Images of King Robert the Bruce
The Statue of King Robert at the National Trust site at
On Saint Andrew's day, 1998, HRH Prince Charles opened the new Museum
of Scotland in Edinburgh. One of the most precious and ancient treasures on
display was at the Battle of Bannockburn. It is a tiny jewelled casket
called the Brecbannoch (which is gaelic for "the speckled peaked one".
Some say it contained some sacred bones of St Columba, others that it was a
valued gift from the saint.
Legend has it that this casket belonged to St. Adamnan, one of St.
Columba's followers who brought Christianity to Scotland in the 6th
Century. For hundreds of years it was kept at a church in Forglen,
Banffshire, and it was the duty of its custodian to carry it before the
Scottish army whenever it went into battle. The Abbot of Arbroath was one
of these custodians, and he wore the casket on a chain around his neck.
Before a battle he blessed the soldiers and their arms, prayed for victory
and showed them the Brecbannoch.
Other custodians over the centuries have been the Malcolms of Monymusk, the
Irvines of Drum, the Forbes of Monymusk, and finally the Grants. In
1933, Sir Arthur Grant put the Brecbannoch up for sale at Christies in
London. Fortunately, Scots and their relatives from all over the world
raised enough money by subscription to buy the casket for the nation. So
now it resides in a museum for anyone who is interested to see.
Copyright 1998 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.
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