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Notice: The Hardy Monument is currently closed until further notice. Future opening plans will be provided here. The car park at the monument is privately owned and does not belong to the National Trust. Please contact the West Dorset office for more information.
Monument to Vice-Admiral Hardy
The Hardy Monument stands on an exposed location above the village of Portesham in Dorset. It was built in 1844 in memory of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Flag Captain of HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Amongst other things, Hardy became famous as it was in his arms that Nelson died, saying the immortal words 'Kiss me Hardy'. We became owners of the site in 1938 and have maintained it ever since.
The future of the monument has been safeguarded thanks to a £150,000 restoration project carried out during 2011. The project involved re-pointing nearly 80% of the monument and replacing over a hundred badly eroded stones. The memorial plaque on the outside of the monument was also restored.
We hope that the monument will be re-opened for you to visit in the near future, but problems with access arrangements are delaying this.
The monument was recently opened as part of the Inside Out Dorset arts festival. It played host to Frances Aitken's The Caravan Obscura. An inventive, low tech immersive artwork, the Caravan acts as a giant pinhole camera. Visitors were invited to step inside to regard the scene coming in from the outside on a large vertical screen and take in the spectacular landscape.
The success of the Inside Out Dorset event showed once again how popular Hardy's Monument is. Many people paid a special visit on the weekend it was open.
We are working really hard to re-open the monument to the public. As of October 2014, the main issue is finding suitable parking. We hope to resolve this as soon as possible and will keep you informed of progress.