The truth about William Wallace, not the ‘Braveheart’ myth – leader comment

A stained glass window of William Wallace at the Wallace Monument (Picture: Neil Hanna)
A stained glass window of William Wallace at the Wallace Monument (Picture: Neil Hanna)
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Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Sir William Wallace in the film Braveheart caused a sensation when it was released in 1995. His cries of “freedom!” were repeated throughout the land and there was a marked increase in the number of blue painted faces at major sporting events.

So the claim that the story of Scotland’s archetypal freedom fighter is to be told “better than ever before” is a bold one.

However, the charity that runs the towering National Wallace Monument believes it will live up to this billing after a major refurbishment is complete, resulting in the complete transformation of its three exhibition galleries.

READ MORE: William Wallace story to be told ‘better than ever before’ in £1m project

This will include an animation about Wallace’s key role in the Wars of Independence, which eventually saw the Scots victorious under Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn in 1314.

“Better” is obviously a subjective word. It will do well to be as entertaining as Gibson’s historical romp, but one imagines it will be much closer to the actual reality of the momentous events that took place more than 700 years ago.

READ MORE: William Wallace myths busted