Originally published in the Scotsman on 25 June 2016
This name has a complicated history. The name of the current settlement takes its name from the watercourse that runs through it: Bannock Burn. This name first appears in a Latin text written around 1200 AD as a hill named Bannauc; from the context this most likely refers to the hills to the west of Bannockburn. It is mentioned in medieval Welsh literature as the boundary between the Britons of the Old North and the Picts. The name in British most likely meant ‘abounding in summits or spurs’.
After the battle that took place here in June 1314, the place was mentioned many times in Gaelic writing, usually referred to as Allt a’ Bhonnaich ‘the burn of the bannock’; a bannock being a type of flat bread. This is a translation of the modern Scots form of the name, though of course this interpretation has no historical authenticity.
For further research see our database: Bannockburn