From April to September The Monument is the setting for regular live performances by costumed actors – bringing Sir William Wallace and the characters of his time to life. Listen to the story of The Battle of Stirling Bridge, or even have your photograph taken with a Scottish warrior from the 14th Century!
- A Battle Won - and A Battle Lost!
The National Wallace Monument celebrates the role which Sir William Wallace played in the Wars of Independence, most notably his victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. Of course from the Monument you can look out over the scene of the battle - as well as the locations of at least 6 other conflicts, from Sheriffmuir to Bannockburn, yet the Abbey Craig was itself the setting for another un-named conflict!
The hill fort which once stood where the Monument stands today was probably called Iudeu, and the local tribe was known as the Manau. The fort was destroyed by fire around 700 AD as a result of enemy action, most likely in the wake of a battle or siege. The process of destruction was so intense that temperatures in excess of 1,000º C were reached, and the stones of the fort walls were fused together and vitrified. This would have taken days to achieve, and the fire would have required constant feeding, with trees cut down and carried up the hill. Of course this all had to be done using human labour, perhaps the enemy army, or the conscripted former inhabitants of the fort, forced to destroy their own homes.
The fires burning on the summit of the hill would have been a powerful symbol of the emergence of a new authority in the area, with the flames visible for miles around, especially at night.