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Robert The Bruce 750th Anniversary Celebrations Start

Dumfries & Galloway celebrations underway for the 750th anniversary of Robert the Bruce with an exciting series of events over 6 months across the Region after a huge turnout of support at the launch event on Saturday 10th February.

The Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust in partnership with The People’s Project Dumfries and The Imaginarium’s Gallovidian Way, alongside local community organisations and businesses will be celebrating the 750th anniversary of the birth of Robert the Bruce. The 6 month long programme of events will showcase the influential and pivotal role Dumfries & Galloway played in the life and times of the most famous King Of Scots, and its lasting impact on Scottish Medieval history

Robert the Bruce is known as a visionary leader, accepted as Scotland’s most successful monarch and is one of Scotland’s most iconic heroes. He was also Lord of Annandale, Dumfries & Galloway, the seat of the Bruce family. He was influenced by its people, friends and foe, and it was where he forged his alliances, and honed the skills that provided the foundations from which he propelled his journey to the throne.

Through a variety of community-led cultural activities dotted across the region, the Robert the Bruce 750th programme aims to showcase the vital role D&G played in the story of Scotland, while generating opportunities to explore this vibrant region as it is now.

The exciting programme of events launched on Saturday 10th February The Commemoration of the Slaying of the Red Comyn by The Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust and Cluaran at Greyfriars Church with larger crowds than ever before turning out to learn more about that day and they were able to meet and hear from Bruce’s family and allies who relayed their eye witness accounts and how this day changed the rest of their lives.

The Commemoration has become a tradition marked every year by the Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust  as an event that changed the course of history in 1306 and set Robert the Bruce on the path to the Scottish Throne.

Audiences then took part in a Medieval Meander around Dumfries Town Centre where Tom Hughes from Dumfries Museum shared his knowledge of Medieval Dumfries and communities ventured further into the history of the town, learning about all the parts of this time that still exist today and then ended up back at Greyfriars Church for an authentic and ethereal Medieval Mass and Vespers Ceremony with The Bishop of Whithorn, Diocese of the British Isles.

The evening concluded with a sell-out Mostly Ghostly Tour of Closeburn Castle the ancient seat of Clan Kirkpatrick which was the ancient seat of ‘Mak Siccar’ Kirkpatrick who allegedly dealt the deadly blows on this fateful day and a true hidden gem steeped in dramatic history.

The 6 month long programme launched on Saturday will bring to life our wealth of hidden histories and the story of The Bruce through a series of educational experiences, walks, talks, tours, films and interactive themed events.

The events are planned between February and July 2024 with local communities across Dumfries & Galloway and has something for everyone, from talks discovering the hidden histories of Robert the Bruce and the key figures surrounding him at the time to tours with award-winning Mostly Ghostly, Family Entertainment, Traditional Medieval Arts & Crafts, Immersive Experiences, Theatre Shows with the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and so much more.

The programme of events will conclude with a special weekend of activities to celebrate the anniversary of his birth 750 years ago on the closest weekend which is the 13th and 14th July 2024. On Saturday 13th July there will be Medieval Market on Dumfries High Street, visitors will be able to travel back in time to see, hear, touch and smell what it would have been like 750 years ago during the life and times of Robert the Bruce and join in with the medieval celebrations.

On Sunday 14th July, there will be an atmospheric Storytelling, Living History and Re-enactment day at Castledykes, Dumfries, a Gallovidian encampment sharing the fascinating local stories that are linked to the life and times of the Bruce.

The celebrations are being organised by the Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust, in partnership with The People’s Project Dumfries and The Imaginarium’s Gallovidian Way.

The team are working with a number of different community organisations supporting them to organise their own local events and activities to add to the series, inspiring the region to take ownership of their stories, the multifaceted, eclectic and fascinating range of history associated with the life and times of Robert the Bruce, which lie scattered across our landscapes and hidden in plain sight in the local places and spaces. They are urging anyone who would like to get involved with the celebrations to get in touch with them and get their ideas added to the programme.

To find out more about the events, visit: www.brucetrust.co.uk/750

The team are incredibly grateful to their main sponsors of the programme for their generous support: Jardine Funerals, Historic Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival.

We are also very thankful for the enthusiasm, support and very special contributions of our key collaborators: Mostly Ghostly, Dumfries Devorgilla Rotary Club, Dumfries Museum, D&G Heritage Service, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Wordsmithcrafts, HM Prison Dumfries, Guid Nychburris Association, Dumfries Family History Society, Visit Scotland and The Barony of Buittle.

 

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