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Wallace Monument
Abbey Craig, Stirling, Scotland, UK
associated engineer
Not known
date  1861 -1869
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Monument, historical  |  reference  NS815955
The Wallace Monument is built on the site where William Wallace stood before the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Wallace won the battle and championed the cause of Scottish freedom from Edward I of England.
The design of the monument was the subject of a competition, won by Edinburgh architect John Thomas Rochead. It cost more than 10,000 to build and was funded by public subscription. Work began in 1861, although the foundation stone was not laid until 1863.
The structure is 67m high and stands on a rock 91m above sea level, overlooking the valley of the River Forth. It is 16.5m square at the base and the tower is 11m square. The tapering walls vary from 4.9-5.5m thick to 1.5m thick. The building has four single-room storeys, each is approximately 7.6m square with a vaulted ceiling 6.1 to 9.1m high. The levels are connected by a spiral staircase with 246 steps to the top of the tower.
The design was intended to represent a Scottish tower in the Baronial Medieval style, topped with a stone representation of the Crown Royal of Scotland. A 4.5m tall bronze statue of Wallace stands outside the building on a 9m plinth.
Level 1 in the tower contains a display about Wallace and the 1.8m long sword that he allegedly used. This weapon is a traditional two-handed broadsword weighing 2.7kg, and its size indicates that its owner must have been some 2m tall.
Level 2 is the Hall of Heroes, with the marble busts of 16 notable Scotsmen selected in 1885, plus audio-visual tributes to later Scots. Level 3 has the Diorama, a map of the local area showing important landmarks. And Level 4 is the Crown, which has a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding area.
The monument is open to the paying public all year.
Research: ECPK
Architect: John Thomas Rochead
Stonemasonry and sculpture: Stewart McGlashen
Bronze Wallace statue: David Watson Stevenson

Wallace Monument