Help fund statue of Wallace on Lanark castle route

Iain at work on his earlier carvings in the Fairy Dell, watched by Sylvia  (Pic by  Sarah Peters).
Iain at work on his earlier carvings in the Fairy Dell, watched by Sylvia (Pic by Sarah Peters).

LANARK people are being asked to put their hands in their pockets – or bring out their credit cards – to fund a new statue of William Wallace.

The seven-foot high artwork, to be created by the chainsaw carver who has already worked his magic in Castlebank’s fairy dell will tower over new roses being planted to commemorate the Scottish hero’s links with Lanark.

The statue is being planned by Lanark Community Development Trust, through its major project for the regeneration of Lanark, the Lanark Vision.

The Trust is developing a walking trail called “in the Footsteps of William Wallace”.

This trail will visit all the known locations that Wallace would have visited during his time in Lanark such as Old St Kentigern’s, the Laird of Lamington’s town house at the top of the Castlegate (where there is a small monument) and the site of Lanark Castle at Castlehill.

“After that we are using a bit of imagination to tell Wallace’s story,” said Sylvia Russell, who chairs the Trust.

“We surmise that after he killed the English governor, Hesslerigg, at Lanark Castle in May 1297, he made his escape through the forest that subsequently became Castlebank Park to the river and then upstream towards the Falls of Clyde where there is a cave often referred to as Wallace’s Cave.”

The Trust is also organising the restoration of Castlebank Park, and is currently developing a William Wallace Memorial Rose Garden in an area of ‘jungle’ in the terraced gardens.

“The project is well underway and we were delighted that Border Biscuits kindly sponsored the purchase of 50 Braveheart roses and 50 Freedom roses which will be planted in the next month or so,” said Sylvia.

The Trust has commissioned Iain Chalmers of Chainsaw Creations to carve a seven foot high statue of Wallace to stand in the centre of the garden.

Iain has already worked in the park and created all the magical sculptures in the Fairy Dell– the owl and the green man, the carved seats and animals in the fallen logs, and the fairy who presides over it all.

The cost of the statue, including the base and plinth, will be about £2000 and the Trust is appealing to local residents to support the project by making a donation.

It has set up an online site on mydonate, and invites everyone to help commemorate Scotland’s national hero by googling mydonate and entering William Wallace in the search box