IT is probably the most striking artefact in the National Wallace Monument, a favourite to admire and to photograph.

And from the spring, visitors to the famous tower near Stirling will be able to view Sir William Wallace's sword in a specially designed new centrepiece.

As part of a £300,000 refurbishment, the martyr's broadsword, measuring 5 feet 5 inches, will stand atop a plinth made from stone quarried locally for the monument during its construction 150 years ago.

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Designed by the Victorian architect JT Rochead and opened in 1869, the monument has been home to the Wallace Sword since it was brought to Stirling in 1888. But over the years it hung on an obscure wall, and experts overseeing the refurbishment felt it should be displayed more prominently.

The weapon will now take pride of place in The Hall of Heroes, which will tell the story of Wallace's life and how he came to be Scotland's first national hero.

Zillah Jamieson, Stirling district tourism chair, said: "Seeing the sword is very special and meaningful to people. It's only right it takes more of a central role."