William Wallace Monument, detail of Wallace statue

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William Wallace Monument, detail of Wallace statue ( 480x640 )
The National Wallace Monument is located outside the city of Stirling. It is a tower standing on the summit of Abbey Craig. The monument commemorating 13th century Scottish hero Sir William Wallace is one of the finest sights Scotland has to offer.

Sir William Wallace was a patriot, a martyr and a guardian of Scotland. He took his campaign for freedom from England into battle and on to victory at Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

The Monument is a 67-metre tall sandstone tower built in the Victorian Gothic style. It was designed by the architect John Thomas Rochead. The construction started in 1863 and due to financial problems was not finished before 1869. The cost of £18,000 was financed from a fundraising campaign and partially from a number of foreign donors, including Italian national leader Giuseppe Garibaldi. The tower stands on the Abbey Craig 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.

It is estimated that there were in excess of 30,000 tons of stones used in the construction of the tower. The statue of Wallace on the outside of the building is solid bronze and was sculpted by David Watson Stevenson. It is situated approximately 9 metres from the ground, and the statue itself stands around 4.5 metres tall. Other motifs on the building include the Scottish Thistle, the Wallace coat of arms - surrounded by a knotted rope.

Inside the tower there are four rooms which are connected by a spiral staircase in the north-west corner and there are 246 steps to the top. The ground floor room contains the souvenir shop - with a video player and TV screen continuously playing the Mel Gibson “Braveheart” film. At the first level is an audio visual presentation on Wallace and his achievements. But it is the 700 year-old Wallace sword which makes the biggest impression. However, it is not just William Wallace who is commemorated in The Monument - generations of Scottish heroes from Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns, through Thomas Carlyle or David Livingstone to Adam Smith and Sir Walter Scott are acclaimed in the famous gallery called Hall of Heroes at a higher level. There are busts of sixteen well known Scots. From the top of the tower there are magnificent views across the Forth valley to Stirling and its Castle and, in the other direction, the Ochill Hills.

The monument was built with a caretaker's house attached. Today, that space is occupied by a tea room – Legends Coffee House.

The landmark is open every day and the last admission is 45 minutes prior to closing. You have to pay admission either at the Visitor Reception Building (in the Car Park area) or at the Reception Desk in The Monument. A minibus courtesy service operates between The Car Park and The Monument.
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