I have always been interested in medieval history and I love my Battle of Bannockburn Chess Set! The chess-piece characters are beautifully designed and the pewter chessboard is magnificent. It is very different from a chessboard made of wood. In fact, we like the beautiful images of the Scottish Thistle and the Tudor Rose of England so much, that my wife went looking for the same images on the internet. As you can see from the photograph she found two glasses with the same seals.
To be honest, I am not a good chess player myself, but this wonderful set is a great asset to our home. In a way, it is adding to the history of our house which was built in 1513 - only two hundred years after Bannockburn, and is now a cultural heritage. I am grateful to you, Stirling 1314, for such an excellent transaction. It would not have been possible without you.
I hope you like the pictures, taken by my daughter Aletha Buitink @alethabuitinkfotografie.
My two all-time heroes are Robert Burns and Robert the Bruce. When I discovered the amazing Stirling 1314 Battle of Bannockburn and Robert Burns Chess sets, I couldn’t choose between them, so I had to get both in the end!
I’d love to show photographs but, unfortunately, both sets are now in storage awaiting my home refurbishment to complete. The chess sets are going to have pride of place in my new bar area, and photographs will follow in 2023. Such unique and beautiful products, it was my great pleasure to unpack, enjoy and, sadly, pack up again!
Well done to John and the team for the care and attention to the superb detail apparent in these chess sets. And thanks to John also for introducing me to the books of Nigel Tranter – I really enjoyed his Bruce trilogy. I am really happy with both sets and can’t wait to put them on display - and let the games begin!
“More than 25 years ago I took my wife and three children to Disneyworld to visit the newly built Epcot Center, an educational and cultural center for so many nations of the world. And it was there, in the British Pavilion, I first saw the" Battle of Bannockburn " Chess set.
“As a young man I was never passionate about the game of chess, although I do remember playing with an onyx chess set from Mexico. And so it was, that I fell in love with the Bannockburn Chess set - as a stunning piece of Art, not necessarily for the game of Chess!
“Since then, this imposing set has been on display in our home as a piece of Art and has led me to a much greater interest in the game. I used to play with my son Harrison, but these days he keeps winning so I have decided to dedicate my attention to my grandson, Corbin, who recently turned 8. Corbin has shown great interest in the set and the story of Bannockburn. It turned out he had already learned to play chess, and this set suddenly kindled his interest.
“I suspect our Bannockburn chess set will realise a great deal of use in the next generation. Maybe more…”
Our family moved to Australia when I was a child. My Dad is a real aficionado of Burns and our upbringing included Robert Burns and his importance to society. When I came to Scotland in 1997 with my new wife, we visited Stirling, where I discovered the Robert Burns Chess Set. Each chess piece depicted a different character in the works and life of Burns - the craftsmanship and detail was exceptional. So much so, I couldn’t wait to send my dad to the website.
Fast forward to 2008 and we pay a return visit to Scotland with our two lovely boys. Over the years, I kept in touch with John Morgan, and contacted him prior to our trip to Scotland. He invited us to view the sets and that was the first time I had held the pieces. After a wonderful couple of hours talking Burns and Scottish history, we duly bought the Burns set which now takes pride of place in our formal lounge room, here in Nicholls, ACT.
When friends and business associates visit our home the set is always admired. We have played with the set many times, though none of us of us are chess masters, it’s the artwork and artistry of the set that I love. I would highly recommend these sets to anyone without hesitation.
You can see from the image, the first Burns sets had a wooden chessboard. I am delighted to say John has made it possible for me to buy the stunning new metal board. And just to cap it all, I have now added the Battle of Bannockburn Set to my collection. Photographs to follow!
So much so that the word has become a decisive term to describe a turning-point in any dire situation. And Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, whose all but personal triumph it was, enshrined his name in the history of Scotland, England and the lands beyond. When even the most determined and courageous would have given up on the struggle long before, Bruce fought on. His victory, against overwhelming odds, was one of the greatest achievements in military history and became part of the folklore of Scotland's perpetual struggle for self-direction.
From his mother he inherited his gypsy good looks, charm, and an instinct for music, especially in song. From his father came his stubborn integrity and a passion for words. To him, Robert owed his mind. We remember RobertBurns as the singer of the parish who became the bard of the nation and a poet for the world. He told of ordinary things in an extraordinary way that still gives us new insights into who and what we are. This remarkable chess set reflects the faces and places of reality and fantasy that wove their way into his life. The poetry is embedded in the chessboard - and in the imagination of those who move the pieces.
"With an amazing eye for detail John Morgan has created two magnificent chess sets. Painstakingly produced from hand cast pewter, the Robert Burns and Battle of Bannockburn chess sets would grace the homes of any serious chess player or collector with a keen interest in Scottish history and literature. It is certainly rare that chess sets of this importance and stature become available and, in my view, both make a wonderful contribution to the long history of chess which dates back to c600 AD.”