The William Wallace Statue stands a few hundred yards west of the B6356 on the east side of the Tweed Valley less than a mile north of Dryburgh Abbey. It is reached along a broad woodland path that leads from the car park beside the road which, at the right time of year, offers the strong scent of wild garlic.
What you find at the end of the walk is an impressive edifice of red sandstone, comprising a 21ft tall figure standing on top of a 10ft high plinth. It was unveiled here on 22 September 1814, having been commissioned by David Stuart Erskine, 11th Earl of Buchan, and carved by John Smith of Darnick. The figure of Wallace looks out west over the Tweed Valley and carries a sword in his right hand and a shield in his left. A secondary carving of an urn stands a little to the west, beside the path.
When originally unveiled the statue would have been painted white. When we visited in 2009 someone had seen fit to paint the saltire on his shield, but this had been restored to natural sandstone on our most recent visit. (Continues below image...)
Comparison of our 2009 and 2017 photographs suggest that The Wallace Statue is steadily being obscured by the surrounding vegetation, a common feature that afflicts a number of of Scotland's most classic postcard views. What this means in practice is this is an attraction to be visited while it is still visible, albeit now only from certain limited angles in Summer.
The inscription on the plinth of the statue reads:
Erected by David Stuart
Erskine, Earl of Buchan
GREAT PATRIOT HERO!
ILL REQUITED CHIEF!
The inscription on the urn reads:
The peerless Knight of Ellerslie
Who wav'd on Ayr's Romantic shore
The beamy torch of Liberty
And roaming round from Sea to Sea
From Glade obscure of gloomy Rock
His bold companions call'd to free
The Realm from Edward's Iron Yoke
The latter inscription was said to have been penned by the 11th Earl of Buchan himself, described by his near neighbour Sir Walter Scott as a man whose "immense vanity obscured, or rather eclipsed, very considerable talents". History does not record what the 11th Earl of Buchan thought of Sir Walter Scott. "Ellerslie" should of course have read "Elderslie", which is how it has been mis-transcribed on a nearby modern plaque. You can read our biography of William Wallace here.