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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. We're currently working with partners to secure more suitable parking.

Monument and car park now open

You can now get a cup of tea and other refreshments at Hardy Monument

You can now get a cup of tea and other refreshments at Hardy Monument

We're delighted to announce that for the first time in seven years, the monument and car park are open to visitors.

The reopening has been made possible after our recent acquisition of the key car park for the monument and some wonderful adjoining heathland.

Useful information

  • The monument and car park (Pay and Display) are open from 10am-4.30pm every day (weather permitting)
  • Last entry to the monument is 4pm
  • Admission to the monument is £2 per person
  • There's a catering van selling ice creams, cold drinks and tea and coffee

Enjoy the views

Fittingly, the monument enjoys specutacular views of the Dorset coast

Climb to the top of the monument and you'll be rewarded with fantastic views in every direction. Look out to sea over Lyme Bay, and inland over rolling Dorset countryside.You'll feel on top of the world.

Wonderful walking

Don't fancy the climb to the top of the monument? The car park is an ideal starting point for exploring the surrounding countryside, with access to lots of footpaths including the South Dorset Ridgeway.


We're working in partnership with Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team, Natural England and Dorset County Council to manage this landscape in conjunction with the South Dorset Ridgeway Partnership.