Many have watched Mel Gibson's historically questionable movie Braveheart. Today William Wallace (and perhaps even more so Robert the Bruce) is a national hero of Scotland and the Wallace Tower is the most noticeable landmark to celebrate him.

One of the more eye-catching landmarks in Scotland is the Wallace Monument. The Wallace Monument looks as though it would be at home in Harry Porter or as part of Mordor. It is an easy drive from Edinburgh or Glasglow in the central region of Stirling.

William Wallace And The Building Of The Wallace Tower

William Wallace lived over 700 years ago and he rallied the Scots to fight back at the oppressive English. He famously won the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 crushing the English army as it was strung out and disorganized crossing the bridge.

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The concurrent English King was King Edward I (also called Edward Longshanks). King Edward was also engaged during these times subduing the Welsh and building the massive UNESCO listed four outstanding Edward castles of Wales.

  • King Edward I: Considered A Great English King Who Built Massive Castles In Wales
  • William Wallace: United The Scottish Clans Against the English
  • Battle of Stirling Bridge: A Crushing Scottish Victory Over The English Army

Wallace is thought to have been born at around 1270, either at Elderslie near Paisley or Ellerslie in Ayrshire, into a minor noble family.

In the 19th century, there was a resurgence of Scottish national identity. Rev Charles Rogers and then William Burns led a fundraising campaign to build the monument. Among its donors was even the Italian national leader Giuseppe Garibaldi (who forged the unification of Italy).

The location was the subject of great debate, with Stirling eventually chosen as it was the site of Wallace’s greatest military success (the Battle of Stirling Bridge). The foundation stone for the tower was laid down in 1861 and the tower was completed in 1869.

  • Built: 1861 to 1869

Related: The Best Ways To Plan Your Visit To Bonnie Scotland (For The First Time)

The Wallace Monument Today

Today, the Wallace Monument stands proud - perched atop the shoulder of a hilltop called Abbey Craig. 700 years later the Wallace Monument commemorates Sir William Wallace and his struggle for Scottish independence.

"Stirling’s famous landmark stands above the fields where William Wallace led his troops to victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge, and tells the story of the patriot and martyr who became Scotland’s National Hero."

- Yourstirling.com

The Wallace Monument is a 67-meter height tower overlooking Stirling in Scotland. Stirling is also the home of the living castle and museum Stirling Castle where Scottish royalty once resided.

  • Height: 67 Meters or 220 Feet
  • Location: Abbey Craig, Stirling, Scotland
  • Style: Built In The Victorian Gothic Style
  • Steps: 246 Steps

Related: Guide To The Scottish Highlands & Why You Should Visit

Exhibitions In Wallace Tower

Inside the tower are three exhibition rooms. On display in the exhibition rooms, are a number of artifacts that are thought to have belonged to William Wallace - including the Wallace Sword.

The Wallace Sword is 1.63 meters or 5 feet 4 inches longsword that weighs almost 3 kilos or 7 lbs. This impressive two-handed sword was first recorded in Dumbarton Castle in 1505. William Wallace was held at Dumbarton Castle after his betrayal and capture in 1305 and there is a legend that his sword was taken and left undisturbed at the castle. Hundreds of years later King James IV (who reigned from 1473 to 1513) ordered the handle to be repaired.

  • Wallace Sword: A Massive 5 ft 4 in Longsword
  • Symbolizes: Freedom, Liberty, and Wallace Himself

There is also the Hall of Heroes with busts of some of the most famous Scots (from fighters for Scottish independence, to explorers, to famous economists, to novelists, and more).

The famous Scots include: Robert the Bruce, George Buchanan, John Knox, Allan Ramsay, Robert Burns, Robert Tannahill, Adam Smith, James Watt, Sir Walter Scott, William Murdoch, Sir David Brewster, Thomas Carlyle, Hugh Miller, Thomas Chalmers, David Livingstone, and W. E. Gladstone. In more recent times, Scottish heroines have also been added like Mary Slessor and Maggie Keswick Jencks.

Visiting The Wallace Tower

The Tower is open to the public for an admission fee. To get to the tower one needs to approach on foot from the base of the crag. To get the top observation platform, one will need to climb the 246 steps to the top.

Once at the top, visitors are greeted with expansive views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Valley.

  • Disabled Access: The Wallace Tower Is Not Disabled Accessible
  • Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm Daily (Hours Vary Seasonally)

It is recommended to book ahead and have a preferred entry time slot. One can just turn up, but there is no guarantee to have an available time slot.

Admission:

  • Adult: £10.75 ($14.50)
  • Child (Under 16): £6.75 ($9.00)

While one may be overwhelmed with things to see and experience in Scotland, at least the Wallace Tower is easy to reach.

Next: These Hidden Gems In Scotland Will Have You Rethinking Edinburgh