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The National Wallace Monument

Wallace Monument image

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.
After defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, Wallace was betrayed and captured. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in London in 1305, and has since become a symbol for Scotland and Freedom.

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.

Plan your visit to the Wallace Monument

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The National Wallace Monument

The National Wallace Monument recently had the most extensive refurbishment undertaken in its 145 year history. We're looking forward to welcoming visitors old and new so, whether it's a first time visit or you want to come and rediscover the story of Scotland's National Hero, we look forward to welcoming you to Stirling's famous landmark.

A major redevelopment of the interior galleries has been carried out. Each of the three distinctive galleries within the tower, designed by the Victorian architect J. T. Rochead, have been completely re-modelled, providing visitors with a new perspective on the life of Scotland's 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 Wallace's life and of how he came to be recognised as Scotland's national hero, will be told to visitors in The Hall of Heroes, on the second floor. Here busts of Scottish heroes from Robert the Bruce to Robert Burns, celebrate Scotland's contribution to science, engineering, industry and the arts. The centrepiece at this level is one of the most symbolic artefacts housed at the Monument, the Wallace Sword, with which Scotland's national hero struck fear into the hearts of his enemies.

On the third floor visitors can 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 involved 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 Stirling's landscape, it is also a central feature in the city's 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 means that the story of Stirling, and of its place at the heart of Scotland's history, is presented to the city's visitors through three outstanding venues.

Wallace Monument Information

Wallace Monument image

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.

The Hall of Arms
The forces of William Wallace and Andrew de Moray face the army of King Edward I across the River Forth. In this gallery the story is told of how the Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought and won, with an illuminated map showing exactly where the events of 11th September 1297 took place, whilst Wallace and de Moray are depicted in a film, discussing the aftermath of the conflict, and what it means for Scotland.

The Hall of Heroes
The second floor gallery tells the story of Wallace's life and of how he came to be acclaimed as a national hero, who would inspire generations of Scots through the centuries. The striking centrepiece on this floor is the Wallace sword, a powerful symbol of his courage and skill, presented on stone quarried from the Abbey Criag when the Monument was being built

The Royal Chamber
This is where you can uncover some of the facts and figures behind the building of this Victorian masterpiece, now recognised and admired as a national landmark. A miniature version of the Tower in this gallery allows children to get to grips with building their own Monument.

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.
Or you could walk the tarmac path up the hill and through the woods which surrounds the monument. If you decide not to climb the Wallace Monument, you will still be rewarded with a panoramic view from the base but the view from the top is breathtaking.

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.

Getting there

wallace monument view

There is a frequent bus service connecting Causewayhead to Stirling town centre. Inquire at the bus station.

Leave M9 at junction 10 by Stirling
Abbey Craig, 1 mile North East of Stirling town centre, via Causewayhead

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.

Read more about Woodland Walks and Nature Trails around the Wallace Monument and the Abbey Craig

Map of Woodland Walks and Nature Trails on the Abbey Craig

Legends Coffee House and Gift Shop

A major project designed to improve the visitor experience at The National Wallace Monument. The coffee house is 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.

The National Wallace Monument
Abbey Craig
Hillfoots Road
Stirling FK9 5LF

Tel: 01786 472140


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