Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exploring Scotland 1 Castle at a Time Part 4 The William Wallace Statue

The Wallace statue was commissioned by the 11th Earl of Buchan, David Stuart Erskine.  It stands 31 feet tall and is carved from Red Sandstone.  John Smith of Darnick was the artist.  It resides on the grounds of Bemersyde House in what used to be Berwickshire.

We parked in an unpaved parking space just big enough for 3 or 4 cars and took a 10 minute nature walk along the way to reach the statue.  I was surprised by it's size. It always looks smaller in pictures.

This is a stile.  We were in the heart of Sheep country and when you want to climb over a fence and there's no gate handy you just step up on the stile, swing your leg over the fence and step over it. Pretty handy. 

Besides the statue there is an urn set nearby commemorating Wallace with a poem written by the Earl of Buchan engraved in the base. It reads
 "The peerless knight of Elderslie  
Who wav'd on Ayr's romantic shore
The beamy torch of liberty
And roaming round from sea to sea
From glade obscure from gloomy rock
His bold companions call'd to free
The realm from Edward's iron yoke 


On the way back to the bus we got into a debate about the movie Brave Heart and how close it depicted things that happened at that time.  William Wallace did not sleep with Edward Long Shank's son's wife. She would have been 5 or 6 at the time of the rebellion.  Edward II did have homosexual tendancies and never lived up to his father's expectations.  But he did father 4 children with Isobella of France.
And on a more humerous note. A local sculptor, Tom Church, was so inspired by the movie Braveheart that he carved a statue of William Wallace and titled it Freedom. The statued looked just like Mel Gibson. Some of the local youth so hated the statue that they poured paint on it and gouged it's face off. The sculptor repaired the statue but in order to preserve it, it now resides inside a metal cage to keep it from being defaced again. Thus losing it's Freedom.    

We moved on to Scott's Walk.  A beautiful overlook.  Sir Walter Scott lived in the area and walked the path each day.  When he grew too old to walk he often drove a small cart over the same route. At his death the procession to the cemetary took him over the same route and paused above where we took pictures. It was his favorite view. 


Until tomorrow.
Teresa J. Reasor


Chicks of Characterization said...

Once again, I am taking a walk down memory lane! And now I am even more "home sick" to go back!!! Did you make it to the William Wallace Memorial, where they have what they think is William Wallace's sword? The BRAVEHEART statue (and yes it does look just like Mel Gibson) is there. I have pics of me standing next to it! Correct or not, its one of my favorite movies!! :O) Thanks again for sharing Teresa!!


Maddie James said...

Teresa, I am very much enjoying your pictures and stories. Again, thanks for sharing! Beautiful and I am envious!

Nicole North said...

Wow! I must visit these sites some day! Lovely pictures!

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks ladies. And no we didn't make it to the memorial, there was major renovation going on there and you couldn't climb up to the top so we decided it wouldn't be worth the cost. Next time though....

Teresa R.

Pat McDermott said...

I'm loving your "travelogue," Teresa. Fascinating history, and such sunny pictures! Looks like you had great weather.

Teresa Reasor said...

Yes, we had unseasonably wonderful weather. I think it was because of the volcano eruption. It even got up in the 70's two days. And everyone kept saying that for it not to rain was unheard of. It only rained on us twice after that first day and they were just light showers.


Jody said...

I love that view of Scott's view. The Borders are so varied and beautiful. Lovely pictures. Makes me homesick to go back. BTW I just was reading a book on the Douglas family and they have just recent sacked Alnwick so your pictures were timely.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOW once again. I am SO loving all of your photos and your commentary. I hope you kept a journal. I did when we drove around Scotland for 23 days and am so glad I did because some of the places I misplaced in my brain and having it written makes it permanent. Thank you!

Deborah Blake said...

Beautiful!I've never been there, but I'd love to go.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks ladies. Yes, I did journal some so I could remember some of the trip. Otherwise I'd totally forget everything.

I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog.

Mary Ricksen said...

Lovely post and I have always had a thing for William Wallace.
Whether the movie was exactly as it was in the past, doesn't matter. It generated interest in the time and person and let us all into the minds of the highlanders!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Teresa,
Great blog. I love Scotland as you obviously do. Hubby and I were there last year and visited the William Wallace stature. You are right, it is huge.



Teresa Reasor said...

Yes, Braveheart put Scottish history out there for everyone to learn about.

Just think how tough, physically and mentally people had to be back then.

They lost children as fast as they had them. Had to survive war, pestilence,famine, supersitition, and the church. It's a wonder there was anyone left to write about it all.