It is said that English soldiers lured Scottish noblemen to the Barns of Ayr with promises of peace talks, but slaughtered them all on arrival. William Wallace only survived because he was warned by a woman who witnessed the massacre of the Scottish nobleman.
In the spring Heather nervously waited beyond the barns of Ayr (which the English had been using as their barracks), where a beautiful meadow met a small pond, overlooked by the pigs and cows grazing in the land immediately next to the barns. She fiddled with her dress as she leaned against a tree and waited. She did this every day for three weeks, even when it was raining. As a breeze rustled the leaves of the tree, she would warm herself with the memories of their meetings the days before.
Alexander approached on his horse. Heather always knew he was near because she could feel the vibrations of his horse in the trunk of the tree but still, she pretended not to know he was there until he dismounted his horse. He walked to the edge of the pond and picked up a stone.
“If I can skim this stone all the way to the other side then we should be married,” he proclaimed.
Heather watched as he swung his arm back and whipped it forward releasing the stone on to the pond’s surface. The stone skimmed and lost momentum halfway.
She smiled. “You shouldn’t make such bets when you don’t know if I’d agree to it or not.”
Alexander fell to his knees before her as if he had taken a sword through the heart. She embraced him and he clung to her waist like a little boy.
Although these events are believed to be inspired by fact the exact location and details have become the stuff of well-known legend. The incident was included in the 1995 film Braveheart, about the life of William Wallace. Wallace Tower commemorates his connections to the town and this incident.
Written by: Neil Boyle
Illustrations by: Lori Isabella McColl
Audio by: Elisha Bennison
Audio recording and mixing by: Scott Andrew