NS8095 : The National Wallace Monument

taken 24 years ago, near to Causewayhead, Stirling, Great Britain

The National Wallace Monument
The National Wallace Monument
The resolution to erect a national monument to William Wallace in Stirling was adopted on Bannockburn Day (the 24th of June), 1856, and the foundation stone was laid on Bannockburn Day, 1861, before a large crowd of onlookers.

In 1859, Sir Joseph Noel Paton had made the first suggestion for a design; he proposed a giant sculpture of a lion trampling and slaying a Typhon (a monster with a human upper half, and a lower half consisting of serpent coils).

However, Paton's design was rejected, and J.T.Rochead's design for a 220-foot tower of stone was adopted instead. The monument took eight years to build, and it was formally handed over to its custodians on the 11th of September, 1869, the 572nd anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The statue(*) Link of William Wallace that is visible on the corner of the tower is by D.W.Stevenson; it was added to the monument in 1887.

Note the carved stonework that runs up the left-hand side of the tower; this contains the narrow spiral stairway (with 246 steps) that leads to the viewing area at the top of the monument; it also provides access to floors within the tower which house exhibits such as the Wallace Sword (there are long gaps in the recorded history of this item, but records of King James IV from 1505 mention that a "Wallas Sword" was provided with a new hilt and pommel): NS8095 : The Wallace Sword, Wallace Monument, Stirling.

Visible in the lower right corner of the image is the Wallace coat of arms, surmounted by a thistle; passing in front of the thistle, and along the adjacent sections of wall, is the carved representation of a rope.

To put this view into context, compare Link and Link

[For more information, see, e.g., "Introducing William Wallace", by Elspeth King.]

(*) A modern statue, styled after Mel Gibson in the film "Braveheart", was installed in the nearby car park in 1997: NS8095 : Freedom!; to the regret of few, it was removed in 2008. I have no problem with the film "Braveheart" itself, although many love to complain about it (ostensibly because of its historical inaccuracies, and to such an extent that it might be thought the only Hollywood film ever to contain any such errors). The film itself is based on Blind Harry's poem "The Wallace", and is best viewed in that light. The poem was written almost two centuries after Wallace's life; hence the discrepancies. My main objection to the statue itself is that, for this particular setting and location, I did not think it was an appropriate representation of the great patriot.
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NS8095, 131 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
August 1997   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 22 December, 2009
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Educational sites 
Period (from Tags)
19th Century 
Person (from Tags)
William Wallace 
Architect (from Tags)
J T Rochead 
Sculptor (from Tags)
David Watson Stevenson 
Monument > Monument   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 8091 9567 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:8.3296N 3:55.0811W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 8089 9567
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Other Tags
Bannockburn Day  National Wallace Monument 

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