THE Battle of Bannockburn site was found vandalised yesterday with graffiti branding Robert the Bruce a “racist king” and calling for his statue to be removed.

Images on social media appeared to show markings on the wall at the visitor centre and the statue.

National Trust for Scotland bosses, who operate the centre, said they were “disappointed” by the act.

The general manager for Edinburgh and East, Stuart Maxwell, said: “We are very disappointed by the vandalism of the iconic Bruce statue at Bannockburn and the A listed rotunda.

The National:

"This comes at a time when our charity is suffering serious financial hardship and this is a cost we could do without.

"We would like to thank the local community for their support in responding so quickly to this incident.

"A contractor will visit the site this afternoon.”

Other locals branded the vandalism “disgusting” as the images were shared widely online.

Graffiti on the visitor centre wall read: “Robert was a racist, bring down the statue.”

The spray-paint on the statue reads “Racist king BLM” and “Black Lives Matter”.

The National:

Stirling Police are now investigating the graffiti, which nobody has claimed responsibility for.

A spokesperson said: “We were made aware on Friday, June 12, of vandalism to the Battle of Bannockburn heritage site, near Stirling. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Meanwhile local MP Alyn Smith said: “I’m aware with @RHBruceCrawford of vandalism at the Bannockburn site. @StirlingCouncil is on it and this will be cleared soon. I’ve been vocal in my support of #BlackLivesMatter and hope such counterproductive stupidity is an isolated incident.”

READ MORE: Was Robert the Bruce really a 'racist king'?

It comes after campaigners Topple the Racists identified more than a dozen statues in Scotland with links to slavery and colonialism which they say should be removed.

However, the Bannockburn site was not identified on that interactive map - and the Bruce was not involved in racist slavery, as the trade did not include Scotland or Scots until centuries after his death in 1329.

The removal of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol at the weekend has sparked a conversation about what the UK’s public statues represent.