The National Wallace Monument, or as its more popularly known, the Wallace Monument, is a 67 metre tall sandstone tower, standing on the peak of Abbey Craig, a hilltop near Stirling in Scotland. The tower itself memorialises Sir William Wallace – The Braveheart, a 13th-century Scottish hero of renown. It was constructed following a fundraising campaign in the 19th century.
Although the majority of funds were raised due too public support, it was also subsidised by contributions and sponsorship from a number of non-Scottish individuals, including the famous Italian national leader of the time Giuseppe Garibaldi.
The Royal Chamber within the tower is also a grand place to see, a hall where you can uncover some of the facts and figures behind the building of the tower. At a cost of £18,000 and designed in the Victorian Gothic style by the architect John Thomas Rochead, construction was successfully completed in 1869 and is now recognised and admired as a national landmark.
The tower stands on the Abbey Craig overlooking Cambuskenneth Abbey, from which Wallace is reported to have watched the forces of King Edward I of England assemble in their preparation before the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Abbey Craig was also once an Iron age hill fort and has a history of human occupation dating back thousands of years
The monument is an exciting place to visit and open to the general public, with visitors given the chance to climb the 246 step spiral staircase to the Crowns viewing gallery, which provides an expansive view of the city of Stirling and the surrounding hills and valley. The view can literally take your breath away
In the the ‘Hall of Arms’ Gallery, visitors are able to see the story of when the forces of William Wallace and Andrew de Moray faced the army of King Edward I across the River Forth. It goes on to demonstrate how the Battle of Stirling Bridge (11th September 1297) was fought and won. There is an excellent 3D illuminated map showing exactly where the events took place and the walls are decked with illustrations and information boards.
The ‘Hall of Heroes’ on the second floor gallery displays busts of famous Scots, making it appear like a miniature national Hall of Fame. More importantly however, the Hall tells the tale of Wallace’s life. How he rose to be a leader and was acclaimed as a Scottish national hero, inspiring generations of Scots through centuries both during his life and after his death.
Several artefacts that are believed to have belonged to Wallace are on display, including the Wallace Sword, a 1.63-metre longsword weighing almost three kilograms, it has always been seen as a powerful symbol of his courage and skill in battle.
Unknown to most, it is actually presented on a stone quarried from the very Abbey Criag when the Monument was being built. So take that King Arthur!
This has to be one of the best ways to Explore Scotland – to view it from high above, from the rolling hills to Stirling castle, you won’t be disappointed!
If the tales are to be believed, it was the original location where William Wallace and Andrew Moray united their forces to victory against King Edward I and the English army, at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in the year 1297.
Camping in the Forest Campsite
Station Road, Gartmore
Stirlingshire, Scotland, FK8 3RR
+44 (0)1877 382 392
- Address: 18 Hillfoots Road, Stirling, Stirling FK9 5LF, UK
- GPS: 56.140089354502756,-3.9204286550170764
- Phone: 0044 (0)1786 472 140
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: FK9 5LF
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Poor (inside the tower)
- Visibility from Road: Excellent
- Image Credits: Robert Neumann