The Wayfarer - The cross, the freedom fighter and the sword

I came across a tale I found of interest which I will now recount although I am sure that it is well known to the good folk of Maybole .

A well known fact is that William Wallace fought very bravely for Scotland’s freedom against a proud Edward, King of England and many times had to hide in various caves around the country.

However the cave in my tale is situated south of Alloway on the high road to Maybole lying halfway between the two towns and is referred to as Wallace’s Cave.

But what is more interesting is an old stone less than half a mile from the cave which is known as Wallace’s Stone.

The tale surrounding this stone is about our first patriot to fight for Scottish independence, and no it was not Alex Salmond, as long before his time Sir William Wallace had stepped up to the mark carrying on a guerilla warfare campaign against the invader.

It was a long and tiring affair having to be constantly on the alert.

One evening as Wallace was on his way back to his cave, weary and spent after a day amongst the Carrick hills, he decided to stop and rest for a while. So as not to be caught unprepared he lay his sword down on a nearby rock and fell asleep.

The time passed without incident and when he awoke to lift his sword and proceed on his journey he found that the imprint of the sword was left in the stone.

This was taken as an omen of good faith in his struggle for Scottish independence which was successfully taken up after his death by Robert the Bruce.

The stone or boulder some three and a half feet in length can still be seen with the imprint of the sword clearly visible to this day.

It is a nice tale however, there is some suggestion that the imprint is that of a Christian cross, which if the stone was in an upright position would indicate to an early pilgrim the main pilgrimage route to Whithorn passing all the abbeys and religious houses on the way.

If this was the case then the boulder with its imprint would predate Sir William Wallace by several centuries.

However I much prefer the tale of it being an imprint of Wallace’s sword and feel that it somehow commemorates a true freedom fighter for Scotland who met with a terrible death.

That is the tale I like to follow, but others may think differently which of course is their right. I leave you to decide which tale you prefer.