The Battle of the
Pass of Brander
In July of 1308, Robert the Bruce led an army against the MacDougalls,
and found them on a brae-side at the head of Loch Awe, in some of the
wildest and most beautiful country of the western Highlands. John of Lorn
was ready to fight the battle from a distance, from his galley on Loch
Etive, but his kerns were placed for ambush in the narrow Pass of
Brander where the River Awe rushes by the feet of Ben Cruachan. The trap
was sprung against the MacDougalls by James Douglas, who took his
archers over the summit of Cruachan to their rear. As Bruce led his army
into the Pass and a cloud of arrows, Douglas came down the steep brown
slopes of the brae. It was a bitter and desperate battle, fought
on so narrow a field, that two horsemen could not ride together.
When the men of Lorn finally broke and ran they were drowned and
slaughtered as they fought with each other to cross a bridge over the Awe.
The galley of John MacDougall took him safely away.
The Lion in the North
The Pass of Brander, is the main
thoroughfare between Oban and Tyndrum, where the hills on the left drop
straight into Loch Awe, while on the right, there is barely enough room
on the edge of Ben Cruachan for the road and railway line to squeeze
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