The Battle of Stirling Bridge, 1297
Clever tactics helped a small Scottish army led by William Wallace and Andrew Murray defeated a much larger English army in Stirling on 11 September, 1297.
How did William Wallace beat the English army?
The English army was far larger than the Scottish forces, so Wallace and the other Scottish leader, Andrew Murray, had to be cleverer.
The two armies were on opposite sides of the River Forth. The English could only reach the Scots by crossing a very narrow wooden bridge. On the other side of the bridge the Scots were waiting.
How Wallace and Murray used the land
- They let some of the English army cross the bridge and then attacked
- They trapped the English soldiers against the bend of the river
- The rest of the English army couldn't get over the bridge to help
- The bridge was too crowded for the English soldiers to escape over
Battle of Stirling Bridge: Key moments
What happened after the battle?
The battle was a great victory but it came at a cost.
Andrew Murray, Wallace's co-commander, was badly injured in the battle and died soon after.
King Edward I was furious at losing. He took personal control of an English army and marched north to find and beat Wallace.
The next year, Wallace and Edward would meet at the Battle of Falkirk.