However Scots feel about the more peaceful Union made some 400 years later, the long fight to resist absorption into and all-conquering Edward I’s empire threw up some of our greatest heroes and forged what has since remained the Scots nation.
This year, the National Trust for Scotland decided that the Battle of Bannockburn Memorial built in celebration of that decisive event of 1314 was in need a makeover. NTS are passionate about the restoration of the battle site and the state-of-the-art visitor centre that will be in place for the 700th anniversary. NTS and Historic Scotland agreed there should be encouragement on the site itself of contemplation, aided by words from poets to be inscribed on the great ring beam of the Rotunda.
This St Andrews Day is your last chance to vote in a competition among ten Scots poets as to which of their poems should be inscribed on the Rotunda if you point your browser here. All of them are worthy—but my vote went to Fifer John Burnside whose poem below for me captures the mood, history and significance of the place.