Resurrection bid for Falkirk fountain is set for success

The Sir John de Graeme memorial fountain in Falkirk’s Victoria Park was in a sorry state last year, desecrated by mindless vandals.

By Roy Beers
Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:50 pm
The Lion of Scotland - back where he belongs.
The Lion of Scotland - back where he belongs.

The commanding Lion of Scotland at its summit had been wrenched loose and flung, broken, to the ground.

The long-neglected memorial originally bestowed to the town by Sir Robert Dollar was no longer a fountain, and was not only in a shabby condition itself but marooned in a forlorn patch of a near-forgotten corner of the park.

Now - thanks in large measure to the enthusiasm of local heritage group the Society of John de Graeme - the memorial to the fallen of the 1298 Battle of Falkirk is beginning to look as magnificent as when originally unveiled all those years ago.

Not only is the Lion of Scotland cleaned and fully restored there has had been a debate about whether the shield it bears should be inscribed with Sir John’s heraldic arms.

Painstaking reparation work has transformed the monument, and meanwhile the area around it is being comprehensively developed.

New stone steps, hedgerows and a flagpole are all elements of improvements designed to improve both the monument and the site, with the aim of making it - once again -a family-friendly place which does justice to the great historic events which once took place within walking distance of the town.

Sir John, a right hand man of Sir William Wallace, was among the many to die during the disastrous Scottish defeat at the hands of Edward I’s invading army.

He was interred in a landmark grave site in the churchyard of Trinity Church, now an icon of Falkirk heritage which assumes a special importance during the annual summer commemoration of the battle.

We shall have more on the monument’s history and its restoration as the developing project reaches fruition in months to come.