“the kids loved it...
we will definitely be back”

Mock execution at The Monument Re-enactment at The Monument

NEWS

Courtesy Bus Service

THURSDAY 24th and FRIDAY 25th APRIL 2014

It is expected that the Courtesy Bus Service from the Car Park to the Monument will not be available on these dates.

We are sorry if this causes any inconvenience to visitors. If we can be of any further assistance please call 01786 472140.

Private Event

TUESDAY 29th APRIL 2014

The National Wallace Monument is hosting a private event on Tuesday 29th April 2014, and visitor access will be restricted as follows:

Legends Coffee House will be CLOSED all day.

The Visitor Reception Centre will be CLOSED from 12:30pm.

The last admission for visitors to the Monument will be at 1:00pm.

We apologise to visitors for any inconvenience or disappointment which this may cause. If we can help with any further information please call 01786 472140.

From The National Wallace Monument
- TO YOUR HOME!

Browse the range of gifts and souvenirs now available from our online shop - whether you want a unique gift for a special occasion, or an exclusive souvenir for your home.

  • Jewellery - hand-made by Scottish craftworkers.
  • Distinctively Scottish gifts - including the Braveheart tartan scarf, naturally woven in the Western Highlands.
  • Scottish clothing - including the popular William Wallace and Saltire T-shirts

...and there are lots more items to choose from, all available for easy online ordering. Select your favourites today!

Visit the shop

The Pipes and Drums of St. Kentigern

On Sunday 14th July 2013 visitors were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of The Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern, who visited the Monument during their tour of Scotland. Located in Auckland, Saint Kentigern College is one of the leading independent schools in New Zealand, with a distinctive Scottish heritage. The students who visited the Monument provided an outstanding performance - and we look forward to inviting them back to the Monument when they return on their next tour to Scotland!

The Pipes and Drums of St. Kentigern The Pipes and Drums of St. Kentigern

Planning under way for 2014 Monument refurbishment

WE’RE GETTING READY FOR A FACELIFT IN 2014!

2014 will be an important year for Scotland - and for Stirling - with the city set to mark the 700th Anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn, one of the highlights of Scotland’s second Year of Homecoming.

Here at the Monument we’re looking forward to a major redevelopment of the interior galleries, prior to the start of the main 2014 visitor season, and interpretive exhibition design specialists Campbell & Co. from Edinburgh have been appointed to carry out the refurbishment project.

Each of the three distinctive galleries within the tower, designed by the Victorian architect J. T. Rochead, will be 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, where 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 will be 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 will be able to 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.

David Campbell (Managing Director of Campbell & Co.) emphasised the significance of this project to the company:

“I was delighted when we were appointed as designers for the refurbishment of the National Wallace Monument, giving us the opportunity to renew our acquaintance with a building and subject very dear to my heart. For the thousands of visitors who travel every year from all across the world to visit the Monument, the way in which the stories of the Battle of Stirling Bridge and of the life of William Wallace are told is really important - and we want every one of those visitors to have a really memorable experience when they come to Stirling”.

The refurbishment of each gallery will involve 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.

Having completed an upgrading of the facilities and services provided to visitors on arrival at the Monument, including the opening of the popular Legends Coffee House, we realised that it was important for us to ensure that the experience of visitors once they reach the inside of the building itself would fully meet, and exceed, their expectations. We also want to ensure that the way in which information is presented to visitors truly enhances the building, and makes the most of its remarkable setting on the Abbey Craig. We’re really pleased therefore to be working with David Campbell and his team, to take advantage of their experience and skills in delivering this project.

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 will mean that the story of Stirling, and of its place at the heart of Scotland’s history, will be presented to the city’s visitors through three outstanding venues.

We hope you’ll be able to enjoy visiting all of these famous landmarks - and we look forward to welcoming you to the Monument following completion of the refurbishment in April 2014. In the meantime you can keep up to date with plans for the project, by checking in with us here, or by visiting our Facebook page - and if we can help with any further information please call us on (01786) 472140.

TAKE A SEAT - beside Scotland's national hero!

A ‘Portrait Bench’ - celebrating the lives of three legendary historical figures with links to South Lanarkshire has been unveiled in Strathclyde Country Park.

The bench strikingly depicts three figures from history - the legendary warrior William Wallace, social reformer Robert Owen and explorer David Livingstone, selected following a vote in which members of the public chose persons whose place in Scottish history is acknowledged.

The portrait bench also signifies the completion of a new walking and cycling route from Hamilton to Larkhall, which takes in Strathclyde Country Park and Chatelherault Country Park, a beautiful area with riverside walks along the Avon Water and a backdrop of rich, picturesque woodland.

The route (and the portrait bench) were being funded as part of a national project by Sustrans, which is developing its National Cycle Network into communities across the UK. Funding also came from South Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Government and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

As the portrait bench was unveiled South Lanarkshire Provost Eileen Logan said: “This special bench marks the completion of this walking and cycling route, and it is a unique way to celebrate three very well known figures that have clear links to South Lanarkshire”.

Take a seat

Provost Logan is pictured beneath the image of Sir William Wallace, as she talks to a footsoldier from Wallace’s army!

Click on the links below for more information:

South Lanarkshire Council: Portrait bench complements cycle route
VisitLanarkshire.com: Portrait bench marks completion of cycle route

Making music... and making history

Student musicians performing in the Hall of Heroes - a first for the Monument

On Sunday 2nd December the National Wallace Monument opened its doors to visitors free of charge to mark the celebration of St. Andrew’s Day, and among the features enjoyed by over 1,000 visitors was live acoustic Scottish music played by a group of students from Cumbernauld and Motherwell Colleges.

Their programme started off with four students performing a drums corp, and throughout the day traditional folk music was played, including original songs featuring the poetry of Robert Burns.

Music at The Monument Music at The Monument

Inspiration from ‘Braveheart’...

The theme of ‘Braveheart’ was the inspiration behind one of the magnificent displays from East Kilbride Flower Club, which delighted visitors to the Gardening Scotland Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, in June 2012. Just as the story of William Wallace inspired the Academy award-winning film, so the legend of Scotland’s national hero continues to inspire visitors who arrive in Stirling from all across the globe.

Gardening Scotland Show

Flotilla on the Forth

The National Wallace Monument provided the perfect vantage point from which to view the flotilla which made its way up the River Forth to Stirling at the beginning of June 2012 to mark the Queen’s Jubilee and to add to the celebrations. From the top of the Monument there is a spectacular view of the River Forth as it winds its way past the city of Stirling, and of course visitors are able to look down at the very spot where William Wallace achieved his famous victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Flotilla on the Forth

Music at the Monument

Music lovers visiting the Monument on Tuesday 5th June 2012 had a special treat, as the attraction was playing host to a group of traditional musicians from the West of Ireland, who combined their skills and talent and took advantage of the sunshine to entertain and delight visitors. There was even a demonstration of traditional Irish dancing to add to the occasion!

Music at the Monument

Archery for Everyone

The first ever Archery for Everyone event at the Monument at the start of June 2012 was enjoyed by young and old visitors alike, as they were given the opportunity to try this ancient combative sport for themselves, and as they came to realise just how much skill would have been required by the archers who fought during the mediaeval period at encounters such as The Battle of Stirling Bridge.

Archery for Everyone Archery for Everyone

Cancer survivor meets her lifesaver at the monument

On Sunday 30th October cancer survivor Sheena Stourbridge (from Aberfeldy, in Perthshire) had a very special encounter at The National Wallace Monument - with the man who saved her life.

Sheena, 56, and Mark Quinn, who lives in Newmilns, completed a sponsored walk from their respective homes, which finished at the Monument, which is the setting for an annual fund-raising abseil for Anthony Nolan.

Mark, 43, said:

“Sheena and I both wanted to do something for Anthony Nolan, to give something back. We decided on a sponsored walk from our own front doors until we met in the middle, at the Wallace Monument.”

Sheena was diagnosed with leukaemia in 1997, but managed the disease with drug treatment until the start of 2006, when doctors told her that she would need a stem cell, or bone marrow, transplant in the next six months. When Sheena’s sister was found not to be a match, she turned to the Anthony Nolan register to find an unrelated donor.

Mark had joined the register in November 2005, and it was just six months later that he was told that he was a perfect match for a patient. He donated in June 2006, but due to strict anonymity rules knew nothing about the person he had helped. It wasn’t until March 2010 that Sheena made contact, and they met up for the first time earlier this year.

Sheena says,

“It was a very emotional occasion – to meet the person who selflessly saved my life was very special.”

Sheena and Mark decided to walk from their own front doors and meet in the middle, both to mark their new friendship and to raise awareness and funds for Anthony Nolan.


Sheena and Mark meet at the monument Sheena and Mark meet at the monument
  • Anthony Nolan is a pioneering charity that saves the lives of people with blood cancer, by using its register to match remarkable donors willing to donate their blood stem cells, or bone marrow, to people they have never met, and who desperately need lifesaving transplants.
  • 80% of donations take place via an outpatient appointment which is similar to donating blood, and the experience of being a donor can provide the opportunity to save someone’s life.
  • Young men aged 18-30 are the most likely to be chosen as a match, but they make up just 12% of the register. They are ideal donors because men are generally bigger so will provide a higher yield of stem cells. Younger donors are also less likely to have any health conditions that might prevent them from donating.
  • In July 2011 Anthony Nolan launched a campaign to recruit 10,000 men aged 18-30 - GET10K. By 15 September 2011 over 6,200 people had registered. Donors can join through www.anthonynolan.org/spit, and supporters who wish to help the GET10K campaign can join through www.anthonynolan.org/get10
  • On average, 70 people a day in the UK are diagnosed with a blood cancer – the equivalent of one person every 23 minutes.
  • There are nearly 1,600 people in the UK in need of a bone marrow transplant. This is usually their last chance of survival.
  • 70% of patients will not find a matching donor from within their families.
  • Anthony Nolan provides two potentially lifesaving transplants every day, but for every patient who receives help, there is another who sadly can’t be helped, because no match can be found.
  • Further information is available from www.anthonynolan.org or from 0303 303 0303.

Abbey Craig: Not just another Iron-Age hillfort

Abbey Craig: Not just another Iron-Age hillfort

Scotland’s hillforts are amongst the most visible ancient monuments in the landscape; they are often large, in very prominent locations and are both physically and intellectually accessible. The majority of these hillforts are recognised to be of national significance, yet most of them remain under researched.

Read more >>>

Once upon a time…

...visitors to The Monument would have been able to take some refreshment as they climbed up the hill towards the tower, if they stopped off at the Monument’s famous Tea Room, and perhaps enjoyed a seat at a table on the veranda.

Unfortunately - the story of the Monument’s original Tea Room has never been recorded, but the site where it once stood can clearly be seen at the bend in the roadway, near the pathway used by visitors following The Abbey Trail, or making their way towards the Stirling Viewpoint.

It is believed that the Tea Room (the interior which was understood to have featured a dramatic painting recreating the scene of The Battle of Stirling Bridge) fell into disrepair during (or after) World War II, and was obviously never re-opened, but demolished at some time thereafter. Sadly, the famous painting of the battle scene, completed for the 600th Anniversary of the Battle, in 1897, was discarded in the 1940s. It was the work of Robert William Brown, a master painter who lived in Stirling at 33 Friar Street, and happily a postcard of the work survives, and can be seen on the SCRAN Web Site (www.scran.ac.uk).

Original Tea Room

This wonderful colour picture of the original Tea Room has been kindly provided by the Wilson family of Ontario (Canada) and Wallacestone (Scotland).

ScotRail Promotion

Enjoy a great day out by train

Bring the family to Stirling - the kids go free!

Hop on a train and make tracks for Stirling to enjoy a great day out.

With ScotRail’s fantastic Kids Go Free tickets, up to two children can travel free with every adult, on off-peak trains, all week.

There’s lots to explore and enjoy in Stirling, from the incredible buildings in the city’s Old Town, through to first-class shopping in the Thistle Centre, and a choice of great family-friendly restaurants.

Plan your day out in Stirling now - and for further information on ScotRail’s great Kids Go Free tickets, CLICK HERE.

(*) - One free child’s admission with each adult paying the standard charge.

The National Wallace Monument

Fireworks spectacular enjoyed by crowds in Stirling

The Fireworks Display on Monday 2nd August 2010 which marked the end of the 'mFEST' arts festival at the macrobert centre in Stirling, was a huge success - spectacularly lighting up the night sky behind the Monument, and the colourful show was enjoyed by an excited audience watching from the University of Stirling campus. Some of the striking images can be viewed in the gallery by clicking here.

William Wallace - The Greatest Scot?

Sir William Wallace - ‘One of the greats’

On St. Andrew’s Day the winner of STV’s ‘Greatest Scots’ programme was announced - Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, whose birth 250 years ago has been marked with a series of special events the length and breadth of the country in 2009. Sir William Wallace’s status in Scotland as a true patriot and martyr was recognised in the results of the public vote - as he was voted into 2nd place from the 35 finalists, a close runner up. Not a bad achievement more than 700 years after Wallace’s execution!

View STV’s William Wallace nomination

Waymarker

Woodland Walks and Nature Trails on The Abbey Craig

Whether you want to enjoy a ramble in the woods, or take a bracing walk, there's lots to explore and discover on The Abbey Craig!

From the front of The Monument you can follow the trails using the special waymarkers.

The pathways in and around The Abbey Craig have all been upgraded, to make it even easier to explore this area, and to enjoy the wonderful views. You can also download a special map to help you follow the paths - CLICK HERE.

Scottish Tourist Board 4 Star Approved