Battle site of Dalrigh (1306) *

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Description:

After his defeat at Methven Robert the Bruce was anxious to bring his queen, his daughter Marjorie, two sisters and the Countess of Buchan in safety. With only 500 men they made for the Western isles, where Bruce hoped to enlist the aid of the Macdonalds, old friends of the family. Hard on their heels was Bruce's old nemesis Aymer de Valance, Earl of Pembroke with a strong force. By the end of July the fugitives had reached Tyndrum where they set up a bivouac near the shrine of the holy St.Fillan of Glenlochart.

As Bruce, his knights and ladies, rode up the narrow defile at Dalry the MacDougalls attacked.  The fighting was desperate for Bruce, at one point cut off from his allies he was fighting alone against a small lochan. A MacDougall man attempted to pull Bruce from his horse by grabbing his cloak. Bruce killed him but lost his cloak in so doing. The dead MacDougall was found later still grasping the cloak with Bruce’s brooch still attached. This brooch is still in the possession of the clan to his day.

In the end Bruce managed to get away and the pursuers then gave up.

The place where Bruce’s darkest moment had come was named ‘Dail Righ’ or ‘The Kings Field’. As Bruce had escaped he and many of his men threw any unwieldy heavy arms they had into a small lochan. Local legend has it that the king’s sword still lies beneath the surface.

There is a stone seat with the inscription 'The field of the Battle of Dalrigh 1306', commemorating the battle (National Grid: NN 343 289)

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