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10-July-2004 (Kent Watson)
10-July-2004 (Kent Watson)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders / Ballarat City Council

The sculpture of William Wallace is part of the Thomson Bequest which also provided the Statuary Pavillion.  Sir William `Braveheart` Wallace, was the Scottish hero of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. This was chosen as a tribute to Thomson`s birthplace.

James Russell Thomson was a Scottish miner who arrived on the diggings in 1852 and made his fortune from goldmining. At his death in 1886 he left 3000 pounds for statues at the Gardens.

Mr. Percival Ball has just completed his statue of William Wallace, which is to be placed in the Botanical-gardens, Ballarat, in conformity with the terms of the bequest of the late Mr. James Russell Thomson, whose executors have every reason to be gratified with the way in which the sculptor has executed his commission. The Scottish hero is represented as standing upon the Abbey Craig, watching for the precise moment when a blast upon the horn hanging at his side will give the sigual for his forces to fall upon the English as they cross Stirling Bridge. His stalwart and sinewy figure is clad in a close-fitting suit of chain armour, which does not prevent the muscular features of his frame from being sufficiently well defined to convey an impression of his great physical power.

Over the armour is a light surcoat, with the lion of Scotland emblazoned on its breast. The arms are bare to just above the elbow, and the muscles lie in ridges on their brawny surface, both hands gripping the hilt of the sword which was afterwards carried away from Dumbarton Castle by the English. A simple morion covers the head, and the absence of a visor has enabled the sculptor to give greater force and distinctness to the features of the face, which wear an expression of mingled sterness, vigilance, and resolution, to appropriate both the critical hour and the courageous soldier. The figure is represented as of almost heroic stature, firmly planted on its feet in an attitude expressive of expectation and determination; and while the general conception is artistic and effective, Mr. Ball has spared no pains in the execution of the necessary detail, so as to present the national hero "in his habit as he lived."
Wagga Wagga Advertiser (NSW), 14 May 1889. 


Address:Wendouree Parade, Botanical Gardens, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.547074
Long: 143.822138
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event End Date:
Artist:Percival Ball (Melbourne, VIC)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 24th May, 1889
Front Inscription


Bequeathed to the public of Ballarat by the late James Russell Thomson.

Unveiled 24th May 1889.

"Oh thou ! who poured the patriotic tide that streamed through Wallaces undaunted heart.
Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride, or nobly die, the second glorious part.
(The Patriot's God, peculiarly thou art. His friend, inspirer, guardian and reward :)
Oh never, never, Scotia's realm desert ; 
But still the patriot, and the patriot bard.
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !"

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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