Battling over historic landmark

Pictured from left to right, Arran Johnstone, David Caldwell, Fiona Rogan and a medieval costume character.
Pictured from left to right, Arran Johnstone, David Caldwell, Fiona Rogan and a medieval costume character.

Medieval warfare experts fought it out at packed public event at Rosslyn Chapel recently in a lively discussion about the Battle of Roslin.

Fiona Rogan of Rosslyn Chapel led the charge, recounting the popular story of three battles in one day, with 8000 Scots allegedly defeating a mighty English army of 30,000. But she was soon quick to knock holes in the story through her research.

Arran Johnstone from the Scottish Battlefields Trust then provided a full analysis of fighting forces available on both sides at the time and examined the terrain, concluding that a battle would have much more likely been between hundreds or low thousands of men. While David Caldwell of The Society of Antiquaries brought his knowledge on Scottish and European medieval warfare.

Fiona Rogan said: “The Battle of Roslin has a rightful place in Scotland’s history as an important battle, but the sources that we have researched show that much of the story we know of today is unlikely to be true. Nevertheless, clearly an important conflict did take place at Roslin in February 1303. This was a great opportunity to challenge some old assumptions and really get to grips with what warfare at the time would have been like.”