The Battle of Falkirk

The two armies faced each other at Falkirk on the 22 July 1298.

William Wallace's force was heavily outnumbered by Edward I of England's army so he positioned his men as defensively as possible.

The slideshow below shows how the two armies were positioned and how the English army surrounded the Scots.

Map showing the route of the English army during the Battle of Falkirk.

Map showing the route of the English army during the Battle of Falkirk

Wallace positioned his army facing the English, with four schiltrons flanked and protected by archers. A small cavalry force remained in the rear.

Positioning was extremely important - the ground in front of the Scottish soldiers was soft and boggy, making it difficult for the English heavy cavalry to cross.

After initial struggles the English army proved too strong for the Scots. They were driven from the battlefield.

The Scottish cavalry fled, leaving the archers exposed. Their ranks were crushed by the English cavalry.

Without the protection of cavalry or archers, the Scottish schiltrons were vulnerable. English longbowmen were able to weaken the schiltrons from a distance. As the schiltrons broke apart the English cavalry charged again.

By the time the English horses reached them, the schiltrons were in disarray. The Scottish army was massacred and Wallace was forced to flee the field.