled the battlefield. The Scots suffered relatively light casualties, but the death from wounds of Andrew Moray dealt a profound blow to the Scottish cause. Stirling Bridge was the first key victory for the Scots.

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Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024