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Stirling's Wallace Monument

walscot.jpg (11897 bytes)The William Wallace Monument seen here from Stirling Castle with the statue of Robert the Bruce in the foreground was completed in 1870 and stands 220ft high. The tower was constructed following a fundraising campaign which accompanied a resurgence of Scottish national identity in the 19th century. In addition to public subscription, it was partially funded by contributions from a number of foreign donors, including Italian national leader Giuseppe Garibaldi. Completed in 1869 to the designs of architect John Thomas Rochead, the monument is a 220 foot sandstone tower, built in the Victorian Gothic style. It stands on the Abbey Craig, a volcanic crag above Cambuskenneth Abbey, from which Wallace was said to have watched the gathering of the army of English king Edward I, just before the Battle of Stirling Bridge. The monument is open to the general public. Visitors climb the 246 step spiral staircase to the viewing gallery inside the monument's crown, which provides expansive views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Valley. A number of artifacts believed to belong to Wallace are on display inside the monument, including the Wallace Sword, a 5 foot 4 inch-long claymore. The climb to the top is not for everyone as a narrow spiral stairway has to be negotiated.
In 1997, a statue of “William Wallace” was placed in the car park of the Wallace Monument. The statue however appeared not to resemble the historic face of Wallace; rather it seemed to be modelled after Mel Gibson's appearance as Wallace in the film Braveheart. Wallace’s shield even reads the word ‘Braveheart’,with the lease for the space it occupies due to expire, the statue was for sale at an asking price of 350,000 with no takers. This discontent may be responsible for noticeable damage inflicted upon the statue's nose.

 

Easily seen and signposted from anywhere in the Stirling area.

       

 


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