The Wayfarer - William Wallace’s way was more than just a referendum vote

There are many tales about the supernatural, but even more about Scottish heroes who fought for the freedom of their country.

There could not be a greater hero for Scotland than Sir William Wallace who fought for Scotland’s freedom before Robert the Bruce came on to the scene. Wallace met an untimely and gruesome end at the hands of Scotland’s oppressors but as befits such a hero many tales of his exploits have come down through the centuries.

One such tale is that when Wallace was being chased out of Ayr by English soldiers he made his way eastwards from the town looking for shelter in the woods at Auchencruive where he could avoid his pursuers. Unfortunately the soldiers had dogs which were keenly following his scent and rapidly gaining on him. Wallace made for the river thinking to kill his scent in the water but his pursuers were not far behind so he charged down the bank firmly placing his foot firmly on a large sandstone slab before taking a giant leap into the river. He fought his way through the current to the other side where on a steep bank he found a cave in which he was able to hide until his pursuers had given up the chase.

The heel print can still be seen just on the sandstone slab just below the Holmston Road where a path leads down to a bridge over a small spring which bubbles down to join the main river, and the cave in which he hid is known as Wallace’s cave.

Well a man such as that deserves to be remembered and his feats were recognized in the erection of the Wallace Tower in Ayr which is still stands proudly today along with a statue of the man himself.One another tale of our hero is when after William Wallace had set fire to the barns in Ayr in which enemy forces had been garrisoned he and his band of men reined their horses in on the brow of a grassy hill overlooking the conflagration where Wallace exclaimed ‘The barns o’ Ayr burn weil!’The burning of the barns was as a reprisal for the burning of a barn in Ayr in which Edward’s men had called a meeting of all the local lairds etc and then set fire to it burning them all. The grassy mound on which Wallace and his men watched the conflagration has become known as ‘Barweil Hill’ on which stands another memorial to him. Well those were in the days in which acts of brutality seemed to be the nature of things and independence took a far more violent stance than a mere referendum.Well I look forward to telling more tales next week, see you then.