Gracing homes and locations on every continent - except Antarctica!
Written by
John W Morgan


Very few chess sets in the world have as much thought, care and attention paid to their creation as the Battle of Bannockburn and Robert Burns Chess Sets, with a remarkable bonus for chess players:

Have you ever played with a chess set where all 32 pieces are different? Only then do you have the additional responsibility for each character on the board – losing a pawn is one thing but losing a Campbell Pikeman, a Highland bagpiper, or an English Archer is suddenly a bit more personal – and could you take the responsibility for losing William Wallace or Richard de Burgh; Stirling Castle or the Tower of London?

Whenever we play at home and it looks like we’re about to lose a Wallace or a King’s Bannerman, we switch the pieces around. Which probably breaks every rule in the book – but then, Bannockburn wasn’t won by Queensberry Rules!


John W Morgan and Nigel Tranter 1996

Nigel Tranter’s Bannockburn Chess Set was the predecessor to today’s magnificent 700th Anniversary edition and was inspired the historic novelist’s trilogy, “The Bruce”, a literary time machine that transported me back into the deepest and most passionate heart of our nation’s history and sowed the seeds for this magnificent set.

It was then a delight and great honour when the author agreed to work with us in producing what is now one of the world’s finest chess sets. Over 18 months between 1994 and 1996 we met regularly, deciding who the players would be and reviewing the excellent models produced by artisan Steve Trickett, under the watchful eye of historic costume historian, Andrew Spratt.

There was debate, compromise and always fascination.

With Tranter’s sad death in 2000 we closed off sales of the Nigel Tranter edition, only returning to the adventure in 2014 to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. In order to protect the integrity of the original, we changed six of the players for the new edition.

As it was he who inspired the first set, it is to his honour and memory that we have dedicated this 700th Anniversary edition of the Battle of Bannockburn Chess Set to Nigel Tranter, the gentleman novelist.


Whether it’s to play, as a gift or simply to admire, the 700th Anniversary limited edition Battle of Bannockburn Chess set will grace any home, as a focus for today and an heirloom for future generations.

The first Bannockburn Chess Set was sold in 1996 to Walt DisneyWorld, for the British Pavilion in the Epcot Centre, Florida. Since then we have sent Bruce, Edward and their armies off to every continent - except Antarctica! Battle of Bannockburn Chess sets are gracing homes in USA, Canada, Australia, Africa, China, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, England, Wales and Ireland– and, of course, Scotland.

Sadly, it’s too big and heavy to entertain today’s astronauts on their long journeys into the unknown! But these magnificent sets will be here for generations so, who can say where the battle between Bruce and the Plantagenet will eventually be played out?