ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Wallace Monument, near Stirling, Scotland: Victorian Gothic by John Thomas Rochead, dating from 1869

Updated on July 8, 2013
Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland | Source
Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland
Wallace Monument, Stirling, Scotland | Source
 Wallace Monument From the visitor centre below Abbey Craig.
Wallace Monument From the visitor centre below Abbey Craig. | Source
 Causewayhead from the Wallace Monument Looking south west over Causewayhead and the River Forth towards Stirling Castle.
Causewayhead from the Wallace Monument Looking south west over Causewayhead and the River Forth towards Stirling Castle. | Source
William Wallace
William Wallace | Source

Remembering a towering figure from Scotland's past

This is truly one of Scotland's most memorable structures.

It is the Wallace Monument, near Stirling. Actually, Scotland has various Wallace Monuments, so by rights this particular one is known as the National Wallace Monument.

Its architect was John Thomas Rochead (1814-1878)(1), who built the structure in Victorian Gothic style. Its hight is 67 metres. 246 steps lead to the top of the Monument.

What I think sets the Wallace Monument apart is the juxtaposition of various striking features, all of which, when considered independently, would still be impressive: its craggy architecture and sheer size as a Monument; the rugged, rocky hill country in which it is situated; the densely forested, immediate surroundings of Abbey Craig; the deep, historical associations with nearby Stirling, with its Castle and links with Medieval Scottish kings.

Not only are views of the Monument impressive, so are the views from it: clear vistas of the Ochil Hills and of the Forth River may be obtained from the structure.

In a not unusual custom historically in tower building in Scotland, the upper part of the Monument is wider than at its base. The Monument's execution in sandstone causes the structure at times to glow significant in direct sunlight.

Steeped in history

Near the base of the Monument, a well appointed visitor centre traces the historical background issues.

William Wallace (died 1305), whom the Monument commemorates, won the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, when he, together with Andrew Moray, led Scottish forces against the army of English King Edward I. Wallace has traditionally been very widely regarded in Scotland as a national hero. The 1995 historical drama war film Braveheart was based upon the life of William Wallace, and, whether or not the film in places takes liberties with history, the real life character, whose memory is often honoured in Scotland, is certainly regarded as as one who had a brave heart!

July 8, 2013


(1) Other works by Architect Rochead include the Royal Arch, Dundee, and several church buildings; he was known for specializing in Gothic style.

Map location of Stirling Unitary Council, Scotland
Map location of Stirling Unitary Council, Scotland | Source

Also worth seeing

In Stirling itself, Stirling Bridge (which gave its name to the famous battle at which William Wallace distinguished himself) and the historic, Medieval Castle associated with kings of Scotland are often visited. Stirling is sometimes known as the Gateway to the Highlands.

Dunfermline (distance: 34.7 kilometres) has the birthplace museum of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and a Carnegie Library — the first of its kind; the City Chambers building with its prominent clock tower, an old abbey and a ruined, former royal palace of the Kings of Scotland.


How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Glasgow Airport, where car rental is available. However, travellers may prefer to use bus services or rail links into Glasgow City Centre; there are bus links between Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station and Stirling, and rail links between Glasgow Queen Street Station and Stirling; alternatively, travellers may find it more convenient to include Stirling's Wallace Monument as part of a booked tour. Please note that facilities mentioned may be withdrawn without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Anna Haven: It's certainly an interesting place. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      5 years ago from Scotland

      Interesting and well written article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)