Community gathers to celebrate 200 years of Wellington Monument
October 2017 saw 200 years since the laying of the foundation stone for Wellington Monument.
The monument is treasured by the local community and with this in mind the National Trust decided to celebrate this monumental anniversary.
Duke of Wellington, first to visit Monument
It was always hoped that the origianl duke of Wellington's ancestors would return to the monument to enjoy this tribute to the 'Iron Duke'. This wish came true 200 years to the day since the laying of the foundation stone on 21 October 2017. This October the current Duke visited the monument for the first time. He had the rare opportunity to climb up the tall obelisk. the tough 175ft climb is rewarded with breathtaking views that span across the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor.
The community gathers to celebrate milestone
The Monument is loved by the local Wellington community and it was important to celebrate this special moment in time with them. With community enthusiasm, partners from the Blackdown Hills AONB and Action Track local community arts organisation, a performance to celebrate the anniversary was created.
The monument’s past has been a little shaky with plans for its construction hitting many hurdles as well as suffering damage and setbacks from lightning strikes.
The varied history of the mounument was brought to life in a light-hearted way, as ActionTrack and local community actors brought us ‘The Story of a Stone’.
The perfermance included sets and props which were all created by memebers of the local community. These props gave a bright and professional edge to the performance - bringing the story to life.
At 175 feet, Wellington Monument is the tallest three sided obelisk in the world, it sits in a designated AONB. It was funded through public subscription with the foundation stone being laid in 1817 and was finally finished in 1853 after more than three decades of building work.
The Blackdown Hills is one of 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For many it epitomises our mental picture of the English countryside, characterised by hedgerows and copses, small farms with intricate field patterns, steep valleys and narrow, winding lanes.