The Declaration of Arbroath is to go on display next year, offering the public a rare chance to view the historic document 700 years after its creation.

The Declaration will go on show at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from March 27 to April 26 next year.

It will be the first time in 15 years that the fragile item has gone on public display.

The Declaration, dated April 6 1320, was written by the barons and freeholders of Scotland, on behalf of the Kingdom of Scotland, to Pope John XXII, asking him to recognise Scotland's independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country's lawful king.

Written in Latin, it is thought to have been drawn up at Arbroath Abbey.

Alice Blackwell, curator of Medieval Archaeology and History at National Museums Scotland, said: "It is a hugely significant document and a vital piece of Scotland's history.

"We look forward to welcoming many visitors next year to enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing this iconic document close up."

Paul Lowe, chief executive of National Records of Scotland, said: "The Declaration of Arbroath is a key treasure in our extensive collections and we're very proud of the role we play in conserving this hugely significant historical artefact for future generations.

"National Records of Scotland is delighted to help display this famous and fragile document for Scots and for visitors from further afield."