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National Trust Plans to Restore Wellington Monument

( Last Updated: 23-06-2009 )

The National Trust is proposing to reclad the Wellington Monument in Somerset, which is deteriorating after more than 150 years of exposure to the elements on the Blackdown Hills.

Standing at 175 foot tall, the Egyptian inspired obelisk is the tallest of its kind in the UK, the second tallest in Europe and the fifth in the world. It was created in honour of the Duke of Wellington to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

On Friday 12 June, Trust staff met representatives from, among others, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Wellington Town Council, Wellington without Parish Council, the Blackdown Hills AONB and Neroche to unveil proposals for the monuments restoration.

Andy Mayled, National Trust General Manager for the Somerset Countryside said "From the survey which took place at the end of 2008 we now know more about the monument's structure than ever before. Finally, we can properly assess the scale of the task ahead of us."

The proposals so far are to remove the ashlar facing stones from the top two thirds of the monument, reinforce the shaft and replace with new stone. 

"The only certainty at this stage is that we don't have the money required to carry out this extensive restoration project and will require a lot of support to help raise the funds needed," said Andy.

"We are very aware of the importance of the monument to local people, visitors to the landmark and even those who enjoy seeing it from the M5. We also recognise its historical significance in our history, so we need to do the job properly so we're not back repairing it again in another 10 years."

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