The National Wallace Monument
The National Wallace Monument is a 67 meter victorian tower that overlooks the Carse of Stirling with views of the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge and Stirling Castle. The monument was constructed in 1869 to commemorate Sir William Wallace ‘Braveheart’ who was instrumental in the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th & 14th centuries and was popularised in the famous, if not historically accurate film ‘Braveheart’.
William Wallace was born around 1270 near Paisley to a noble family. He was a hero of Scotland and a patriot. He united the country’s clans and people in a single view that Scotland should be a united but independent country.
He was most famous for his role leading the Scots at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Stirling was tactically important as it was known as ’the Crossroads of Scotland’ the was main access road to the north and therefore held a strategic position in the English army’s campaign to take the north. The Battle was won not by strength of arms (as depicted in the film) but by knowledge of the land and a tactical upper hand that meant that over half of the English infantry were killed.
The Wallace Monument was funded through a crowdfunding campaign which coincided with a time of increased Scottish national identity in the mid 19th century. It houses a museum to William Wallace, the Wallace Sword at 1.63 meters long and the hall of heroes which profile many Scottish leaders including Robert the Bruce, John Knox and Robert Burns to name but a few.
At the top is a large viewing platform which offers stunning views across the area. On a good day you can see as far as Edinburgh to the east and Ben Lomond at Loch Lomond to the west.