Original architectural plans for the National Wallace Monument get new lease of life

One of the J.T. Rochead original plans when designing the National Wallace Monument between 1861 and 1869
One of the J.T. Rochead original plans when designing the National Wallace Monument between 1861 and 1869

Digitized versions of the original architect’s plans of the famous Scottish landmark, The National Wallace Monument in Stirling, will be unveiled in an outdoor display during a special weekend, from 24th – 26th June, to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design and to mark the 155th Anniversary of the Laying of the Foundation Stone.

Designed by the Edinburgh-born architect J. T. Rochead and built between 1861 and 1869, The National Wallace Monument, which now attracts over 100,000 visitors a year, is an iconic monument that has defined the landscape of Stirling and Central Scotland.

Demonstrating the exquisite work of J.T. Rochead, the original hand drawn plans, which date from 1859 to 1862 are held at Stirling Council Archives. The 18 plans which were previously cleaned and repaired in 2014, have now been digitised, by Townsweb Archiving. The availability of electronic images of the plans will provide visitors to the popular tourist attraction an insight in to the ambitious project surrounding the planning and building of the commemorative monument for William Wallace.

Private donations from all over the world funded the construction of J.T. Rochead’s design. An unprecedented number of donations were collected over a period of 8 years that allowed the project to come to fruition. The National Wallace Monument was officially unveiled in 1869.

Stirling District Tourism, the charity that manages the Stirling attraction, funded the digitisation project involving 16 of the original 18 plans, which reveal just how meticulously Rochead designed every part of the building. A selection of these plans will be on display at the Monument from 24th to 26th June, and members of the public can also request to see the original plans at Stirling Council Archives’ public search room, free of charge.

Pam McNicol, Council Archivist at Stirling Council Archives, commented: “It is fantastic to see these original plans come to life through digitisation. It will give a new generation a chance to see the plans and learn more about the Monument’s architect J.T Rochead. We can’t wait to see the display during the Victorian Masterpiece Weekend in June.”

About The National Wallace Monument

The National Wallace Monument is managed and operated by Stirling District Tourism Limited. The Monument was opened in 1869 to commemorate the life of the Scottish patriot and martyr Sir William Wallace and attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.

A registered charity, Stirling District Tourism receives no Government funding and is reliant on donations and admission fees. In 2014 the Monument underwent a £350,000 refurbishment programme that included new displays, interpretations and audio-visual systems for the three exhibition galleries. A further investment during 2015 included a refurbishment of Legends Coffee House.

In June the Monument will be open each day from 9.30am until 5.00pm. Visitor information is available from 01786 472140 and www.nationalwallacemonument.com

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