Today we visited the Wallace monument. The grounds surrounding the monument are quite wonderful. There is a steep walk up to the monument from the coffee shop. You could use the bus but hey… don't take that… walk. Then you make the most amazing discoveries.
The walk up the hillside shows a view of Scottish history in wood carvings. Every turn of the twisty track shows a sculpture of ancient and not so ancient Scotland.
The sculptures are delightful but one especially caught my eye.
It was the aviation related one of course.
They built and finished their first aircraft in under 2 years in 1908. Then off they went to testing their machine and become the first Scottish Powered Flight.
Let me quote directly here so I don't miss anything.
“This plane had one major problem - they couldn’t get it off the ground.”
I do love that.
It is the Scottish way of saying things in print for the world to see. These aviators built a wonderful aircraft. Wonderful in all ways but one. The ability to fly. I laughed so much.
The brothers are still celebrated Scottish Aviators. In July 1909 they did get off the ground in a powered aircraft. They flew 80 yards at a height of 13 feet.
They took time out from their dig to show us what all this dust and dirt actually means. It is fascinating. This weeks big discovery:-
The ramparts around the Wallace Monument were actually vitrified.
This means that the walls around the castle were built of stone with wood embedded throughout. When the enemy reach the wall they attempt to burn down everything. The wood catches fire. This melts the rock which vitrifies and becomes even more difficult to breach.
I think that is what they said.
Eric is a surgeon by profession and an archeologist by weekend. His surgeon skills were certainly on show as he dusted each rock face to show us the charcoal of the burned wall. Sue led us across the excavation to show the wall they had discovered.
We were so lucky.
This site has been opened up, catalogued and photographed. All that is left to do now is to fill it all in again. Fill it in so no one will be able to notice it at all.
That is almost Scottish humour on show again. All that work and study. And the only job left is to hide it in such a way that no one knows it is even there.