<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/braveTOP1-800×533.jpg" alt = "The film from 1995 Brave heart, Mel Gibson as a medieval Scottish knight Sir William Wallace will be 25 this month. Archaeologists believe they have found the hidden fort that he used during his struggles against the English. "/>
Enlarge /. The 1995 film Braveheart starring Mel Gibson as a medieval Scottish knight Sir William Wallace turns 25 this month. Archaeologists believe they have found the hidden fort that he used during his struggles against the English.
William Wallace, the Scottish knight who emerged as a military leader during the First War of Independence in the late 13th century, has become a household name thanks to Mel Gibson's blockbuster film Braveheart, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. Wallace's uprising began with the assassination of the High Sheriff of Lanark in May 1297 and he carried out several successful raids before taking a breathtaking victory against English troops at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. He was particularly known for his strategic use of the site and, according to legend, he carried out at least one raid from a hidden fort near Dumfriesshire.
The fort is mentioned in The New Statistical Account of Scotland (published between 1834 and 1845). The fortress was said to border on a clearing called Torlinn, had a "wide view to the south" and was protected on three sides by two branches of a steep gorge and a large trench. In 1297, Wallace is said to have hid in the fortress with 16 men "with whom he has teamed up to annoy the English garrison under Greystock and Sir Hugh of Moreland".
Now the Forestry Journal has announced that archaeologists may have discovered the site of Wallace's hidden fort. Matt Ritchie is an archaeologist at Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) and has worked with an organization called Skyscape Survey to develop a drone-based method for performing photogrammetric surveys. This requires remote-controlled drones to take hundreds of photos from the air and then stitch them together using point adjustment software.
The resulting 3D terrain model is free from scrub and ground vegetation, according to Ritchie, and also contains sophisticated details of the heights. "It's a fascinating and insightful technique that is really starting to open up the landscape, and it seemed like an ideal location for research," said Ritchie of the decision to map the Dumfriesshire location, which is believed to be Wallaces hidden fort is There is not much evidence on the surface, but the wall and topography are in very good agreement with the historical description. Our new 3D model makes it possible to really highlight the massive wall of the fort and to appreciate the deep gorges of the two Linns. "
The FLS survey maps the potential location of the William Wallace fort in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
FLS from Skyscape Survey 2020
A contour model of the site.
Courtesy of Forestry and Land Scotland
Extract from the Ordnance Survey First Edition map published in 1857.
Matt Ritchie 2020
The new contour model.
FLS from Skyscape Survey 2020
Sir William Wallace in stained glass at his memorial in Stirling.
"It must have been the & # 39; strong defensive site & # 39; described in the report. The wall was crowned with a wooden palisade and contained wooden buildings that housed the soldiers and their horses," said Ritchie. "But could the fort really have been built?" by William Wallace and his men? I would like to believe that – and either way, polling an old story has added a new chapter. "
The "trouble" that Wallace supposedly organized from the fortress went well for him and his men:
After taking some of their horses with him, Wallace was chased from Moreland to Tor-head, who was killed in the subsequent encounter with several of his followers. Greystock, angry at this defeat and strengthened by fresh supplies from England, immediately attacked Wallace with 300 men. Overwhelmed by numbers, he fell back between the hills; and Dundaff's Sir John Graham, with thirty men, and Kirkpatrick, his relative with twenty of his followers, were overhauled on the northern border of Holehouse near the bottom of Queensberry, where a general engagement took place. Greystock fell; the victory was complete; and the survivors sought shelter in the forest from which they had chased the Scots. Wallace reached Lochmaben ahead of them and took possession of the castle.
Such military victories proved to be short-lived. Wallace was defeated at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298 and soon resigned as the Guardian of Scotland.
The story (and to a lesser extent Gibson's film) has recorded Wallace's tragically cruel ending. He was captured on August 5, 1305, for the betrayal of a loyalist Scottish knight named John de Menteith, and charged with treason. His answer: "I couldn't be a traitor to Edward because I was never his subject."
He was found guilty and sentenced to hang, drag and quarter. In other words, he was stripped naked and dragged behind a horse to the execution site. There he was hanged, cut loose during his lifetime, his penis and testicles were cut off and he was eviscerated. The executioners burned his intestines in front of him, then beheaded Wallace and cut him into four pieces. His head was dipped in tar and placed on a pike to warn anyone who thought of rebelling against the English king.
It was a terrible way to die. It's best to focus on Wallace's few military victories and think about the words engraved on a plaque on a wall of St. Bartholomew's Hospital near the place of execution: "I'm telling you the truth. Freedom is the best . Sons, never live life like slaves. "