Robert The Bruce Celebrated with Medieval Market This Weekend

Birthday Celebrations underway this Weekend for the 750th anniversary of the Birth of Robert the Bruce with a Medieval Market & Fayre on Dumfries High Street on Saturday 13th and a Storytelling & Re-enactment day at Castledykes Park, Dumfries on Sunday 14th July.


This weekend, the Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust, in partnership with The People’s Project Dumfries, The Imaginarium and The Gallovidian Way, alongside local community groups and businesses, will celebrate the 750th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert the Bruce. The programme of events will showcase Dumfries & Galloway’s significant role in his life and Scottish Medieval history.


Preparations have been taking place since January this year with communities rallying to support the project. The events are said to be a celebration of all that makes Dumfries & Galloway an incredible region for heritage activities and ensuring communities and their contribution are at the forefront of bringing this rich history to life, helping to restore pride and a sense of belonging back into our communities.


On Saturday 13th July from 9am – 5pm, the celebrations will take over Dumfries High Street. Attendees will be able to immerse themselves in the Court of De Brus to celebrate King Robert the Bruce’s 750th Birthday on the closest weekend to his Birthday on 11th July. You will be able to take a walk up Dumfries High Street and back in time enjoying a themed traders market, living history, storytelling tours, live entertainment, medieval themed food, and crafts.


At 11am, Tom Hughes of Dumfries Museum offering his Medieval Meanders Walking Tour leaving from Greyfriars Church showcasing what Dumfries would have been like in the times of the Bruce and the remnants of that history still visible in our lives today


Visitors will be able to meet the Bruce family in the Court De Brus, at Plainstanes, and enjoy live entertainment from 12.30-2pm.  Tributes to The King off Scots will be led by Scottish Tribal Music legends Clanadonia, Clanadonia are a Drums & Pipes band with a difference – their music, passion, culture, history, people, ancestral bloodlines – are all bonded within the music.


Scots Scriever Susi Briggs and Author Alan McClure will be performing ‘The Flytin o Bruce and the Red Comyn’ a specially created collaborative poem that explores the dynamics between the two contenders for the Scottish Crown. ‘Flytin’ is an ancient form similar to a modern day rap battle,


Dumfries Community Choir will also be performing for the Court De Brus on the Plainstaines, and are seen as the modern day equivalent to the troubadours in medieval times who brought the stories of the time to the people. They will be singing one of Robert Burns traditional ballads which showcases mood and story alongside more modern day songs which have important messages for society then and now.


As well as performances and Market Stalls on the day there will be a talk, and meet and greet with Bruce aficionado Sarah Crome, Author of Scotland’s First War of Independence who will offer a fascinating insight into the history of the times. The talk will be held in the historic Greyfriars Church at 2.30pm. .


Visitors can also seek out the Mostly Ghostly team as they explore crime and justice medieval style, with a hearty helping of horrid history. Discover what dread punishments were meted out on the town’s prisoners and learn how these have evolved through the ages. Mostly Ghostly will be delivering pop up talks in various location along the High Street throughout the course of the day.


Throughout the weekend, Medieval dress up is strongly encouraged from those attending to help add to the spirit of the events.


On Sunday 14th July at Castledykes Park Dumfries, there will be a Living History, Storytelling & Re-enactment day delivered by the Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust and Galloway Longfhada on the site of the old Dumfries Castle, where you will discover Bruce’s infamous links to the site.


Activities at Castledykes will include a real life Gallovidian Living History encampment with Galloway Longfhada – a re-enactment group based in Dumfries whose aim is to educate and entertain the public about early medieval times. They meet regularly to train in combat, craft and plan events. They will provide an immersive encampment with traditional crafts and combat displays.


There will be Medieval Foraging & Ancient Plantlore with Wild Kat Foraging exploring the food and medicinal plants available locally in ancient times, recipes and remedies.


There will be Axe Throwing available to try brought to you by Regan’s Reivers who offer mobile axe ranges to bring a safe and fun activity that really brings re-enactment events to life for attendees.


The Medieval Bruce Heritage Trust will be storytelling throughout the day with the Court De Brus as they tell the stories and share the history and heritage of the site.


At Castledykes Dumfries, parking will be limited to accessible parking only so visitors are advised to make arrangements in advance for getting to and from the event. Plenty of parking is available nearby within the grounds of The Crichton.


The Robert the Bruce 750’prpgtsmme of events have been an incredible catalyst for bringing about community connection and change across the town with volunteer army’s stepping up to do their part to ensure the town is at its best. The People’s Project Dumfries, a partner in the programme of activities have also been working on maintaining Castledykes Park, gardening and clearing it areas across the town ahead of this weekend’s activities as well as helping to co-ordinate events, securing sponsorship  and supporting community engagement projects including with Dumfries Prison.


Devorgilla Rotary Club have also been key partners involved in ensuring the success of the project with their people power supporting everything from logistics, site planning, stewarding, transporting props / equipment and they will play a lead role in organising of the weekends activities.


Summerhill Community Centre and Youth Group have been on a learning exchange to Duncarron Medieval Village and have been  creating authentic costumes, and learning traditional crafts so they can provide a medieval trading stall at our upcoming Medieval Market & Fayre and the team are so excited to see what they have made in their journey back through time.


DJ McDowall of The Imaginarium and The Gallovidian Way, Creative Director & Producer of the Robert the Bruce 750 celebrations, stated: “The programme has been curated so that it’s as inclusive as possible for communities, it’s been incredible to see all the local partnerships and communities being inspired by our shared histories, really owning it creating themed events and getting involved with such passion and enthusiasm. Programmes of events and activities like these, allow us to understand and embrace our heritage, allowing communities/individuals to come together sharing in the stories that have been so influential in our collective history.


We’re really delighted by the community collaborations that have sprung to life inspired by our RtB750 project, it’s been quite overwhelming in the best possible way, exceeding all our expectations, it’s really shown the appetite there is for engaging with our local history, which is often little known or not represented in ways that people find engaging”


Mark Jardine, of the People’s Project Dumfries stated “Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience aspects of life in the time of Robert the Bruce right here in Dumfries! Take in all the sights and sounds this weekend, and a must see and hear is Clanadonia, – who would rock Glastonbury”
The project has showcased the incredible community spirit in Dumfries & Galloway and how people always come together to create something beyond all expectations in their communities in this region. Head to Dumfries High Street on Saturday 13th and Castledykes Dumfries on Sunday 14th for an incredible weekend of activities.

Special thanks are also given to the project’s 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, Galloway Longfhada Vikings, Visit Scotland and The Barony of Buittle.