Battle site of Methven Wood (1306) ***

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Description:

In 1306 Robert the Bruce and his weary band of followers were surprised while camped just north of the village.

Leaving a trail of blood in their wake the 3000 strong English force and several thousands of Comyn-related nobles had in June 1306 captured Perth and Robert I the Bruce, the Scottish king felt himself hard pressed to act.

His forces (4500 men raised in haste from the northern estates of the Earl of Atholl and the Earl of Mar) approached the town from the west. Bruce rode up to the city gates and challenged the Earl of Pembroke to fight or surrender the town.

Aymer de Valance however would not venture out of Perth (‘it is too late now, but tomorrow I will be happy to oblige!').

Bruce then made camp in Methven Wood, south of the Almond and it was there, in the pre-dawn that disaster struck. As the Scots still had not learned that their enemy was capable of anything, they were an easy prey.

The English were within the perimeter before the Scots realised the danger. A wild scramble for arms and a near desperate melee ensued. The Scots fought back ferociously. Bruce himself was unhorsed no less than 3 times and was almost taken captive had his knights not closed around their king.

The Earl of Atholl, his brother Edward Bruce, James Douglas, Gilbert de la Haye and Neil Campbell took the king in their midst and in an unstoppable spearhead formation the little group burst through their enemies.

Although many of Bruce's companions among whom the Royal standard bearer Alexander Scrymgeour were taken captive, only to die a horrible death on the hands of the English, the king escaped.

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