“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here; My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.” -Robert Burns // Stirling, Scotland | GarettPhotography
The Removal of the William Wallace Statue in Stirling,
A grand memorial to Scottish hero William Wallace the 13 foot, 12 ton sandstone “Freedom” statue created by Tom Church once dominated the parking lot of The National Wallace Monument in Stirling.
A historically accurate depiction of William Wallace, “Freedom” was hand chiseled by Tom Church in 1997 after watching the film Braveheart. Immediately upon unveiling, Church and his statue immediately came under fire by critics, who claimed that the statue did not look like the historical figure William Wallace, but more like Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Wallace from Braveheart. Others claimed that the statue itself looked utterly ridiculous, and was not worthy for a place at the Wallace National Monument. I myself do not see any resemblance to Mel Gibson, and obviously many simply cannot see the artistry, craftsmanship, and historicity of this grand monument.
“Freedom” came under physical attack from historical revisionists, postmodernist vandals, and those who wish to erase or re-write Scottish history, resulting in the park placing a protective cage around the statue. Finally the Wallace National Monument decided to removed the statue in 2008, claiming they needed the space in order to expand their visitor center and restaurant. Of course, it was evident that the statue was removed for political reasons. The statue was returned to it’s sculptor, Eric Church, who remains in possession of it to this day.