The fabled Wallace Sword, one of Scotland’s greatest treasures, is back where it belongs in Stirling. The 13th century blade, believed to have been used by William Wallace at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, was returned to the National Wallace Monument. It was removed from the popular tourist attraction in March after an alleged attack on the display case in which the two-handed blade, which is 1.68m long and weighs around 3kg, was housed. Thankfully, the sword was not damaged, but specialist designers from manufacturers Click Netherfield in Livingston had to construct a new showcase at a cost of £10,000.
The new showcase includes anti-reflective, almost-invisible glass which provides an unrestricted view of the legendary sword and its intricate surface to visitors. Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane, said: “The Wallace Sword is the iconic showpiece of the National Wallace Monument, celebrated by visitors from every corner of the globe. The Monument attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year and we were extremely disappointed the sword had to be moved to safe storage as a result of actions outwith our control. For many visitors, viewing the sword in such revered and spectacular surroundings is the highlight of their visit. Stirling is a major tourist destination, recognised internationally for its heritage, historic and vibrant city and fabulous scenery. We’re delighted, as we head into the main tourist season, to once again display the sword in all its glory in its natural home.”
The National Wallace Monument was completed in 1869, and it was opened to visitors for the first time on 11th September, the anniversary of Wallace’s victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. At the time of its completion, the total amount which had been spent on the construction of the Monument was £13,401. The Sword was 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.