There’s going to be a six-month long party to commemoration the 150th anniversary of the laying the foundation stone of the Wallace Monument atop the Abbey Craig, which is actually located in the village of Causewayhead—part of historic Stirling, home to Scottish kings and queens.
As the story goes, a committee was set up to build a monument to the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace (Braveheart) during a resurgence in Scottish patriotism. Scotland has always had a great national pride and was ripe for an expression in the 1830s when a committee was set up to plan the building of the Wallace Monument.
In addition to public subscription to raise money, the project was partially funded by contributions from a number of foreign donors, including Italian leader Giuseppe Garibaldi.
It wasn’t until June 24, 1861, that more than 100,000 people thronged the Abbey Craig, where the ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the monument took place.
More than 40 participating bands played at the festivities and a salute of artillery was discharged from the ramparts of Stirling Castle only a few miles away.
Completed in 1869 at a cost of £18,000, the monument is 220 feet tall sandstone tower, built in the Victorian Gothic style. It stands as mentioned above on the Abbey Craig which is a volcanic crag above Cambuskenneth Abbey, 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 in 1297.
Visitors climb the 246 step spiral staircase to the viewing gallery inside the monument’s crown, which provides spectacular views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Valley.
A number of artifacts said to belong to Wallace are on display inside the monument, including the Wallace Sword, which is about 5′ 6″ long (66 inches).
In addition to Sir William Wallace artifacts, the Hall of Heroes includes a series of busts of famous Scots such as King Robert the Bruce, Robert Burns, Adam Smith and Sir Walter Scott, are displayed in the gallery.
In 2011, the National Wallace Monument stands as a testament to the pride the Scots still have for William Wallace.
If you’d like to read about the terrific events planned for the celebrations click on the Stirling Observer.