The Guardians of Scotland Trust was granted charitable status in 2013 to advance the education of the public by promoting the roles of William Wallace and his lesser celebrated counterpart Andrew de Moray in the Scottish Wars of Independence; to create a public art work with educational/community opportunities attached, in their honour, and to raise awareness of the place the De Moray family had in the Scottish Wars of Independence working closely with Wallace.
Robin Iffla, MBE, DL.,
Robin Iffla, MBE, DL., was elected Chair of the Guardians of Scotland Trust in 2017, following four years as Trustee. Robin is a director of an Equality and Diversity Training Company which delivers training and facilitation to public, private and third sector organisations. With over 30 years of public service, he has worked in local authorities, served as a police officer and equalities officer, and as a consultant in fire and rescue services. A patron of several charitable trusts, formerly the Dean of the Merchant Guildry of Stirling, Robin is also currently a Board Member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and serves as a Deputy Lieutenant for the Lieutenancy of Stirling and Falkirk.
Committed to raising awareness of the significance of Stirling in Scotland’s history and determined to help improve national and international understanding of De Moray and Wallace as co-commanders at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Robin says:
‘I have given much consideration of this project beside variant and substantial worldwide interest in Wallace, evidenced rise of international heritage-tourism economies, valued public art presence in places nationally and local ambitions for educational, economic and cultural growth. I absolutely believe therefore, alongside fellow trustees that the time is now, to recognise the position of De Moray in Stirling’s and Scotland’s rich cultural past and to create, as we believe is the case, the first joint physical commemoration in the world, here in Stirling’.
The Earl of Moray
Ted Christopher, Vice Chair, was born and raised in Stirling, where he ran a retail music business (Roadshow Music) for 38 years. He is a professional Scottish singer/songwriter /guitarist, performing worldwide and known for his local and national charitable work.
Ted is the person who first of all had the idea to set up a Trust in order to create a joint commemoration to Andrew de Moray and William Wallace. He next contacted, then Provost of Stirling, Fergus Wood, and Dr Elspeth King, Director of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, with proposals to fittingly mark and realise the tourist potential of the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge,1297.
I am delighted that the Trust contains members from across the political spectrum who have the vision to see the undoubted advantages of our charitable aims. This project helps to highlight Stirling in this modern age, as a historic centre in Scotland and of the UK. In my view, there isn’t another comparable project opportunity in the area this time.
It is my opinion that Stirling has been negligent before now, in not commemorating Andrew de Moray beside William Wallace. It is very important to educate all that Wallace did not win the Battle of Stirling Bridge alone. It is my firm belief that history should be openly presented with as much information as we might honestly know about our past, and this project running to its completion will only result in benefits. Enhancing Stirling Bridge with new lighting and creating new public artwork, will boost the local economy, bringing Stirling and Scotland increased tourism. Importantly, this project will also offer new educational and potentially work opportunities, for local people.
John Robertson, Treasurer, based in Moray, has been a member of the Board since its inception. John is a retired Business Banking Manager.
‘This project is so important for Scotland, and Stirling, in particular, from a cultural, educational, historical and tourism perspective. Furthermore, it gives Stirling the opportunity to give one of Scotland’s greatest heroes his place back in history which was lost due to his premature death from wounds incurred at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.‘
Claire Dunbar, Trust Secretary, has supported the Board since March 2017. Claire is a retired local government officer. First approached by founding member, former Provost, Fergus Wood to become the Trust Secretary, Claire was impressed by the passion and dedication of all Board members. Inspired by Trustee aims, Claire was delighted to uptake invitation to become a Trustee.
‘Should the project run to completion with funding support as hoped, it is believed that the artwork commission will be the only public memorial of Andrew de Moray anywhere in the world. He is known to have been a great strategist in the battle of Stirling Bridge and will be shown alongside William Wallace, as they would have once been in battle – as “brothers in arms”. Stunning artwork, in commemoration of De Moray and Wallace as co-commanders, will not only promote tourism interest, it will provide educational opportunities for the young people of Stirling. Already the Trust has evidenced substantial achievement by the offer of new lighting designs for Stirling Bridge, in partnership with the FES Group. Collectively, this project offers an extraordinary chance to revitalise a historical but currently underused area of the city and attract more visitors.’
Dr Elspeth King, Director of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, is a founding member of the Trust. First approached by Ted Christopher, Elspeth has worked in an ex-officio capacity to date.
‘I’m a trustee because I believe it’s important to create works of art for our time and beyond. This project is important because the contribution of both Andrew Murray and William Wallace to freeing Scotland from the occupation of 1297 will be realised in three-dimensional form, as believed, for the first time. Stirling has had no major work of art since the commissioning of the Bannockburn statue from Pilkington Jackson in 1964. A bold statement has to be made for both Murray and Wallace and this work will be done by one of Scotland’s foremost sculptors.’
Christine Simpson, Provost of Stirling Council, has been a Trustee in ex-officio capacity, since May, 2017, as an elected member of Stirling Council.
‘It is very important that Andrew de Moray and William Wallace are commemorated together as co-commanders at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It is believed that this artwork will be the first to do this and represents a very significant step towards public understanding of this important era in Scotland’s history.’
Fergus Wood, TD, is a founder member of the Guardians of Scotland Trust. Formerly the Provost of Stirling Council, he is a farmer, professional musician and tourist operator.
‘A proper memorial to Wallace and De Moray and the battle is long overdue.
Taking this project in its entirety to fruition, with a memorial and new lighting, will be a major addition to Stirling’s tourist offer which links in to the Castle, the Wallace Monument, and the Bannockburn Centre. This adds weight to Scotland’s mediaeval heritage. It gives Andrew de Moray his rightful place in Scotland’s history.’
Graham Douglas Lambie, is an elected member of Stirling Council (SNP) and has been a Trustee since 2015. As a professional IT Business Adviser, Graham views his role helping to fulfill Trust aims, as being important from both historical and economic perspectives.
‘The monument site will be a visitor attraction, not only to people living in Scotland, but to the wider Scottish diaspora, and will be a key tourist destination for Stirling. It is very important in my view, that Andrew de Moray and William Wallace have their equal contributions and achievements recognised in this way. The project also brings a fantastic opportunity to highlight the place of Stirling Bridge in the Scottish Wars of Independence’
Cllr. Maureen Bennison (SNP) has been involved in the Trust in an ex-officio capacity since being elected to Stirling Council and earlier as a Trustee in a personal capacity. Maureen says:
‘I have a long held view that the Trusts work is vital because it offers significant benefits to Stirling in relation to education, culture and the economy. I am looking forward to a time when, not only can Andrew de Moray be rightfully acknowledged beside William Wallace, but also to the time when we can advantage tourism through bold use of public art and new remotely controlled lighting at Stirling Bridge. I would enjoy residents and local business in Stirling receiving every benefit that Malcolm Robertson’s design offers. I believe public art can help tell the story of a place and absolutely make a positive difference, as our neighbours in Falkirk and Clackmannanshire have already shown.’
Murdo Fraser, MSP, has been a Trustee since October, 2017. Murdo is a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Mid Scotland and Fife. Murdo is pleased to contribute to the work of the Trust.
‘I have a long-standing interest in Scottish history, and am excited by proposals to remember the figure of Andrew De Moray, who simply has not had his proper place in Scotland’s story as a nation properly recognised. The Guardians of Scotland initiative will right this historic omission, and help provide a focal point for celebrating the battle of Stirling bridge.
Scotland’s history is not just important to our nation’s culture, but is increasingly significant in terms of our tourist offer. The international interest in the likes of the “Outlander” books and TV series have drawn substantial numbers of new visitors to Scotland, with a focus on exploring our history. Stirling businesses can only benefit from having a new development within the city which is likely to attract history lovers from home and abroad.’
Lauren Grant became a Trustee in 2017, and is a qualified solicitor. Previously working within the legal team at Stirling Council, Lauren was responsible for various types of work in relation to Trusts governed by the Council. Past charitable work includes as Secretary on two Trusts set up following the Dunblane tragedy. Lauren says:
I am delighted to support this Trust to highlight Stirling’s rich history through improved interpretation of the Battle of Stirling Bridge and specifically the co-commandership of Andrew de Moray and William Wallace. I believe the history of the Stirling Bridge area should be further recognised and that the Guardians of Scotland Trust’s work will only enhance Stirling’s cultural offer to the national and international pubic by re-telling the story of two pivotal characters in Scotland’s development.
Current artwork designs and new lighting proposed for Stirling Bridge are an unprecedented offer to Stirling and its ever-expanding communities. This project will collectively act to inform and offer new opportunity to both residents and tourists. It also holds promise to help create employment in the heritage-tourism sector, potentially inspiring new business development, which in turn supports and highlights Stirling’s important place in Scottish history. The ongoing work of the Trust has the potential to bring many benefits, including to future generations.
John Drummond Moray became a Trustee in 2018, following earlier term as a Patron. John is directly related to Andrew de Moray and has, since a teenager, been very interested in his Moray ancestry. The Abercairny (home of the Moray family, for over 700 years), Latin Charters, describe them as ‘de Moravia’, meaning from Moray. John has thus, long supported any initiative for improved commemoration of his ancestor at Stirling Bridge and on the 700th anniversary of the Battle, planted, what is now a large tree, beside the bridge. John has made invaluable contribution to the Trust on historic aspects of their work and for a project he agrees is long overdue. John also lends his former professional expertise to Trust planning; after working for UK, American and Japanese Institutions, in the US and the UK, John established Scotland’s first international capital market operation in George Street, Edinburgh. Following this period, he ran a number of international businesses.
‘The feat of arms achieved by Andrew Moray and William Wallace at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, 1297, was the first great victory achieved by the Scots in the Wars of Independence. Although Moray is perceived as being younger than Wallace, following his imprisonment in 1296 after the Battle of Dunbar, Moray escaped from Chester Castle, and proceeded to rally the north; while Wallace did the same in the south. Today’s, historians recognise that Moray, and his patrimony were located both in the north and in the south of Scotland, (i.e. Ormond Castle on the Black Isle, Bothwell and Dumsagard Castles near Glasgow), and arguably, as his father was the Justiciar, (Chief Law Officer of the North), Moray was in essence, the senior of the two patriots. Although Moray was to die of wounds he received at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, before his death, he was cosignatory with Wallace of a historic trade agreement between Scotland and The Hanseatic League in Lubeck, and this is manifested in a Latin Charter which places ‘Andreas de Moravia’ first.
I believe a joint statue of Moray and Wallace would go a long way to rehabilitate Moray who has hitherto been written out of history. Importantly, this project will not only contribute to the education of residents and visitors, it will also help create an increasingly vibrant tourist industry in a much greater catchment than the immediate area of Stirling’.
‘The commemoration of the victory of both William Wallace and Andrew de Moray at the Battle of Stirling Bridge will provide a visual act of remembrance on the site itself which is long overdue. This is an exciting project and I look forward to the inception of this new work.’
Allan MacInnes Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Strathclyde