Battle site of Stirling Bridge (1297) ***
The above picture is quite misleading. The original bridge had collapsed in the battle and was replaced with a new stone bridge. The original bridge, research has uncovered, crossed the river diagonally!
On September 11, 1297, the English infantry and cavalry began crossing the bridge. Watching this, Wallace and Moray restrained their troops until a sizable, but beatable, English force had reached the north shore. When approximately 5,400 had crossed the bridge, the Scots attacked and swiftly encircled the enemy, gaining control of the north end of the bridge. Among those who were trapped on the north shore was Cressingham who was killed and butchered by the Scottish troops. Unable to send sizable reinforcements across the narrow bridge, Surrey was forced to watch his entire vanguard be destroyed by Wallace's and Moray's men.
Many English discarded their armor and attempted to swim back across the River Forth. Despite still having a strong force, Surrey's confidence was destroyed and he ordered the bridge destroyed before retreating south to Berwick. Seeing Wallace's victory, the Earl of Lennox and James Stewart, the High Steward of Scotland, who been supporting the English, withdrew with their men and joined the Scottish ranks. As Surrey pulled back, Stewart successfully attacked the English supply train, hastening their retreat.
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