The name of William Wallace is mentioned not only in the history of Scotland but in Scottish Historical Romances as well. His figure is legendary and many stories and even films have featured his personality and vigor! A new journey marks his homecoming in a spectacular way. 

Sir William Wallace (or better, in Scottish Gaelic Brogue, Uilleam Uallas) was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish (March 1296 –  May 1328). He defeated the English army at the famous Battle of Sirling Bridge in 1297 and he was appointed Guardian of Scotland. In 1305 he was captured near Glasgow and handed over to King Edward I of England who had him hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason.

This was not something new, of course. High treason back then was considered the worst crime, especially since a King was like God for his nationals.

Returning to our subject, William Wallace aka Braveheart was first taken across the Scottish Border, more than 700 years ago and…it didn’t end well. After his hanging, his head was placed on London Bridge and his limbs were displayed in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling, and Perth…pretty cruel, huh? 

It is said that during 2019, his 14ft bronze statue—which was created by the renowned Victorian sculptor David Watson Stephenson from Edinburgh and was added to the monument in 1887—will be dismantled into four pieces, symbolically, for the eight-week restoration at Lost Art, in Wigan Lancashire, in England. The essential repairs needing to be done to the iconic statue are hugely challenging and are expected to take around eight weeks to complete.  

Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status far beyond his homeland.

The statue is perched more than 60ft over the entrance to the Wallace National Monument in Stirling, honoring the famous warrior.

After being dismantled by Rothesay-based Industrial Heritage Consulting, his statue will undergo specialist restoration ahead of its 150th anniversary celebrations in September.

Stirling Council boss Scott Farmer said that “the outcome of Wallace’s last trip to England is, obviously, well known but those days are very much in the past. This time this Scottish hero will have a happy homecoming and will be back in peak condition”.

That is the reason why it is ensured that these painstaking restoration works will be carried out by expert craftspeople, including Lost Art, a company with a track record in bringing renowned Scottish historical structures back to their former glory. The painstaking revamp work forms part of the overall restoration project at the monument, which will cost more than £500,000.

A series of events have also been planned throughout the year, as well as two large-scale public celebrations in September to mark the 150th anniversary of the monument’s opening.

Zillah Jamieson, chair of Stirling District Tourism, said: “Not only will the statue of William Wallace be fully restored and returned to its home but the monument will also be undergoing a transformation of its own”.

Photo by Finlay McWalter 

Seoras Wallace, the author, historical consultant and fight director with a successful career spanning three decades in the film, television and media industries, the person who advised on staging battle scenes on blockbuster movies Braveheart and Highlander, said: “It is incredible that William Wallace’s statue is being quartered and sent down to England after all this time. I’m sure that our national hero will be looking down at what is happening and will be smiling at the sheer irony of it all.”

So…How do you feel about that? Any thoughts of the subject?

Written by Lydia Kendall 

62 COMMENTS

    • Thank you for your kind words Ann. I am glad the article helped you to understand things better.
      Hopefully my next ones will too!

  1. I now understand what braveheart was all about. That name will have a whole new meaning when I read about the Highlanders. They are my favorite books.

    • Jeri, I am glad this article helped you with it. But it was just a glimpse. Scottish history is so rich!

  2. From what I have read about him I believe all of the accolades and honors are well earned.He was a brilliant tactician and a fierce fighter when called for but also very beloved by his people.

    • Paula, a man fighting for freedom and justice will always be loved by those that seek them.
      Thank you for the input!

  3. History is repeating itself through the process of repairing his statue. Wallace is such a great iconic symbol of greatness to Scotland and historians. It’s also a symbolic slap in the face by being separated into four parts and sent down to England even if it is to be fixed by experts.

  4. William Wallace, who really knows fact from fiction? To be sure much has been written about him, he has been an inspiration to a country that has had much turmoil. We all need heroes that we can pull strength from. My favorite historical hero, Andrew Jackson. captured at age 13 and going on to become President. Mostly I love the stories that have healers (herbs and magic) and those everyday folks that changed a course of a country. William Wallace is one of those people, for whatever reason he became an inspiration to a country that needed a hero. What is not to like?

  5. How interesting! I think it is ironic but well deserved. I love both movies Braveheart and especially Highlander. I think I fell a little in love with that beautiful Scotsman..lol.

    • Well, Joyce, I will be a liar if I told you that I do not fall in love a bit with every Highlander hero I write about.
      Luckily, I have an understanding husband!

  6. It’s high time his statue is restored. Being of Scottish/Irish heritage I am proud of many of the historical monuments/ statues. So glad his statues is going to be restored to its original. Although I’m sure he would not be proud of it going to England since they are the ones who tortured and dishonored his body.

    • Stephanie,
      They may had quartered him but it is William Wallace who will be honored as a full hero with impeccable character.

  7. I am a big William Wallace fan and am happy that “he” is returning home. I get the irony of it all!

  8. William Wallace was a hero the like of which we will not see again. The English were full of hatred for anyone or any thing Scottish. Similar to the hatred for Donald Trump or anyone who refuses to follow the dictates of a corrupt Congress and biased media. Creating adversity and allowing destruction of individual rights did not stop the Scots nor will it stop true true Americans. Read History. The Scots wore their plaids, played the pipes, supported their clans and worshiped God their way and continued their way of life while not giving obeyane to a biased government or corrupt
    King.

    Read

  9. I love that Wallace’s statue is being repaired and will be taken home when finished. It’s time folks know more about him than What they saw in braveheart. I know my history of Wallace quite well as I studied Scottish history ( and English) while working on my mother’s highland ancestors. Then at one point, lived in the town of Wallaceburg in Ontario.

  10. Lydia, I love your historic articles. Please keep them coming. Also would you know the dates of the celebrations for K plan on visiting Scotland in September and would love to witness them. Thank You

    • Hi Donna,
      Thank you for your comment! To be honest I do not live in Scotland so I would’t know about the program.

  11. It is ironic after all these years,they are going to dismantle him again. I have seen Braveheart I don’t know how many times and the last was a week ago on T.V.The story gets to me every time. I don’t know about the time with the future queen and what she said to her father in law on his dying bed but I cannot wander and hope it was true.That would be a nice getting back at England. I am French Canadian but I have Irish and Scottish blood.So I am a bit partial to the story.

    • Marie Andree,
      Wait till you see one of my future articles. You will see how ironic history is…
      I totally agree with you.

  12. Thank you for sharing this interesting article. It is inspiring to learn about the lives of historical figures who have made such a huge impact in life. I am grateful for your research.

    • Hey Sharon!
      All countries need a brave person with a brave heart and strong sense of righteousness! Loved your comment!

  13. Hi!!! Wow!!! That’s quite a story about the restoration and the history of it all!!! Thanks for all the information. It greatly saddens and horrifies me how cruel men can be. I have Scottish heritage, and so I’m glad they are honoring him by taking care and restoring his statue!!! It is a bit weird and ironic that they would quarter his statue to restore it!!!

    • Well Kathy,
      The whole point is that Wallace was quartered and hopefully this whole idea is to bring him back home in one piece.
      It is so sad that such a great man had such an awful end. I believe the whole movement was about trying to pay homage to him.

  14. I don’t really like the idea of his statue being “quartered”. I feel like he is being disrespected all over again.

    • Lisa,
      That was my initial thought but I somehow felt that a phoenix rises from its ashes.
      To me it is the same case.

  15. Wow! I think it’s great. My birth name is Grogan, I don’t know if that’s Scottish but I like to think it is. All and any Scottish books are my favorite. I’ve kept up on all of yours and many other authors. Please keep writing. Carol

  16. IRONIC!!! There is enough irony there to recast the whole statue in irony and make 4 new ones and a new statue of Liberty.
    Yes I know irony and iron are not the same. Just a silly pun.
    This is a historical win for ole Bruce. To be carried to England as a Hero!! Still in 4 pieces but hey at least all 4 are going to the same place and well be returning. Right?
    Even my daughter saw the irony of this. She is not a Historical Romance reader but she did watch Braveheart. She laughed so hard.
    This news really should be in the headlines everywhere .

  17. I think it’s great that they are refurbishing the statue in commemoration of the 150 year anniversary of its dedication in the memory of the great Scottish hero, William Wallace. I was a big fan of the movie Braveheart (although I almost couldn’t make myself watch the part where they were torturing him prior to executing him!) I was also a huge fan of Highlander; and have been voraciously binge watching Outlander on Starz for the past few weeks now. I just can’t seem to get enough of those hunky Highlanders!
    I don’t know if you have ever watched the Travel Channel especially Mysteries at The Museum, hosted by Don Wildman; but they have done some excellent stories about people and events in history including William Wallace. It showed a Museum in Scotland that had a beautiful stained glass window with William Wallace in it and they told the tragic love story of how Wallace lost his wife to the English invaders. I thought it was not only entertaining , but very well done. I enjoy your books not just because they have an entertaining plot and a good romantic story line but you help the reader to actually feel as if they were there living in Scotland several hundred years ago and I appreciate that a great deal. Thank you for being what I would call a “great weaver of tales”. Each storyteller picks up a thread at the beginning of each story; and if they are truly good at the weaving of their tale; by the time they have finished , they have woven a fantastic tapestry around you that you can’t help but be pulled into. When the weaver (the writer) has done this then you know you have traveled on the loom of master. Thank you for not just becoming one of my favorite master weavers of tales; you have woven magic carpets.

    • Deborah dear,
      What lovely words. Thank you!
      I rarely watch TV actually so I have not watched The Travel Chanel. But I confess. Jamie and Claire had me at hello!

  18. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful historical information. We all loved the movie Braveheart and now realize there was so much more to the story and facts than we knew. Awesome that his statue is being restored. Please keep us updated.

  19. Well, it is ironic that he is going across the border into enemy territory but how wonderful that his statue will be so fully restored by such capable craftsmen/women.
    Scotland is on my bucket list to visit & I very much loved the depiction of William Wallace in the Braveheart movie. He was a true hero of Scotland, a driver for that country’s independence whose lasting inheritance pervades Scotland today.

  20. Thank you for the info on William Wallace,s Monument having work done on it .I remember climbing up to the top of the monument many years ago, wish I was as fit today as I was then however you made a lovely memory return Thank You. Ps Last but not least I enjoy your books x

  21. Thanks so much for sharing that. I’m glad to see that some countries value their history, unlike America in recent years. Our historical statues/monuments are being torn down since they “offend” some people. I find this tragic and disgusting. God bless Scotland and God bless America. I hope the people of America wake up soon before our history is completely destroyed.

    • Dear Judith,
      May God bless all countries. It is sad when people decide to lose part of their history.
      We tend to judge historic facts through the lenses of modern status quo. And that is a killer of our culture!

  22. What a savage time that was! Imagine doing that to another human being, no matter what they perceived as his crime.

  23. William Wallace showed the definition of bravery and love for his country. If he were looking down, he would have the last laugh. The English thought the Scottish were barbarians, but they proved by their manner of execution who were the true barbarians.

    • Well, Debra, to me everything back then was brutal like the position of women and so on.
      However, the manner of Wallace’s execution was beyond everything that could be put in words…

  24. I am so glad to hear the statue is being restored. I saw the statue personally during my holidays in Scotland three years ago. And I share the feeling of irony about what Seoras Wallace said.

  25. I love reading books about Scotland’s history, whether real or fictional. The Scottish people were so brave & stood up for what they believed to be true. Please keep these historical fiction books coming. I especially reading about William Wallace & Robert the Bruce. Thank you.

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