The Wallace Sword
Wallace’s sword is proudly on display in the Hall of Heroes, the second floor gallery inside The National Wallace Monument.
Although the Sword is genuinely from the time of Wallace, the size of the Sword means it is unlikely to have been wielded by a man on horseback. The blade would have been swung or pointed primarily at the cavalry, killing the horse and bringing down the rider.
It is believed that the Wallace Sword remained at Dumbarton Castle from 1305, when Wallace was imprisoned there after his capture. However, there is no record of the Sword’s whereabouts until 1505 when it was first mentioned in the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland when King James IV ordered for its handle to be repaired.
The Sword was only moved to the Monument in 1888, 19 years after the Monument first opened in 1869. Charles Rodgers, a principle fundraiser for the Monument, had been trying to move the Sword to the Monument since its completion, but his request was refused by the Colonel of the Royal Artillery at Dumbarton Castle in 1875 and it wasn’t until 1888 that the War Office agreed to transfer the Sword, a decision met by protests in the town of Dumbarton.
The legacy of the Sword
The Wallace Sword has always stood for freedom, and is sometimes referred to as Freedom’s Sword. Wallace’s legacy has inspired audiences around the world. Wallace, and his sword, have become symbols used by individuals and groups to bring attention to their cause.
- In 1912 suffragette Ethel Moorhead smashed the sword case in the National Wallace Monument to draw attention to the women’s cause for the freedom of political expression.
- The Wallace Sword was stolen from The National Wallace Monument on the 8th November 1936 by Scottish Nationalists at Glasgow University, who later returned the sword after realising the distress the theft had caused.
- The Sword was stolen again in May 1972 and returned in October of that same year.