More Medieval Scottish Artifacts
There is an ancient report from after the battle "the Scottish king walked dry shod across the burn on the English dead".
This is where I have found nearly all the metallic artifacts from the battle , including the contents of a farriers toolbox, horse shoes, on a destrier front (it overhung the fetlock by an inch, so when horse reared plunged hoof onto skulls) spike end of double hand battle axe , bronze sabaton, dagger pommel , small razor (shaving aid) cut throat knife , hand held bayonet for pushing through eye slits in knight helmets (probably Scots) , a small bronze buckle with the date on reverse 13 X1 , 1311.
But more important I know you wont believe this (its now in the National Museum of Scotland) King Robert the Bruce, at a crucial part of the battle where he is supposed to have shouted "On them ! on to them, push hard , they fail" he lost this: a bronze and silver pendant, the saltire that ancient symbol of Scotland since 842, above it the four pointed star of Bethlehem, a sign of his devout Christian beliefs.
On this "wee" pendant was every thing he was fighting for that day! on the reverse but faint because it lay 697 years up this way is the initials in medieval font R : B and slightly below that a small lion rampant , the ancient sign of Scottish Monarchy.
The spike end of the battle axe was found 20 ft from the pendant in a direction he would have walked during the battle, did he have a dose of double tragedy in the lost property dept. I have since remade the battle axe and the dagger incorporating the 1314 pommel.
And here is the battleAxe that James reconstructed with the found spike as inspiration.
He tells us about the find:
I walked toward the spot I had been drawn to for over 50 years , switched on the metal detector and had an immediate hit , it was Bruce's silver and bronze Pendant. I realised the importance of the find and headed off home on Gunther my trusty BMW bike. The next morning at 4 am I woke with a start and to my wife's dismay shouted ! there is still something there to find, so at 7am i was back at the same place, but this time i was drawn to a small Hawthorn tree, I switched on my tecktor and had an immediate hit , it was the spike end of a battle axe still in good condition, the internal thread was still visible within, (about 3/8 whitworth 5/8ths deep) meaning it didn't break off, it unscrewed during the battle, probably by a man holding the axe in his two hands, one on the spike end, the other on the pommel end and turning it like a tennis player would with a racquet, as he turned the axe the spike was actually unscrewing, at at a certain point it dropped off. As the spike end and the pendant were found barely 20 ft apart it poses the question ! did they have the same owner?
This horse shoe i had to go as you Americans say "skinny dipping " for as it had been washed from the banks of the burn 2 months ago during a heavy flooding of the burn.
As you can see it still has a nail attached to it , the long black unused nail came from the farriers tool box i found a year previously and 100 yds down stream, as each farrier hand made his own shoes and nails. And each English Knight would have brought his own farrier.
Did the farrier shoe this horse on the evening of the 23rd June 1314 as there is absolutely no wear on the shoe and was probably removed from a dead English horse after the battle. There was a slip, probably followed by the words F-CK it in old Scots and the shoe fell into the then burn. The burn then is now banking (for the present) as the river has "grand canyon ed" deepened by at least 8ft though still only 18-24ins deep.
Last picture bronze sabaton, disregard 1/2 silver buckle (pistol ball struck) as its from the 1715 battle of Sheriffmuir (my ancestors fought there on the Jacobite side under the Duke of Perth, perhaps might have even fired the pistol.
Will these photos and script are yours to use in any way you think fit , they are historic as nothing has ever been found from the battle site , in fact there is doubt until now as to where the battle took place.
All these finds are in the domain of the First minister of Scotland , The present Lord Elgin the Bruce, numerous historians, and I have taken part in one of 2 films for the BBC called Bannockburn 700 , to be shown at the anniversary of the battle.
How I found all this stuff and no one else has and also know where the graves of the combatants are? well there is a book or film in this some time! It verges on the super natural. Strange all these artifacts are found , especially the pendant , the BBC makes two films to coincide with the 700 year anniversary and the Scottish government is holding a referendum on Scotland's independence from England 2014. !