Celebration day for a Forth Valley friar who died 700 years ago

The remains of a medieval friar who may have known Robert the Bruce or even Edward I of England were reinterred in Stirling’s Snowdon Cemetery today.

By Roy Beers
Saturday, 29th February 2020, 3:01 pm

His bones were revealed during an archaeological dig on Goosecroft Road, Stirling, and belong to a member of the Dominican Friars.

They founded a local monastery around the year 1230 that lasted for more than 300 years - and they were known as the Black friars.

Today the medieval friar’s present day Dominican brothers collaborated with the council to reinter his remains and celebrate his life.

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A memorial unveiled at the grave was created using stone originally quarried for the Wallace Monument.

The Cowane’s Trust donated stone from a rock quarried on the Abbey Craig 150 years ago as a lasting memorial to the Friar’s service to Stirling, and Historic Environment Scotland helped carve the stone.

Experts believe the friar’s remains could have a unique place in Scottish history, as carbon dating proves he would have been alive in exactly that time frame as some of the most momentous events of the period - the nearby battle of Falkirk (1298) and the battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn.

He was aged between 20 and 35, and lived some time between 1271 and 1320.

Stirling Council archaeologist Dr Murray Cook said: “The human remains from the excavation represent an individual who appears to have been formally buried within the precincts of the Dominican friary.

“The remains were found with a buckle which was positioned in front of the pelvic area and, as the Dominican Friars also wore a belt cincture with a buckle, this discovery suggests that he was a friar rather than a local individual.”

A Dominican Priory was founded in Stirling in 1233AD and the brothers of the Friary were strongly entwined with Stirling life, both preaching and tending to the needs of local citizens.