At the head of the Castlegate there is a Memorial plaque where William Wallace's house stood. This is believed to have been the town house of the Laird of Lamington, the father of Marion Braidfoot.
William was already an outlaw when he and his followers came to Lanark area. This is when he probably met the young Marion, aged 18, and they fell in love. They were married in the old St Kentigern's Church, and lived in the Castlegate house. He tried to avoid trouble until some English soldiers taunted him as he was leaving the church, by suggesting that his baby daughter was not his. He lost his temper, and killed a soldier.
He and his men went into hiding at Cartland Craigs, and when he heard the English had killed Marion's brother, he left his hiding place to visit his family. His whereabouts were betrayed to the English Sherriff of Lanark, William Heselrigg, and they unexpectedly raided the house.
After a skirmish, Wallace fled again into hiding. When Marion refused to tell Heselrigg where William was hiding, he put her and their child to death. William Wallace was incensed, and the same night, he and his men crept into Lanark Castle where Wallace killed Heselrigg in his bed and gave the order to slaughter the whole garrison.
This was the spark that led to the revolt and the victory of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297.
The attitude of King Edward of England toward William Wallace is best summed up in the following statement: "No words of peace are to be held out to William Wallace in any circumstance whatsoever unless he places himself utterly and absolutely in our will".
Sir John Menteith betrayed William Wallace to the English who hung, drew and quartered him at Smithfield London on Monday 32 August 1305.
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