Monument, immensely impressive on its wooded summit, is one of Scotland's best
known landmarks and a national icon. Those who paid for admission at the
visitor centre can ascend the tower via a spiral staircase, and see Wallace's
enormous broadsword and the superb views from the top.
Monument is situated on the top of Abbey Craig, overlooking the river Forth and
the Forth Valley. As we approached the mist was still hanging around the top of Abbey Craig. Only Stirling Castle, a few miles away across the river Forth,
makes a bigger impression on the area. Abbey Craig at one time was the site of
a hill fort and in 1297 William Wallace camped there before defeating the
English attempting to cross the Forth at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
is 220 feet high, 54 square feet at its base, with the tower 36 square feet.
The walls are 16/18 feet at their thickest, tapering to 5 feet thick at their
thinnest. It is estimated that there were in excess of 30,000 tons of stones
used in the construction.
The idea for
a monument to one of Scotland's National Heroes began in the 1830s on a
world-wide tide of Scottish nationalism. Sir Walter Scott was fanning these flames - he
had rediscovered the "Honours of Scotland" (crown, sword and sceptre)
in Edinburgh Castle in 1818, 111 years after they had been locked away after
the Union of the Parliaments in 1707. And
of course his novels had led to a re-awakening of an interest in Scotland's
A group of
prominent Scots formed a National Monument Committee in the 1830s. However, in
typical committee fashion, it took until the 1850s before serious steps were
taken to build a monument. Initially the preferred site was Glasgow Green.
However, on the instigation of the Rev Dr Charles Rogers, the chaplain at Stirling
Castle, the site at Abbey Craig was selected. Since 1709 the land had been
owned by the Patrons of Cowanes Hospital, a charity established in 1637.
Cambuskenneth Abbey (founded around 1147 by King David I) sits at the foot of
subscription was launched and a design competition was organised. The winner
was an Edinburgh architect, J T Rochead. When the foundation stone was laid in
1863, a crowd of 70,000 were present. But disputes amongst the National
Monument Committee members and financial problems resulted in construction not
being completed until 1869.
of the monument is in the Scottish "Baronial" style and represented a
Scottish Medieval tower, rising from a courtyard, with a representation on the
top of the Crown Royal of Scotland.
One of the
coaches visiting the monument when we called here.
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)