Presentation on theme: "The Battle of Stirling Bridge. A very real battle Forget what youve seen in films - thats fiction! This battle has no glorious charge of knights, no long."— Presentation transcript:
The Battle of Stirling Bridge
A very real battle Forget what youve seen in films - thats fiction! This battle has no glorious charge of knights, no long pikes or spears and doesnt take place on an empty field. However, the real battle of Stirling Bridge is vastly important. It proved to a demoralised Scottish nation that an English army could be defeated.
The importance of Stirling Look at the map. If an army marches north into the heartlands of Scotland, they need to pass by Stirling Castle. Why? Its the easiest and cheapest route.
March to the west? An army cant march up the west coast of Scotland. First of all, its very barren, ie no food. The region is mountainous. There are rivers to cross, eg the Clyde, presenting a formidable obstacle.
March to the east Equally, it is as difficult to march up the eastern coast of Scotland. The land is blocked by the Firth of Forth. The river Forth is only passable by ferry, which is too slow and too dangerous to do with an army. The only real crossing of the river Forth is at Stirling Bridge.
Stirling Castle Stirling Castle was an almost impregnable fortress. Wallace and Murray had no hope of capturing the castle. Their only hope was to starve the defenders out. But first they had to win the battle.
Wallace and Murrays plan As plans go its actually very simple. The Scottish army will wait on a hill across the river bank. The English will expect the Scots to wait until they finish crossing the bridge before they attack – the chivalrous thing to do.
The plan (continued) Wallace and Murray had no intention of being chivalrous. As soon as the English were half- way across they charged into combat. The battle was actually fought on the bridge.
A bloody battle The picture here is an artists impression of the battle. It accurately portrays the narrow battlefield of the bridge. This made the numerical superiority of the English useless. orytimeline/wars_of_independence/battles b.htm
Significance of the victory Stirling Bridge was not a significant military victory. However, it did prove that the mighty English army could be defeated in battle by the Scots, something that they had so far been unable to do. After the victory Wallace and Murray were able to win a lot of support in Scotland, and both were named joint Guardians of Scotland. Unfortunately Murray died a few weeks later from infected wounds he received at Stirling.
What happened afterwards Murrays death was unfortunate, as he may have been the tactical genius behind the victory rather than Wallace. Wallace decided to take the battle to England. He raided as far south as York, causing a great deal of damage and terror in the northern counties. However, Edward had now returned from France, determined to finally settle the Scottish question.