In 1307, King Robert the Bruce begun to slowly win back control of Scotland through stealthy tactics and guerilla warfare. His small bands of warriors had already won small skirmishes, but he knew when the time came, a fixed battle was an entirely different prospect. That inevitable showdown soon came at Loudon Hill.
The small army of 600 Scots were hugely outnumbered, facing a force of around 3000 Englishmen led by the Earl of Pembroke. That was the same man who had defeated Bruce at Methven only a year earlier and forced him to go on the run. The King had learned his lesson though and he had picked his battlefield wisely.
The area around Loudon Hill was a boggy marsh with only one narrow, passable highway. Deep trenches were dug to funnel the English even further and remove any chance of surrounding the Scots. As Pembroke and his heavy cavalry charged towards the waiting spears, they soon discovered another surprise.
Bruce’s men had dug pits filled with sharp spikes right in front of their position. The soldiers at the front fell and those rushing behind them only made matters worse. Scottish spears piled into the disorganised mass of men and horses, causing panic amongst their ranks.
In a battle of wits against sheer power, the Bruce’s tactical genius had won the day. Pembroke’s army was forced to flee in disarray and Robert the Bruce had redeemed himself as King of Scots.