William Wallace statue to move to site where English killed

A controversial sculpture of Scottish hero Wiliam Wallace has been moved to a site where he left English soldiers to die.

The 13-foot statue carved by sculptor Tom Church depicts Mel Gibson’s portrayal as Wallace in the film Braveheart.

For ten years, it stood on display at the entrance to the Wallace Monument in Stirling - attracting scorn and compliments - before being returned to Church’s studio in 2008.

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Now 72, Church is downsizing his studio which meant the 12-ton statue needed a new home.

He told the Daily Record: “I couldn’t just get rid of it. It’s the most important piece I have created in my life. It is part of the family.”

It will now be moved to a new home in Ardrossan, Ayrshire.

During the Scottish Wars of Independence, Ardrossan Castle was held by the English. In 1296, Wallace led his army to the castle and laid seige to it.

According to legend, he threw the survivors into a vault in the castle’s cellar with the corpses of fallen soliders and and left them to starve to death.

The cellar become known as Wallace’s Larder.

Over the years, the statue has been the focus of vandals who have thrown paint on it and gauged on its face.

Alan Bell, director of the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety charity in Ardrossan, said: “There is a strong connection between Wallace and Ardrossan and I wanted to highlight this.

“We visited Tom and he agreed to give us the statue as a centrepiece.”