The Wallace Monument in Stirling is an iconic and imposing tower that stands on Abbey Craig overlooking the Carse of Stirling, 2 miles from Stirling Castle.
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 a tactically important battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence. The Battle was won by knowledge of the land and a tactical upper hand that meant that over half of the English infantry were killed.
Abbey Craig has been a strategic stronghold since at least 1200 where a hillfort, acting as a satellite defence to Stirling was constructed. The foundation of the fort still exists and it is said locally that Wallace used the fort on the lead up to The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.
By 1861 there was much public debate about the location for a new monument to celebrate medieval William Wallace. Many wanted Glasgow to be the location and equally many felt the capital city of Edinburgh should be the location. Eventually a compromise was agreed on an the monument was built at Stirling.
The monument overlooks the Carse of Stirling, the floodplain of the River Forth that runs past Edinburgh to the North Sea. From the top of the monument you can see river winding through the city and on a good day you can see as far as The Forth Bridges almost 30 miles East. The 67 meter (220 feet) tower can be seen for miles around and features a crown atop the structure that covers the observation deck at the top of the monument.
Climbing up Abbey Craig to the Monument you start to see the view over the Carse to Stirling Castle and the Capsie hills behind. From the top of the monument the view opens further offering a 360 degree panorama from the Ochil Hills to the east all the way to the national park and Ben Lomond to the west. The city of Stirling and Causewayhead sit below the monument almost like a model village.
Inside the Wallace Monument are two cavernous halls to visit as you climb to the top. The Hall of Arms includes William Wallace’s sword which, at 1.68 meters (5.5 feet) give Wallace his reputation for being incredibly tall and therefore a dominant character.
The Hall of Heroes features busts of famous Scots including Robert Burns, King Robert the Bruce, John Knox and Wallace himself. Each has its own story to tell.