A SERIES of talks on Robert the Bruce will take place next month as part of the bi-centenary celebrations of Dunfermline Abbey.

Five lectures will be delivered from historians with a particular interest in Scotland's famous warrior king.

They will begin at the Abbey on November 5, the anniversary of the re-interment of the Bruce Bones, and end on St Andrew's Day.

Bruce ascended to the Scottish throne in 1306 and famously defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.  

On his death in 1329, and in line with his death bed request, Bruce’s heart was removed so that it might posthumously be taken to the Holy Land.

It was being carried by Sir James Douglas but he was killed in battle in Teba, in Spain, and the heart was returned to Scotland and buried in Melrose Abbey in the Borders, where it still lies to this day.

The rest of his body was buried at Dunfermline Abbey although his tomb was destroyed during the Reformation (along with all the other Royal tombs in the Abbey).

Fragments of it along with Bruce’s remains were discovered in 1817 and excavated in 1818.

The skeletal remains were reinterred beneath Dunfermline Abbey Church and the grave sealed with a thick layer of molten bitumen to protect it from interference.

The existing fragments of the tomb are held with National Museums Scotland, Abbotsford House, Hunterian Museum and Dunfermline Museum.

The 'Bruce Lectures' will be on consecutive Tuesday afternoons and then on Saturday, November 30. All talks will be in the Abbey itself and will commence at 2pm.

On November 5, Michael Penman, from Stirling University, will talk on the finding and re-interring of the Bruce Bones on the anniversary of the re-interment, while Iain Fraser will talk on the Lost Tomb on November 12.

The following week, Martin McGregor, from Glasgow University, will talk on the identity of the Incumbent of the Tomb, while on November 26, Michael Penman will return to talk about his Radar Studies and Findings in Dunfermline Abbey.

The series will finish on November 30 with a lecture from Lucy Dean, from the University of the Highlands and Islands, who will talk on Bruce’s Funeral Ceremony and Other Similar Burials.

Entry to each talk is £5, payable at the door. If you wish to attend all five talks, you can get a ticket for £20 at either of the first two talks.