Robert the Bruce statue in place after 130-year delay

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A statue of Robert the Bruce has taken its place at a Scottish town hall following a 130-year delay.

A plinth was erected above the main entrance when the prominent building was constructed on Annan's High Street in the 19th Century.

However, because of financial problems, the statue was never commissioned.

A local committee started fundraising two years ago and a bronze image of Bruce, Lord of Annandale, has finally been put in place in the town.

A special dedication service will also be staged on Friday.

A total of £40,000 was raised to help complete the statue which weighs more than 250kg (39st 5lb) and stands about 2m (6ft 6in) high.
“ It looks absolutely stunning and captures just what we were looking for in terms of Robert the Bruce as a nation builder ”
Roderick McCallum Bruce committee secretary

Committee secretary Roderick McCallum said it was important to recognise the role the 14th Century king had played in local history.

"The Bruces became Lords of Annandale having been gifted this land by the king, basically, I think, to help to pacify the natives," he said.

Their first castle was also built in Annan near to where the town hall now stands.

Mr McCallum added: "The Bruces, as Lords of Annandale, were an important part of our history."

He said that finally putting the statue in place would "correct the deficit" from more than a century ago.

Artist Andrew Brown, originally from Port William, said the work presented a number of challenges.

"One of the difficulties was judging the finished height of the bronze because he was made on ground level and yet he's being displayed 30ft up," he said.

"It was an unknown quantity what he was actually going to look like in situ."

Another issue was deciding exactly how the statue should look.

Mr Brown said: "They have got his skull and there are some nasty, nasty marks on his skull which tell the tale of all the battles he fought in.

"But apart from that we don't have any images of Robert the Bruce.

"It was a case of deciding what age I wanted to sculpt him at - as a mature man - and then getting the details of the costume right."

Mr McCallum said that the artist had managed to meet the committee's requirements.

He said: "It looks absolutely stunning and captures just what we were looking for in terms of Robert the Bruce as a nation builder."

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