Basic Site Details

Name: Wallace Monument
Town, district or village: Abbey Craig
City or county: Stirlingshire
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: 76 entrants in competition. Cost £18,000 to build. Inaugurated 11 September 1869.

The Wallace Monument. - On Monday, the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, the Duke of Athole, Most Worshipful Grand Master Mason of Scotland, laid the foundation-stone of the Wallace Monument, his grace being accompanied by various civic and volunteer bodies in procession. Subscriptions have been sought and obtained in almost every quarter of the globe and now the fund amounts, after deducting expenses, to £5,500. The cost of the monument is estimated at £7,000, leaving a deficiency of £1 ,500. The design for the monument is from the pencil of Mr. J. T. Rochead, of Glasgow. [Building News 28 June 1861 p556]

The foundation stone of the monument was laid on June 24 1861 by the Duke of Athole. ... Building operations were occasionally suspended for lack of funds but at length the needful amount having been forthcoming, the monument has been completed. The entire cost of the structure has somewhat exceeded £12,000. The design for the monument is from the pencil of Mr J T Rochead, architect, Glasgow. It consists of a Scottish baronial tower 220 feet high and 36 feet square. The walls are massive, being 15 feet thicj at the base and graduating from 5 feet to 6 feet at the top. At the east end of the tower is a house for the keeper. An open courtyard entered by a massive circular arched gateway having bold mouldings separates the main building from the keeper’s dwelling. Above the gateway are the heraldic arms of Scotland. Passing through the gateway into a stone arched passage, a series of steps leads to an open octagonal winding staircase projecting from the south-west angle of the tower and running up nearly its entire height. Arrow-let slits or lights pierce the walls of the staircase at intervals, almost to the summit of the square tower; and imitation rope-work, with moulded angles, bind the walls externally. The staircase forms the approach to several spacious and lofty halls, designed for the display of armour and other antiquarian relics, illustrative of the early national history. An imperial crown forms the apex of the monument. This coronial topis upwards of 50 feet high and is built of pure white sandstone. It comprises eight arms, from the angles and sides, all converging on the centre, and forming a series of flying buttresses, broadly ribbed, having the spandrels filled with open tracery. Crocketed pinnacles surmount the outer flanks of the buttresses, and some very effective skylines are obtained by the openings of the crown. [The Architect 11 September 1869 page 128]

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Commemorative monument  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 51859 Competition held 
Item 2 of 518591869  
Item 3 of 524 June 1861  Foundation stone laid
Item 4 of 51862 Competition designCompetition design by Haig & Low
Item 5 of 5September 1869  Completed


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 7John Thomas RocheadArchitect 18591969Won in competition
Item 2 of 7David Paton LowArchitectA1859 Competition design - placed third
Item 3 of 7Haig & LowArchitectural practiceA1859 Competition design - placed third
Item 4 of 7John HaigArchitectA1859 Competition design - placed third
Item 5 of 7Charles George Hood KinnearArchitectB1859 Competition design - placed second
Item 6 of 7John Dick PeddieArchitectB1859 Competition design - placed second
Item 7 of 7Peddie & KinnearArchitectural practiceB1859 Competition design - placed second


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1National Monument Committee 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 4Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts1862   620 (Haig & Low)
Item 2 of 4Harper, Roger H1983Victorian Architectural Competitions: An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions… London: Mansell Publishing 
Item 3 of 4RSA1860   580 (Rochead's design)
Item 4 of 4RSA1861   691

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Architect11 September 1869  p128 and illustration
Item 2 of 5Builder17 September 1859XVII pp623 & 816
Item 3 of 5Building News9 December 1859   
Item 4 of 5Building News2 March 1860   
Item 5 of 5Building News28 June 1861  p556 - foundation stone

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 3Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register41118 
Item 2 of 3National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDick Peddie and McKay Collection DPM 1860/130/1
Item 3 of 3Smith Institute, StirlingWallace Monument Archive Drawings, minute books and other relevant papers. Other archives held at the monument itself.