Wallace Tower, High Street, Ayr
William Wallace was born in Ayrshire. The tower in Ayr High Street was built in honour of William Wallace. The original tower was owned by the Cathcarts of Corbieston, but was acquired by the Town Council in 1673. In 1832 the first tower was replaced by the present Gothic one, 115 feet high with a statue of Wallace in front of it.
William Wallace led the Scottish rebels to an historic victory over the English army at Stirling Bridge in 1297. Wallace was rewarded for his bravery by being given the title ‘Guardian of Scotland’. The tower that was reconstructed to its present form in 1832 may have been built on the site where William Wallace’s father once lived, now the centre of the High Street in Ayr.
It was an old baronial tower at the corner of High Street and Mill Vennel, which contained a clock. The clock is referred to in Burns's poem 'The Brigs of Ayr'.
The Wallace statue on the tower is near the alleged site of the Burning of the Barns. Wallace and his followers burned the troops of King Edward I as they slept in revenge for the killing of 350 Ayrshire barons and others at the time of Bruce.
Historians presumed that Wallace was the son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie. The basis for this was a poem written 150 years after the time of Wallace by a minstrel called Blind Harry. Examination of the seal which was sent on a letter to Lubeck after the battle of Stirling Bridge named Wallace's real father as Allan Wallace, a royal tenant living in Ayrshire at that time.