A new in-depth look at the Battle of Stirling Bridge can be found in The Royal Chamber, the third floor exhibition gallery in The National Wallace Monument.
A new in-depth look at the Battle of Stirling Bridge can be found in The Royal Chamber, the third floor exhibition gallery in The National Wallace Monument.

Marking 150 years of Wallace Monument with £1m revamp

The National Wallace Monument marks its 150th anniversary this year – and has released new visuals that show how its exhibition galleries will be completely transformed as part of a £1m+ investment scheme.

The Monument’s new look interior, funded by Stirling District Tourism (the charity responsible for running the popular tourist attraction) at a cost of over £500,000, will feature fresh interactive activities, an immersive film and enhanced foreign language content set across its three galleries.

The National Wallace Monument will shut on 11 February to accommodate the extensive interior refurbishment as well as the ongoing conservation work to the exterior of the building, reopening in spring 2019 with the promise of a brand-new visitor experience.

The state-of-the-art refurbishments, managed by Edinburgh-based design consultants Studioarc, have been designed to tell the story of Scotland’s national hero better than it has ever been told before, and to appeal to the diverse visitors that the Monument attracts from across the world.

Filled with fascinating historical information and exciting new insights, the displays will give focus to the story of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where Wallace’s army famously defeated English forces in 1297.

A detailed reconstruction has been created with expert guidance to show visitors how Stirling would have looked at the time of the historic battle. Wallace’s pivotal role in the Wars of Independence will also be told through a powerful animation created by Glasgow-based ISO.

A new in-depth look at the Battle of Stirling Bridge can be found in The Royal Chamber, the third floor exhibition gallery in The National Wallace Monument.

The Hall of Heroes will be updated with the addition of two new busts depicting Scottish heroines Mary Slessor and Maggie Keswick Jencks. Other elements will be introduced specifically to engage children in history, including a superheroes quiz and a ‘making arms’ interactive shield design activity.

Stirling District Tourism chair Zillah Jamieson said: ‘This investment is so important as it helps to ensure that The National Wallace Monument remains an exciting and relevant tourist destination for visitors across Scotland and internationally, as well as ensuring that Wallace’s legacy is preserved for years to come.

‘The new exhibition displays make great use of the space inside the Monument, and they will create an enhanced experience for all of our visitors. It is thanks to the positive increase in visitor numbers over the last four years that we are able to upgrade the interior displays and improve the overall visitor experience.’

Lyndsey Bowditch, director at Studioarc Design Consultants added: ‘We are delighted to be working with Stirling District Tourism on the major refurbishment of The National Wallace Monument. This has provided us with the opportunity to engage with experts across a diverse range of fields to ensure that the story of Sir William Wallace is told in a powerful new way.’

The story of illustrious Scots who followed in Wallace’s footsteps is told in The Hall of Heroes, the second floor exhibition gallery in The National Wallace Monument.

In addition to Stirling District Tourism’s self-funded investment of over £500,000 for the interior refurbishments, Stirling Council is managing a £515,000 project covering important conservation work to the structure’s exterior.

This work includes the £260,000 restoration of the giant bronze statue of William Wallace, which will be temporarily removed from its usual residence on a corbel in the south-west corner of the Monument for the first time since its installation 132 years ago.

A reconstruction of the bridge used in the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the conservation work and interior refurbishments underway by attending the ‘Building a National Icon’ evening lecture on Thursday 21 March, where Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland and Trustee of Stirling District Tourism, and Lyndsey Bowditch, Director at Studioarc Design Consultants will discuss the work in greater detail.

The new evening lecture programme has been specifically designed as part of an enhanced programme of events to mark the 150th anniversary of The National Wallace Monument. Lectures will be held in March, April and October in Legends Coffee House from 6.30pm.

To keep up-to-date with new activities at the Monument as well as the ongoing works, go to www.nationalwallacemonument.com.