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The ruined old church at Alloway dates from the 16th century, though the site could be much older. It is most famous now due to it being featured in Robert Burns' poem 'Tam o' Shanter' (1791), as the place where witches and warlocks gather. The churchyard is fascinating and includes the graves of Burns' father, William Burnes, and sister, Isabella Burns Begg. Combine with a visit to the Robert Burns' Museum, his birthplace, Burns Monument and Brig o' Doon.
Anne Bronte is the only one of the famous siblings not to be buried in the family vault at Haworth. She worked as a governess in Scarborough and journeyed the 70 miles from home when she was ill, hoping the sea air would help. She arrived on Saturday 25 May 1849, very ill, accompanied by her sister Charlotte and a friend, Ellen and died on the Monday. Charlotte commissioned the very worn headstone seen today, but returning 3 years afterwards found a number of errors on it. The errors, whatever they were, were seemingly corrected – but the inscription still has Anne’s age wrong. A modern plaque has been placed on the ground by the Bronte Society.
St Mary's Church dates from the 12th century and is interesting in its own right. Canons were based in the churchyard during the Civil War, from which Parliamentary troops exchanged fire with the Royalists in the castle.
The Battle of Bannockburn took place over the 23rd and 24th June 1314 between the Scots, under Robert the Bruce, and a significantly larger army under Edward II of England. The English were under siege by the Scots at Stirling Castle and Edward's army was intended to relieve the siege. Instead, Bruce inflicted a massive defeat. This ultimately led to the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.
Much of the probable site of the battle is now built over. However, the National Trust for Scotland operates a visitor centre that offers a hi-tech battle experience (ticket only), a shop and a cafe. There is memorial to the battle on the site as well as a statue of Robert the Bruce. Note - there is no museum or exhibition.
London's monument to the Battle of Britain is on Victoria Embankment, between Westminster Bridge and the RAF Memorial. It was unveiled by Prince Charles in 2005, cost £1.65 million and was funded entirely by public subscription. Among the donors was the Czech Republic. The monument is more than 80 feet (25 metres) long and was the brainchild of the late Bill Bond MBE, founder of the Battle of Britain Historical Society. It honours ‘the Few’, the RAF pilots who were outnumbered and who saved Britain from invasion in 1940. At its centre is a near life-size sculpture depicting airmen scrambling – running to their aircraft in order to intercept the enemy. Around the monument are the names of the Few – 2,936 airmen from fifteen nations who took part in the battle on the Allied side. Other panels show some of the other participants and contributors to the Battle of Britain and ultimate victory – including civilians.
Do not confuse this monument with the Battle of Britain Memorial in Kent. The post code is approximate.
Memorial to the Battle of Roslin, erected in 1994. The battle was fought on 24th February 1303 between the Scots and English during the Wars of Scottish Independence. It was a Scottish victory, but it does not figure in many history books and few people have even heard of it. Some accounts of the battle suggest that a divided force of 30,000 English troops was picked off in 3 separate engagements by a rapidly assembled Scottish army of 8,000 fighting on terrain they knew. However, evidence is lacking and the above story may be a myth; the battle could have been a skirmish, or series of skirmishes.
A significant battle fought here on 25th September 1066, between King Harold's Saxon-English army and an invading force of Norsemen under Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson. The English victory was emphatic, but Harold then had to march south to meet the invading Normans at Hastings. There is not much to see in the village, thought there is a memorial in the centre.
Bunhill Fields is a former burial ground established in the 17th century (though with a longer history than that) and the last resting place for an estimated 123,000 bodies. It is particularly known for its nonconformist connections. Among those commemorated here are William Blake, Daniel Defoe, John Bunyan and Susannah Wesley (John Wesley's mum). The burial area is fenced in, and crowded; there is an open area, primarily used by office workers at lunch times.