Falkirk’s special day for historic knights

Three famous names from Scotland's gory medieval past - left to right Sir Andrew de Moray, Sir John de Graeme and Sir William Wallace.
Three famous names from Scotland's gory medieval past - left to right Sir Andrew de Moray, Sir John de Graeme and Sir William Wallace.

Falkirk town centre will seem a bit different from the average Saturday morning today, as some heavily-armed and armoured reminders of the 13th century take to the streets.

Trinity Church (around 1pm) and Callendar Park (from 1.30pm) will be the focus of a colourful and poignant commemoration of the 720th anniversary of the first Battle of Falkirk.

It was a disaster in which thousands of Scots died trying to repel an invading army under England’s Edward I, and a pivotal episode in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The annual memorial has been a July fixture for many years, but with soaring interest in Scottish history groups including Falkirk Delivers, the Society of John de Graeme and the Society of William Wallace have teamed up to create a larger than usual event - with plenty to interest the whole family.

Medieval warriors are mustering around Trinity about now. ahead of a ceremony at the tomb of John de Graeme - a locally-born knight who was one of William Wallace’s right hand men, and who died in the battle.

From 1.30pm a parade will proceed to Callendar Park and the memorial there - if you don’t know the way just follow the throng, and the sound of bagpipes.

Meanwhile the sword reputed to be the original weapon wielded by de Graeme back in 1298 has been loaned to Callendar House for a special exhibition to mark the 720th anniversary of the battle.

A Falkirk Herald photographer will be aiming to capture some of the most eye-catching moments from today’s events, and we’ll have more on the commemoration over the weekend - and of course in next week’s Falkirk Herald.