Ah, Sir William Wallace, the guardian of Scotland, patriot, martyr, and NOT Braveheart.
Let’s get this out of the way super quick. Robert the Bruce, ya know the Scottish guy who had a heart to heart with a spider in a cave, not William Wallace, is the real Braveheart. Robert the Bruce killed a lot of people in his lifetime and was super concerned that when he died, he wouldn’t be admitted into heaven, a legit concern. So, he told his son, when I die take my heart on a crusade to the holy land so I can get into heaven. Along the way his son got into a huge fight and took his fathers heart and threw it onto the battlefield and shouted, “lead the way, brave heart!” Which is unfortunate because they lost and had to go find the trampled heart on the battlefield. Okay now that we got THAT confusion out of the way let’s talk about William Wallace. Not going to lie, I’m super interested in the Wars for Scottish Independence and was so excited to visit the location of the Battle of Stirling Bridge where William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the British! So here are the top three highlights from the William Wallace Monument!
The William Wallace Sword
Coming in at about 5.5 ft long and weighing in at 7 lbs. this sword I’m sure landed quite the wallop. The sword was most likely wielded on the ground to take down Calvary horses.
Here’s the catch…soooo it may or may NOT have been the REAL sword of William Wallace. While it is indeed from the era and it was recorded to have been kept after his capture, the sword does fall off the map for quite a few years before reappearing. Does it matter if William Wallace wielded this sword in battle? Not really if you ask me the sword is a potent symbol of, for lack of a better term, freedom. My favorite story I learned was that during the suffrage movement the sword was stolen by suffragettes as a rallying cry for the freedom of women.
How Many Steps to the Top?!
Listen, I love a good hike, but this one is tiring. It doesn’t feel like it should be hard but here I am writing that I was TIRED. I knew getting into this that to see the sword and get to the top of the monument you’d have to do some stairs. After hiking uphill, in the rain because ya know, Scotland, you make it to the monument. Then it’s an additional 246 steps to the top! Did I mention they are narrow winding stone stairs? I made LOTS of new friends navigating how two people could pass in the staircase.
Hall of Heroes…and Heroines!
One of the highlights is to stop in and see the Hall of Heroes! This gallery features the busts of some likely suspects in Scotland, spider whisperer, Robert the Bruce, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott. Well, move aside GENTS it’s time for the ladies. Soon fourteen women are being added. I’m looking forward to returning to learn more about these remarkable women!