The National Wallace Monument (generally known as the Wallace Monument) is a tower standing on the summit of Abbey Craig, a hilltop near Stirling in Scotland. It commemorates Sir William Wallace (c. 1270-1305), the 13th century Scottish national hero, who lead the fight for Scottish independence against Edward I of England.
The tower was constructed following a fundraising campaign, which accompanied a resurgence of Scottish national identity in the 19th century. The monument, built in the Victorian style of architecture, was completed in 1869.
The tower stands on the Abbey Craig, a volcanic crag above Cambuskenneth Abbey, from which Wallace was said to have watched the gathering of the army of King Edward I of England, just before the Battle of Stirling Bridge. My husband and I climbed the 246 step spiral staircase to the viewing gallery inside the monument’s crown. The view provides expansive views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Valley. Below are photographs taken from the viewing gallery.
A number of artifacts believed to have belonged to Wallace are on display inside the monument, including the Wallace Sword–a 5′, 4″ long sword weighing almost six pounds. Inside is also a Hall of Heroes, a series of busts of famous Scots, effectively a small national Hall of Fame.
The monument is being renovated for the 2014 Year of Homecoming Scotland.
The movie Braveheart, with Mel Gibson, was based on the life of William Wallace and his fight for independence. Wallace was captured and executed by the English before Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) led the Scots to independence at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314) not far from the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297).