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The Abbey Craig is the hill upon which the Wallace Monument stands, at Causewayhead, just to the north of Stirling. The hill is the site of William Wallace's HQ ahead of the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, which was part of the Scottish Wars of Independence.
To log the following earthcache please send the answers to the following 5 questions to the CO via email or groundspeak message prior to logging. There is no need to wait for as reply prior to logging. Logs will be deleted if the CO does not receive answers.
Please note that parking is available at the first waypoint. Parking fees apply.
The Abbey Craig is part of a of a complex quartz-dolerite intrusion or sill within carboniferous strata, at the western edge of the Central Coal Field, known as the Stirling Sill. The Stirling sill underlies a large part of central Scotland, and may be contiguous at great depth. The sill is of very late Carboniferous age or more probably Permian, as it penetrates the coal measures, often in bedding planes between the various strata. In places, it rises through fractures in the strata to a new level, forming features that, at the surface, would be called dikes.
The slope of the Abbey Craig, or the Stirling Castle rock, gives a general idea of the angle of dip of the coal measures at the extremity or the coalfield, and the thickness of the sill can also be seen, which is approximately 100 metres.
Q1) Estimate the height of Abbey Craig?
Q2) From your vantage point you can observe that Abbey Craig has a characteristic crag and tail which reflects glacial shaping. Why do you think glacial shaping causes this crag and tail effect? Consider rock texture in your answer.
Dolerite is a igneous rock which contains plagioclase feldspar of labradorite composition and pyroxene of augite or titanaugite composition as essential minerals, and magnetite, titano-magnetite, or ilmenite as accessory minerals. Where quartz occurs as an additional mineral in the groundmass, the rock is termed a ‘quartz dolerite’. Dolerites can be divided into alkali and tholeiitic types. Dolerites are commonly found in shallow level intrusions such as dykes, sills, or plugs.
Next head up to the top of Abbey Craig. Look out for examples of quartz-dolerite as you ascend. The Wallace monument is open to visitors, but entrance is not required to complete this earthcache. Fees apply for entrance to the monument, fees and opening times can be found on their website.
In 1861 Victorian craftsmen embarked on a special assignment to build a monument that would commemorate a Scottish Hero. For those workers this was no ordinary task. But then Sir William Wallace was no ordinary hero…
The task of designing The National Wallace Monument was set up as an architectural competition, which received a total of 106 entries. Of those entries only two of the designs are known to have survived, the winning entry from Edinburgh-born Glasgow architect J. T. Rochead and the ‘Liberty’ design from the firm Peddie and Kinnear which won “second premium”. It was built in a Victorian Gothic style and cost £18,000 to complete. The stunning 67 metre tower is instantly recognizable, and attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year.
Q3) What stone, quarried in Stirlingshire, was utilised to build the Wallace Monument?
Q4) The Stirling Sill is made of quatz-dolerite, an igneous rock intruded into the Carboniferous sediments to form a hard sheet. Coal is one of the sedimentary rocks found in the Carboniferous succession (layers of sedimentary rocks). Compare quartz-dolerite, coal and the stone utilised in the Wallace Monument. Consider colour, texture, grain size and durability.
Q5) What animals are featured in the crest above the entrance to the Wallace Monument?
OPTIONAL: Take a photograph of yourself with the Wallace monument or with your favourite view from Abbey Craig in the background.
The CO wishes to thank trip advisor for allowing their image of Wallace Monument to be used.
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