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Bannockburn Heritage Centre: Flagpole.

The flagpole, guiding people to the spot where Robert the Bruce planted his standard in the Borestone during the historic battle against the English, was in need of repair in order to carry on flying the proud cross of St Andrew. Working with a specialist company Eura was asked to clean back to bare metal, repair and repaint the flagpole along with re-making the axehead, the crown the thistles and conserving the remaining plaque.

Project location:

In 1870, funded by the Dumbarton Lodge of Oddfellows, a flagpole was erected to mark the historic spot where, in 1314, Robert the Bruce planted his standard on the Borestone during the battle of Bannockburn. The flagpole provided a marker for visitors to find their way to the site and had originally been embellished with ornate thistles, a crown, a bronze memorial plaque and slightly incongruously, a star. The top of the flagpole was surmounted by an interpretation of Robert the Bruce’s axe – of vital importance in the early stages of the battle. The flagstaff, made of riveted sections of wrought iron, may well have been completed on site but over the years had suffered badly from corrosion, removal of thistles and crown and the axe becoming more like a scrapyard item by the day. Working with a flagpole specialist Eura Conservation carefully removed the paint from the pole by ultra-high-pressure water. Not only does this remove corrosion down to bare metal ready for immediate repair and re-painting but is an environmentally sound method of cleaning, leaving paint residues in a geotex membrane whilst the water drains away. The flagpole was repaired invisibly prior to painting. Measurements were taken from the scars of the thistles, the base of the pole and information gleaned from old photos and postcards in order to model the curves of the base of the pole and fabricate a new thistle. There were no photos or information of sufficient clarity to accurately model a new crown above the shield plaque. Historical and artistic information was used to design a new crown. Both thistle and crown are yet to be cast as I write this and the photos represent work in progress. However, our skilled metal workers have carefully measured the old axe head and with this information,have designed and made brand new in stainless steel.

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