The Society of William Wallace installs a new memorial plaque during a service of remembrance at the monument to commemorate the 695th anniversary of Wallace's betrayal and capture. The Scotsman wrongly asserts that: "Wallace was seized a few miles from the bishop's [Wishart of Glasgow] land at what is now Bishopbriggs". The land is actually now in Glasgow, although it is on the border with East Dunbartonshire, the local authority in which Bishopbriggs is situated. Wallace historian David Ross, whose 'On the Trail of William Wallace' hit the bestseller list following the release of the Braveheart movie lamented: "I bet 99 in 100 Glaswegians don't know Wallace was captured inside the city boundary. I think Glasgow City Council have missed out on tremendous opportunity". An unnamed representative from Glasgow City Council was present at the ceremony. (Source: The Scotsman, August 5, 2000)
Seorus Wallace, chief executive of the Glasgow-based Wallace Clan Trust, announces the forthcoming sale of memorabilia from the Braverheart movie in order to raise funds for a possible purchase of the land on which the Robroyston Wallace Monument is situated. Mr Wallace said that he decided to sell the movie props following an auction in New York the previous week, when Celtic director Dermot Desmond successfully bid for a sword from the film for £116,000. The items owned by the clan trust that they propose to sell include armour worn by Mel Gibson (Braveheart's Australian star), costumes and swords from the film, as well as the hankie dropped by the Gibson/Wallace at the end of the movie.
Mr Wallace said: "Maybe Mr Desmond would like to get himself kitted out in the rest of Mel Gibson's costume and at the same time contribute to a good cause! William Wallace means so much to so many people and to see the land where he was captured by the English just rotting away is tragic. We have long wanted to buy back the Wallace Clan lands and we reckon if we sell some of the stuff from the film we will be able to buy the Robroyston plot. It is a decision I've made with a heavy heart but in the long term owning this area means more than what we have from the film". (Source: Evening Times (Glasgow), March 12, 2001)
A damning report in the Daily Record tells how the Robroyston site has become a "national disgrace" that has been allowed to "has been allowed to fall into ruin and disrepair". The report includes a note of optimism though, with Seoras Wallace, head of the Clan Wallace Society, telling how he has a vision "to build a prestigious visitors' centre around the site attracting tens of thousands every year".
Mr Wallace tells of his despair on visiting the site: "A lot of things I believed I should be proud of as a Scot were shattered when I came across many of the sites. This one hit home the hardest. When you come here and walk on the land it is like walking in long footsteps. When you stand on this spot the images come flooding in, the atmosphere is still here. The land hasn't changed much geographically. But it's in such a state of deprivation. Visitors around the world call me to say we should be ashamed to have allowed this site to get in such terrible condition. It's a rubbish tip, covered in graffiti, heroin syringes and abandoned cars. Anger doesn't come into it, I just simply don't understand. This is part of our DNA. People blame me. But everybody should take responsibility".
The report continues: "There's two clusters of rotting farm buildings and a couple of acres of land - littered with urban debris. A quarter of a mile further on there's the more obvious Wallace's Well - also neglected". (Source: Daily Record, April 14, 2001)
A campaign is launched to save the site where William Wallace spent final few moments as a free man before his capture in 1305, Wallace's Well, a natural spring at Robroyston, just a couple of hundred yards from the Robroyston Wallace Monument. The Society of William Wallace calls supporters to monitor the progress of forthcoming housing developments and "inform officials of any new development plans". Spokesman Duncan Fenton said: "It would be a terrible tragedy if we lost this site. It is one of the few remaining tangible links that we in Scotland have with our national hero". (Source: The News of the World, May 6, 2001)
Another report of the battle to save Wallace's Well at Robroyston is published, following revelations that the site has been removed from Historic Scotland's list of protected monuments. Duncan Fenton, vice-chairman of the Society of William Wallace, said: "Only in Scotland could an historic site like Wallace's Well be allowed to come under threat. It would be a tragedy if we lost this site. It is one of the few remaining tangible links that we in Scotland have with our national hero. The preservation of sites of historic interest in Scotland has never been as good as in other countries - England in particular."
The reports ends with some important historical background: "[Wallace] was in Rab Raa's Toun - Robroyston - on his way to Glasgow to plead with the Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart, for help in his fight for Scottish independence. The sympathetic bishop had supplied him with money, arms and food while he was on the run from the English. The spring, known for centuries as Wallace's Well, is first mentioned by the Scots poet Blind Harry, whose epic about Wallace was written in the 14th century". (Source: The Scotsman, May 8, 2001)
In an article entitled 'New role for Braveheart hero memorial', with the by-line 'Exclusive: Pledge By Housebuilders Ends Monument Fears', we are told that the Robroyston Wallace Monument "could become a key heritage site for legendary Scots warrior William Wallace". The article informs readers that the monument could become "a world-famous heritage site within a year". The Aberdeen-based house building company Stewart Milne insists that they have no intention of building on the land, which "they too consider to be historically important", and reveal that they have "commissioned a full archaeological study by Glasgow University to establish what remains relate to the Braveheart hero". The company's spokesman adds: "There is no doubt the area provides a locus for the history of Wallace and the Stewart Milne Group expect to be able to support this in the appropriate manner". (Source: Evening Times (Glasgow), August 2, 2001)
Further details of the planned auction of Wallace/Braveheart memorabilia emerge as it is revealed that the auction is to be held at the famous Planet Hollywood restaurant in New York, to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, on September 11th. The Wallace Clan hopes to raise up to £500,000 from the sale of their valuable items in order to fund a new historical centre dedicated to the life of William Wallace at Robroyston.
Seoras Wallace, chief executive of the Wallace Clan Trust, said: "The Clan wants to make people more aware of just who Wallace was and what he stood for. I personally wouldn't be that bothered if we ended up not owning the Robroyston centre but I would just be happy to know we had done our bit. A lot of what is going on sale are personal possessions that have sentimental value. Members of the Clan have given them up so that more people can benefit in the long run".
The Clan Trust tells of plans of buying the seven-acre site around the Robroyston Wallace Monument and reveal that they have already commissioned an independent archaeological dig by Glasgow University to investigate the area for definitive traces of Wallace. Ominously though the site has already been earmarked for redevelopment by Glasgow City Council. (Source: The Sun, August 16, 2001)
The scheduled auction is cancelled following the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York. The Clan Wallace Trust donates a limited-release 1305 Braveheart Claymore Collection sword (release No. 911) to eBay's 'Auction For America'. The Trust hopes to open the proposed Robroyston Braveheart Memorial Centre on land surrounding the monument on August 2005, the 700th anniversary of Wallace's capture and execution. (Source: Business Wire, October 18, 2001)
Aberdeen-based house builders Stewart Milne propose to build hundreds of houses on an exclusive development at Robroyston following a decision by Glasgow City Council to use existing green-belt land around the city to "stem the flow of wealthy families from Glasgow". Development and regeneration convener Steven Purcell said: "The council very much supports the kind of developments planned for Robroyston... The council is keen to speed up land development like this. Hopefully Robroyston will get the ball rolling".
Gavin Loudon, managing director of Stewart Milne Holdings, insists that his company would work with Historic Scotland to ensure the future of the Robroyston Wallace Monument. The deal has not reached the planning stage, and planning permission has not yet been formally granted, but it is understood that around 220 detached homes are proposed for the Robroyston site. (Source: Evening Times (Glasgow), March 8, 2002)
A short report in The Herald claims that 'Wallace enthusiasts' have launched a Save the Monument: "A campaign has been launched to transform a derelict monument commemorating William Wallace from a dump into a tourist attraction. Support is growing to secure the stone obelisk in Robroyston, Glasgow, as an international heritage site". (Source: The Herald (Glasgow), August 22, 2005)
Jim Mather, an SNP MSP, lodges a motion at Holyrood to call for a letter carried by William Wallace to be returned to Scotland from its current home in London. The letter, known as "The Safe Conduct", was in the possession of Wallace when he was captured at Robroyston. The letter was meant to grant him safe conduct to visit the Pope. (Source: The Times (London), October 29, 2005)
The Sunday Herald reports (quoting unnamed sources) that a site once proposed as the future home of Celtic Football Club has been sold by Brian Dempsey, former Celtic FC director, to Cala Homes West for £20 million. According to the paper, Cala marketing material is promoting the site as "a land rich in history", mentioning the area's "strong links to William Wallace". It is envisaged that the first part of the Cala development will consist of 74 houses, with two neighbouring additional sites being earmarked for future housing developments. (Source: The Sunday Herald, October 29, 2006)
First reports of work having been started on the second phase of the Cala Homes West development referred to above. This stage of the 'Wallacefield' estate will see a £40 million investment by Cala Homes resulting in 122 top-range family houses built adjacent to the site where William Wallace was captured. (Source: Evening Times (Glasgow), May 28, 2007)
Wallace historian and author David Ross describes the state of the Robroyston Wallace Monument as "absolute eyesore". Mr Ross complains that although houses in the nearby Cala development are selling for in excess of £400, 000, little has been spent on the maintenance of the monuments and its surroundings, saying that the site is "littered with tree stumps, broken concrete bollards and temporary fencing".
Mr Ross, who is also convener of the William Wallace Society, also claims that Glasgow City Council has neglected the site, even though he believes it could be a major tourist attraction for the city. According to Mr Ross: "Wallace was captured at Robroyston Mains Farm which was just across the road. He is our national hero. If this was George Washington in the States or Nelson in England, you would be charged a fiver to see the monument. But it has been allowed to go to rack and ruin and is an absolute eyesore".
John Mason, SNP (opposition) group leader at Glasgow City Council agrees and adds: "It's an embarrassment for Glasgow. People come on all these Rennie Mackintosh tours and the same could be happening for Wallace, but the parking is terrible in the area and it's not even signposted".
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council responds: "It was a condition of Stewart Milne's planning application that it builds a small car park or lay-by for people visiting the monument and we understand this is going ahead". (Source: Evening Times (Glasgow), June 2, 2007)