Falkirk heritage group launches appeal to fund battle mural

Re-enactors at this year's 1298 Battle of Falkirk commemoration day.
Re-enactors at this year's 1298 Battle of Falkirk commemoration day.

A work of art depicting the defeat at Falkirk of the Scottish army by the forces of Edward Longshanks will be the crowning glory of an ambitious restoration project.

Local heritage group the Society of John de Graeme moved in when the memorial fountain in Victoria Park - commemorating the 1298 disaster - was badly vandalised.

After painstaking work it has now been fully restored, and meanwhile work has continued to try and make the area around the fountain more family-friendly and attractive.

But now the Society aim to complete their efforts by commissioning a mural of the battle on the southern side of nearby Thornhill Community Centre, in a move which would immediately tell any visitor about the historic theme which inspired the original fountain.

The battle was a pivotal episode of the Scottish Wars of Independence, which saw Edward I apparently triumphing over the Scots who had mustered to oppose his dreams of conquest.

After a brutal initial struggle the Scots were massacred when Edward’s Welsh archers were able to disorder the Scots spearmen, allowing the English cavalry to break their ranks and ride them down.

One of the Scots who died in the debacle was Sir John de Graeme, who was interred in the churchyard of what is now Falkirk Trinity Church - whose memory inspired the Falkirk heritage group named after him.

Their aim is to make the fountain (originally donated by Sir Robert Dollar) a conspicuous reminder that great historic events once happened in Falkirk.

While the battle was a catastrophe for the cause of independence it marked only the beginning of a struggle that continued until long after the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn - where Longshanks’ son, Edward II, suffered humiliating defeat.

Anyone who wants to support the mural project can do so at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/battle-of-falkirk-1298-mural?fbclid=IwAR0eIjM-9kFjR5BHRwpO6ZONwEt26zhywkwcfD0QRyxvGxOXAaJCbWQ-3bI