The National Wallace Monument, Stirling

The National Wallace Monument at Abbey Craig, Stirling, Scotland, holds a commanding place within sight of Stirling Bridge, where, in 1297, William Wallace’s army defeated King Edward I’s English invaders.

National Wallace Monument, Stirling

It sits majestically high up on a hill, visible from the motorway below, and peers out from above the trees. It was designed by architect J T Rochead, whose design came first in a national competition to find the perfect concept to commemorate one of Scotland’s national heroes. Building began in 1861 and was eventually finished in 1869. It is one of more than 20 monuments to William Wallace in Scotland.

National Wallace Monument, Stirling

The walk up Wallace Way to the monument takes about 15 – 20 minutes and is sometimes quite steep. However, I enjoyed the walk and you can always reward yourself with a cream tea in the cafe afterwards, although on the day I visited it was served with Scottish jam and English clotted cream – I’m not sure what Willam Wallace would have made of that!

The trail to the monument is enlivened with wooden sculpture and a timeline of Scottish history designed to keep all ages engaged on the hefty walk. For those who are elderly or infirm (or willing to pay?, I didn’t find out) a minibus periodically drops people off at the monument and makes the return journey down the hill afterwards.


Images author’s own


7 thoughts on “The National Wallace Monument, Stirling

    1. Thanks! They are awesome – it was a great little walk up hill. It made 2 lazy forty-somethings feel like they’d achieved something!
      Your question is a little out of my sphere but I’ll attempt it! It took around 7 years to build the Natural History Museum in London, which is larger. I would suggest terrain and location had something to do with the length of the build. There is no indication on its website regarding duration of build so I can only assume it went to plan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for researching! In the first moment, this sounded like a long time, but nowadays big architecture projects can take just as long as this project a hundred and fifty years ago…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t remember any of those sculptures – maybe they are new since we were there last about 6 years ago. Though we walked out from Stirling via Cambuskenneth Abbey so maybe we approached a different way (I remember slithering up the hill). I don’t know if it was meant to take that long to build, but it came in at double the original budget apparently.

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