THE NATIONAL WALLACE
The monument is in Stirling and was opened in 1869, a commemoration to Sir William Wallace, whose forces occupied the hill at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, when Wallace defeated the English. The 220 feet high tower incorporates various fascinating displays, including Wallace's famous double-handed broadsword. The plaque marks the spot of Wallace's execution.
In a later fierce battle with the English, Wallace was captured near Glasgow. He was immediately taken to London, and he arrived there on August 22. He was lead through the streets of Fenchurch the next morning, where he was jeered by the crowds, who pelted him with rotten food and bread.
At Westminster Hall Wallace was forced to stand on a platform and wear a &nsbp;crown of thorns. He went before a magisterial panel appointed by Edward where he was charged with treason. The charges were read and the sentence pronounced, as was the custom of the day. Outlaws, being outside the law, had no rights; Wallace was not given any opportunity to speak in his own defense.
The sentence was immediately carried out: Wallace was wrapped in oxhide and dragged several miles to Smithfield where he was hanged until almost unconscious. He was then taken down, tied to a table, disemboweled, and his entrails were set afire while still attached to him. He was possibly castrated, as well. He was finally put out of his misery by being beheaded. His body was quartered, the pieces being sent to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, and Berwick, Perth, and Stirling in Scotland, and his head was placed on a pike on London Bridge for all to see, all as a warning to other would-be traitors.
William Wallace's beliefs are clear in what some have said was his favorite bit of verse, originally in Latin:
Freedom is best, I tell thee true, of all things to be won. Then never live within the bond of slavery, my son.
Stirling Castle is considered by many to be the grandest of all Scotland's castles. The architecture is outstanding, with the great Hall and Gatehouse of James IV, and the marvelous renaissance palace of James VI. Mary Queen of Scots was crowned in the palace chapel in 1543 and narrowly escaped death by fire in 1566.Her son, the future James VI was baptized here in 1566
THE FORTH RAILWAY BRIDGE
The Forth Railway Bridge was built between 1883 and 1890 by Sir John Fowler with Sir Benjamin Baker.It represents one of the world's greatest feats of engineering. It is a little over 1'1/2 miles in length, with two main spans, each of 1,710 feet.The three main cantilievers reach a height of 361 &nsbp;feet above sea level. The center of the bridge is supported by the island of Inchgarvie, which may be visited by boat.
Edinburgh Castle, seen here from the Vennel, stands on Castle Rock, the plug of an extinct volcano. Its summit is 135 meters above sea level, and 82 meters above Princess Street Gardens. The original fortess was captured and rebuilt by Edwin, King of Northumbria, about 620A.D. It became a royal residence in the 11thC when occupied by King Malcom111 and his queen, Margaret. In 1076 Margaret built the beautiful Norman chapel.
MEL GIBSON'S PORTRAYAL OF WALLACE