the Stirling City Guide
The Wallace Monument
The Wallace Monument stands on the Abbey Craig in the City of Stirling. 220 feet (67m) high, this Victorian Gothic tower was opened in 1869 to commemorate Scotland's greatest freedom fighter, Sir William Wallace (1267-1305). It was funded by public subscription, and donations poured in from expatriate Scots around the world. Support came from many European leaders, including the Italian patriot, Garibaldi.
In 1296, Edward I of England invaded Scotland and the Scottish Wars of Independence began. William Wallace began a guerrilla campaign against the English and became known as the hammer and scourge of the English. On 11th september, 1297, the Scots defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Read more about Sir William Wallace and the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The Wallace Monument is on the Abbey Craig, a rocky crag from which Wallace watched the English army gather on the South side of Stirling Bridge.
Planning under way for refurbishment of Wallace Monument
2014 will be an important year for Scotland - and for Stirling - with the city set to mark the 700th Anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn, one of the highlights of Scotlandís second Year of Homecoming.
At the Wallace Monument, a major redevelopment of the interior galleries will be carried out, prior to the start of the main 2014 visitor season, and interpretive exhibition design specialists Campbell and Co. from Edinburgh have been appointed to carry out the refurbishment project.
Each of the three distinctive galleries within the tower, designed by the Victorian architect J. T. Rochead, will be completely re-modelled, providing visitors with a new perspective on the life of Scotlandís national hero, and on his famous victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
The first floor of the Monument, originally known as the Hall of Arms, with its stained glass windows depicting the arms of Great Britain, of Scotland, of Wallace, and of the Burgh of Stirling, will be re-designed to provide visitors with an engaging and authoritative presentation on The Battle of Stirling Bridge. This will draw on research which has been undertaken by eminent historians with specialist knowledge of the mediaeval period.
The story of Wallaceís life - and of how he came to be recognised as Scotlandís national hero - will be told to visitors in The Hall of Heroes, on the second floor, where busts of Scottish heroes from Robert the Bruce to Robert Burns, celebrate Scotlandís contribution to science, engineering, industry and the arts. The centrepiece at this level will be one of the most symbolic artefacts housed at the Monument - the Wallace Sword, with which Scotlandís national hero struck fear into the hearts of his enemies.
On the third floor visitors will be able to learn just how significant a character Wallace was in Victorian Scotland, when the Monument was built, and how he inspired so many other memorials since the unveiling of one of the first monuments at Dryburgh in the Scottish Borders, in 1814.
The refurbishment of each gallery will involve the installation of new displays - with tablet computers making use of the latest technology, as well as the introduction of new facilities for younger visitors, an important proportion of the many thousands of visitors who come to the Monument every year.
Whilst the National Wallace Monument is a dominant landmark in Stirlingís landscape, it is also a central feature in the cityís portfolio of heritage attractions, and following the refurbishment of the Royal Palace at Stirling Castle in 2011, and the redevelopment of Bannockburn (2014), the refurbishment of the National Wallace Monument will mean that the story of Stirling, and of its place at the heart of Scotlandís history, will be presented to the cityís visitors through three outstanding venues.
From the website of the national Wallace Monument
Wallace Monument Information
246 steps take you to the the top of the tower and there are three chambers where you can stop off during your climb. Take your time and catch your breath while you look at Wallace's famous double-handed broadsword, meet William Wallace and learn of his struggle to free Scotland from English rule.
In the Scottish Hall of Heroes you will meet other great Scots sculpted in marble. Writers, explorers, inventors and statesmen including, Robert the Bruce, Sir Walter Scott, David Livingstone, Robert Burns and James Watt.
The third floor of the Wallace Monument contains the 'Building the Monument' Exhibition.
The Wallace Monument was completed in 1869 on the back of a wave of nationalism then sweeping Europe, with expatriate Scots and international figures contributing towards its construction. The exhibition tells the fascinating story behind the building of the monument, including the fund-raising campaign, the design competition, and the building and opening of what has become a national landmark. The amazing story is told of how Victorian craftsmen overcame the challenges of their day to create their masterpiece on the Abbey Craig.
There is a shuttle bus which runs from the visitor centre car park to the top of the Abbey Craig.
While you are up on the Abbey Craig, it's worth taking time to explore the semi-natural woodlands. Keep to the footpaths and do not venture near the edge of the cliffs.
There is a frequent bus service connecting Causewayhead to Stirling town centre - inquire at the bus station.
Leave M9 at junction 10 by Stirling
If you are on foot, the Wallace Monument can be reached by walking over Stirling Old Bridge and heading straight out on the Causewayhead Road. Cross over at the Causewayhead roundabout to the William Wallace pub. Walk up Logie Road to the Hillfoots Road and straight on to the visitor centre. The walk will take you about 30 minutes.
Woodland Walks and Nature Trails around the Wallace Monument and the Abbey Craig
While you are up on the Abbey Craig, it's worth taking time to explore the semi-natural woodlands and enjoy the breathtaking views. Take things at your own pace and Whether you want to enjoy a brisk walk up to the Wallace Monument or take a relaxing ramble through the woods, you will find a route that is suited to you. From the front of the Wallace Monument you can follow the trails using the special waymarkers.
Find events at the National Wallace Monument in the What's on around Stirling section of the website.
Legends Coffee House and Gift Shop
A major project designed to improve the visitor experience at The National Wallace Monument has been completed with re-development of the area at the base of The Abbey Craig, the main point of arrival for visitors coming to see the famous tower.
Relax in Legends Coffee House, with its magnificent views of the Abbey Craig and the Wallace Monument. Enjoy a speciality coffee, and make your choice from a range of home-made soups, freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps, paninis, and cakes.
You can also take time to browse around The Gift Shop, and select a souvenir of your visit from the range of Scottish clothing and crafts, including a special selection of books on the life of William Wallace and Scottish history.
Daily. All year. weather permitting
The National Wallace Monument
Tel: (01786) 472140
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