Countdown to Declaration of Arbroath’s 700th anniversary

For months I’ve been working on The Illustrated Declaration of Arbroath, a unique illustrated book to coincide with celebrations of the document’s 700th anniversary in 2020. Today I released behind-the-scenes images from the ‘Declaration Studio’, which has been set up at Saltire Society Headquarters in Edinburgh, as well as a short teaser film on social media.

This will be the first book to take a creative rather than an academic approach to the Declaration of Arbroath. I hope it shows Scottish history in a new light and brings one of our most ancient artefacts to life in new and unexpected ways.

This new book will also explore the legacy of the Declaration, including its influence on Scottish political traditions and how it has been commemorated at previous anniversaries. So many of Scotland’s cultural and political ideas can be traced back to the contents of the Declaration. It’s one of the earliest foundation stones of Scottish nationhood, and I can’t wait to share it with others, renewed and reinvented.

The finished book is due to be released by the end of 2019, in the run-up to a programme of events and exhibitions for the 700th anniversary in April 2020. I’m hugely excited to be taking part in what will be an important anniversary in Scottish history.


With thanks to Pict Digital for the film and photography.