Braveheart 2000 Convention


Bravehearts 2000

Updated 10th September, 2000

Burn it!

The first Braveheart Convention was held in September 1997.

The second gathering, Braveheart 2000, was held in Scotland on 18th, 19th, and 20th August, 2000. This webpage tries to give a flavour for what went on at the 2000 Convention.

Burn it!

Braveheart 2000 Programme
Friday 18th - 'Stirling Day'

11:00 - 12:30
Airth Castle
Airth Castle Hotel

In today's quieter times, the present hotel on the site, incorporating the castle building, is a modern 4-star hotel (part of the Radisson group of hotels).

Registration took place at the Airth Castle Hotel, between Stirling and Falkirk, where Braveheart 2000 was based.

This location has a long association with William Wallace. Blind Harry's epic poem (the Braveheart of the late 15th century) describes how Wallace stormed Airth Castle to rescue his uncle who was imprisoned there.

Wallace Tower

13:30 - 14:30

After lunch at the hotel, we visited Cambuskenneth Abbey.

If William Wallace has a grave site in Scotland, then this is the place. Local legend tells of the monks of the Abbey taking down the arm of William Wallace, which had been on display in Stirling on the orders of Longshanks, and burying it at the spot marked by the stone in the photograph on the left.

This stone still shows a carved 'W', which is rapidly being worn away by the elements.

With the 695th anniversary of the death of William Wallace due in the coming week, we placed some flowers at the spot.


14:30 - 15:30
The Stirling Story

We then visited the Smith Museum & Art Gallery in Stirling, to see the excellent 'The Stirling Story' exhibition.
Blind Harry
Elspeth King and her staff have made a superb job of collecting and displaying the pieces in the exhibition, with the sections on Wallace's life and legacy being of particular interest to Braveheart 2000 attendees.

15:30 - 17:00
National Wallace Monument

We were fortunate with the weather, and had a visit to the National Wallace Monument in warm and dry weather.

The local tourist board continue to develop the presentation of information at the monument, and deserve our ongoing thanks for continuing to have Tom Church's Wallace statue on display at the car park.

19:00 - 01:00
Warrior Poet
Warrior poet?

In the evening on Friday, we had a 'Braveheart Banquet' at Stirling Castle. This was a great success, and our thanks go to all the people who worked to hard to make it so enjoyable for everyone i.e.
  • Tom Mackenna (costumes & jesters)
  • The Braveheart Band
  • Leiths (caterers)
  • 'Skelpit Lug' (dance band)
  • Historic Scotland (the venue)

We have excellent video footage taken during the evening, and we will post stills taken from the video on these pages when we get a chance.
Braveheart Band

Saturday 19th - 'Wallace Day'

10:30 - 11:00
Robroyston memorial to Wallace
Robroyston monument

When we visited Robroyston, David Ross explained the history of the location and of the monument, including the recent installation of a plaque to mark the monument's 100th anniversary.

August 2000 saw the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Robroyston memorial to William Wallace, at the spot where he was betrayed and captured. Nearby is 'Wallace's Well' (see below), where he would have had his last drink of water as a free man.

Wallace's Well

11:30 - 13:00
Paisley Abbey

Moving on from Robroyston, we visited  Paisley Abbey, where it is believed that young William Wallace was taught by the monks.

 paisley_abbey.jpg (14873 bytes)
Paisley Abbey

14:00 - 17:00
Elderslie momument
Elderslie Monument

On Saturday afternoon we attended the annual 'Wallace' Day at Elderslie, the first such day of the new millenium.

Young Scot

Most of the Braveheart 2000 attendees joined the march from Johnstone town centre to the Elderslie Monument marking Wallace's birthplace.

There were excellent speeches from Anne Lorne Gillies and Ian Anderson (of BBC radio), and then David Ross introduced James Robinson and Andrew Weir - the 'boys' from 'THE movie'.

Wallace Day
David Ross (speaking), James and Andrew (young William, Hamish) on right

wallace_day_2000_wreaths.jpg (27443 bytes)
James and Andrew then laid the Society of William Wallace's wreath at the monument.

We had a film crew with us from Paramount pictures in Los Angeles. They were shooting footage which was to be shown during the following week on CNN news and on other USA and Canadian TV networks in the run-up to the August 29th release of the Braveheart DVD.

We were also joined by a second film crew who were making a Discovery Channel show - 'Lonely Planet: Scotland'. The photo on the right shows the Discovery Channel presenter Megan McCormick talking about William Wallace at the Elderslie monument.

Afterwards we spent some time at the Eldeslie village hall with the Society of William Wallace members, before heading back for the Airth Castle Hotel.

Megan McCormick

18:30 - 20:00
Hugh on TV

William Wallace stormed Airth Castle to rescue his uncle, and Hugh Robertson and his 'Fire and Sword' group brought those days back again.

They were there with their tent, swords, shields, long spears (some 'longer than others') and showed how it was done in the old days.

By this time we had three film crews with us, having been joined by an Italian crew making a 'Celtic Caravan' documentary for the 2001 Cannes Television festival.

Hugh, playing the part of the English commander, insulted the Scottish standard bearer.

He also insulted a Scottish peasant, and even made fun of William Wallace himself.

Things however didn't end well for Hugh. He 'picked a fight' with the wrong Scotsman.


Scottish standard bearer

Fire and Sword

Sunday 20th - 'Braveheart Day'

11:00 - 13:00
Monumental ...

Brave Art by Andrew Hillhouse


'Braveheart Day' at the Falkirk Town Hall started with talks by:
  • Ian Scott (Saltire Society) on Falkirk's place in the Wallace story.
  • John Walker (Falkirk Local History Society) on the Falkirk battlefield location.
  • Seoras Wallace on his involvement in Braveheart and the Braveheart phenomenon.
  • David Ross on the historical locations shown in Braveheart.

 Seoras Wallace and David Ross
Seoras and David

Artist Andrew Hillhouse produced a beautiful painting entitled 'I belong here' for Braveheart 2000 (see left).

ian_in_waking_ned.jpg (8763 bytes)
Ian (in 'Waking Ned')

I belong here
This was presented to Marilyn Bannen (wife of the late Ian Bannen, who played The Bruce's father in Braveheart) on behalf of Braveheart fans everywhere in memory of Ian who is sadly missed.

Boys on scooter

Stephen Adair brough along his excellent 'Braveheart scooter' to Braveheart Day.

scooter_01.jpg (20396 bytes)

Young 'Hamish' and young 'William' are pictured on the scooter on the left.


Braveheart fan Melanie MacArthur, with her 'In the year of Our Lord ...' tattoo.


truck_at_falkirk.jpg (28740 bytes)

Stephen and Avril Wilson came all the way from Fraserburgh to Braveheart 2000 with their wonderful Braveheart truck. We have more photo of the truck and will put these on a webpage soon.

wilsons.jpg (26921 bytes)
Stephen & Avril Wilson

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Wallace's wedding cloth to Murron

We had one of the Mel Gibson costumes from the movie on display (see left) and the original of the wedding cloth which Wallace gave to Murron in Braveheart.

14:00 - 17:00
lochlan.jpg (16638 bytes)
John Murtagh

In the afternoon on Braveheart Day we had a special 5th Anniversary Braveheart showing
in the Falkirk Town Hall cinema.

John Muragh (who played Lochlan in Braveheart) was kind enough to say a few words about what William Wallace meant to him as a Glaswegian, and paid tribute to the late Ian Bannen, and the way he had helped make it possible for actors to remain Scottish and yet still get major roles in film, theatre and television.


wallace_01.jpg (21950 bytes)

brian_the_projectionist.jpg (17837 bytes)
Brian, the Falkirk Town Hall projectionist, with the Braveheart print before the showing
archers.jpg (24958 bytes)

dvd_premiere_01.jpg (25910 bytes)
Marguerite Marsh & Mr Van Der Hoek

Thanks to Ric and Marguerite Marsh and their portable DVD player (Region One), we were able to have the world premiere of Braveheart on DVD in Scotland at Braveheart 2000.

dvd_premiere_02.jpg (22194 bytes)

17:00 - 18:00

Braveheart 2000 closed at the Falkirk Town Hall after the movie showing and sadly we all went our separate ways ... until next time?

Warrior poets ...

1997 BRAVEHEART Convention

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