The most important bog in Scottish History

Flanders Moss NNR

A recent article in the Kippen Wee Vine community newsletter about an archaeological dig near the village shone a light on why Flanders Moss is probably the most important bog in Scottish history.

Follow the link to the Wee Vine newsletter here

It is exciting to think of Flanders being on the doorstep of key stages in Scottish history and this is partly down to landscape imapct that Flanders has on the lay of the land.

This new findings from the old fort at Keir Hill of Dasher highlights that fact that Flanders Moss is one of the most important bogs in Scottish history. The geography of this part of central Scotland has hugely influenced the happenings in history and Flanders Moss is right in the thick of it. Back through time the River Forth was a really important boundary, partly because it offered an east -west line that was difficult to cross so making it a feature that could be held for military purposes. And for any army moving north or south the geography offered few options, the hills to the west and the presence of Loch Lomond were difficult to move through. In fact there were only 2 places where you could move large numbers of soldiers and all of the associated wagons and transport needed. Stirling was the best place hence the reason why it has featured in some many strategic battles through history, Stirling Bridge, Bannockburn, Falkirk, Sherrifmuir to name a few. The Fords of Frew that lie just north of Kippen and south of Flanders, was another, as mentioned in this article. It was a place where the river was shallow enough to be able to be crossed at certain times and the wet, sticky, marshy ground of the Carse of Stirling was relatively narrow. To the east of the Fords of Frew used to lie Kincardine Moss, a huge, impassable bog until the early 1800s when it was cleared away to create productive farmland. And to the west of the Fords of Frew lay Flanders Moss, again, bigger than it is today and blocking any progress north. But as armies got bigger and more transport was needed, the Fords of Frew became less important because many times through the year it could be impassable, making Stirling all the more important.

With this recent archaeological dig adding to the picture I think Flanders can lay claim to playing a really important role in Scottish history. Surely the most influential bog in Scotland?

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