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22 December 18
Marquess of Anglesey’s Column wins National Lottery support
The Anglesey Column Trust, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, has received initial National Lottery support* for the Restoration and Renovation of the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column, it was announced today. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to fully restore the Column so that it will be once again safe for people to climb to the top, and to develop the whole site for public benefit, particularly renovating the cottage on site and constructing an accessible viewing platform so that everyone can enjoy the magnificent views afforded by the Column’s location.
Development funding of £59,800 [Fifty Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred Pounds] has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help the Anglesey Column Trust progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.
Repaired and conserved, the Column site will be sustainable for the long term. The cottage at the base of the Column will provide a tearoom, shop, interpretation of the heritage and architecture of the Column, and space for learning activities, school visits and wider educational use. The project will feature an interpretation scheme throughout the site that will tell stories about the local area and the significant history connected with the Column.
Constructed in 1817 from monies raised by public subscription as a memorial to the 1st Marquess of Anglesey’s important role in the Battle of Waterloo, over the last 200+ years the Column has been a popular community space and tourist attraction. Visitors and locals alike have enjoyed conquering its 115 steps to enjoy the panoramic views of North West Wales, including Snowdonia, Anglesey and the Llŷn Peninsula. Local charities have also used the Column as a valuable focus for fundraising events. Unfortunately, the Column itself was closed to the public in 2012, when the internal staircase was deemed unsafe.
Commenting on the award, Alex, 8th Marquess of Anglesey and Chair of the Anglesey Column Trust Committee, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Since we launched our campaign to restore and reopen the Column, the support and positive feedback we’ve received from the local community and interest groups has been fantastic. The overwhelming response has been that people want to be able to enjoy the Column site again and that its heritage and history are very important. It’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for generations to come.”
Notes to editors
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
*Heritage Lottery Fund applications are assessed in two rounds. The Restoration and Renovation of the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column project has initially been granted round one development funding of £59,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £640,000.
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.
+ Why are you proposing to restore the Column?
The iconic Marquess of Anglesey’s Column is a significant part of our local heritage.
We believe that the value of the Column is keenly felt on Anglesey, with a feeling of historical ownership being recognised by local people.
Visitors to the Column have travelled from all around the world to climb the 115 steps to the top and take in the unique panorama.
During the recent period of closure the local press has on a number of occasions included articles about the Column and its loss to the community and more recently local councillors and residents have come forward to say that they would like to help in obtaining a resolution to the problem.
We are confident that restoration of the Column will increase visitor numbers when access to the Column is provided and this will contribute to footfall in local shops, hotels and other local visitor attractions.
+ Where is the Column?
The Column sits in 4 acres of woodland in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. As well as the prominent 89ft Napoleonic war memorial, the site consist of a modest cottage and a car park.
+ Who owns the Column?
The Site and Column are owned by a charity, the Anglesey Column Trust, which was set up in 2007 to look after the monument. The trust was officially registered as a charity in July 2017 (reg no: 1173731).
The Trust’s aims are:
“The advancement of the education of the public by making accessible to the public, and the preservation, maintenance, upkeep and repair of, the Napoleonic War Memorial, known as the Marquess of Anglesey's Column, on the Isle of Anglesey.”
The Trust is advised by a committee. The Anglesey Column Trust Committee has been assembled from a group of local volunteers, chaired by the current Marquess of Anglesey. Our main focus at present is to attract funding in order to restore the Column site.
The current Marquess has donated funding towards the initial costs of the project.
+ What work is needed to restore the Site?
In 2016, the Anglesey Column Trust commissioned a structural engineers report, which concluded that the Column is structurally sound but requires significant work to restore the central staircase.
Further work would be required to bring the external access up to modern standards, to secure the upper railings around the viewing platform and to renovate the Column Cottage as a space to provide information and interpretation for the site.
+ HOW ARE YOU GOING TO FUND THE RESTORATION?
All funding scenarios are likely to involve a combination of grant funding from public and third sector bodies, donations and funds raised through public campaigns.
At the early stages, our priority was to target funding specifically to enable us to get experts on board to help us develop our business case and scope how exactly we will achieve our aim of reopening the Column and make the project sustainable in the long term.
In early 2018 we were successful in attracting grants to help us with the development phase of the project and we are extremely grateful to the following organisations for their contributions:
The Gaynor Cemlyn Jones Trust: £2,000
The Architectural Heritage Fund Project Viability Grant: £5,000
The Anglesey Charitable Trust: £10,000
This funding enabled us to appoint consultants to help us prepare a Round 1 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was submitted in August 2018. We felt that the Heritage Lottery Fund would be the ideal funding partner due to the rich history and heritage associated with the Column.
We were delighted to announce in December 2018 that we have received initial National Lottery support for the Restoration and Renovation of the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column.
Heritage Lottery Fund applications are assessed in two rounds. This project has initially been granted round one development funding of £59,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing us to progress with our plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £640,000.
+ What exactly does the project include?
The project will:
- Repair and reopen the Column.
- Tell stories of local and national heritage.
- Build a spectacular accessible viewing platform for those unable to climb the 115 stairs.
- Create disabled access to a monument to one of the UK’s most distinguished disabled war heroes.
- Remodel the cottage as a visitor engagement centre.
- Provide opportunities for volunteering and community activity.
- Ensure the Column's sustainable future.
- Be a major addition to Anglesey tourism.
It is important to us that the Column becomes a valuable asset for the local community and that we ensure as rich an experience as possible for the Column’s future visitors.
+ How much is the restoration project likely to cost?
Our initial structural engineers report indicated that the total cost of the structural restoration alone is estimated at some £200,000, therefore we have always been aware that this would be a significant project that would require extensive fundraising.
Ahead of submitting our Round 1 HLF application we conducted a thorough business planning exercise. This showed us that, in order to safely restore the site and all its structures, ensure accessibility for all, tell stories about the heritage of the site and make the project sustainable in the long term, we need to raise over £1M.
+ How can I get involved?
We are keen to talk to local individuals, organisations and communities as the project progresses.
We will also periodically be launching specific appeals for information and ideas about various matters and sharing project updates.
You can sign up to our mailing list below.
Currently, we are keen to receive any professional images or footage that would help us at this early stage to showcase the Column and use in our communication activity.
+ What is the Column’s history?
Following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 the Prince Regent honoured the Earl of Uxbridge, who was second in command under Wellington and leader of the allied cavalry, by making him Marquess of Anglesey.
The Marquess lost his right leg during the battle. To mark their pride in the Marquess’ participation and valour, the local community on Anglesey raised funds to erect a column on high ground overlooking the Menai Strait and the family’s seat at Plas Newydd, Llanfairpwll.
The column was completed in 1817 and therefore 2017 was its 200th anniversary. Following the death of the 1st Marquess in 1854, further funds were raised by public subscription to place a bronze statue at the top of the Column. This was erected in 1860.
The column was Listed Grade II* on 2nd May 1952, due to it being: “An impressive commemorative monument, notable both for the architectural quality and scale of the original Greek Doric obelisk, and for the fine figure which surmounts it. A well preserved and conspicuous landmark on the NW shore of the Menai Strait.”
+ What is special about the Column site?
At 106m above the Menai Strait, the Column is a conspicuous landmark on the Anglesey skyline. It is nestled amongst a mature mixed broadleaf woodland which is a natural red squirrel habitat.
The Column was designed in 1816-17 by an important and renowned architect of his era, Thomas Harrison and the bronze figure was created by the the great victorian sculptor Matthew Noble and erected in 1860 after the death of the 1st Marquess.
The Site is just metres from Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge and also boasts views of Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge.
Referencing an integral part of our history, the Column is a key destination for those keen to acknowledge and remember the ultimate sacrifices made at Waterloo.
A victory in 1815 at Waterloo ended the Napoleonic Wars which took the lives of 5 million people and Europe entered an incredible age of peace and prosperity as a result.
The Column itself sits on a steep rocky outcrop of significant geological interest on the outskirts of Llanfairpwll, the small village with the long name and rich history, not least as the birthplace of the British Women’s Institute.