Somerset

Wellington Monument £1.8m repairs to begin

Wellington monument, Blackdown Hills, Somerset Image copyright National Trust/Fran Stothard
Image caption The Wellington Monument was closed to the public in 2005

The National Trust is to spend £1.8m to partially repair a crumbling monument.

The 175ft (53m) Wellington Monument in Somerset was built in 1817 as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington's victory at Waterloo. It has been fenced off for 13 years due to falling stone debris.

The charity says it will cost £3.8m to repair the entire obelisk but it is struggling to raise the full amount.

Project manager Helen Sharp said: "The top third is where most of the problems are, it's the worst affected area."

She added: "It was built after the rest of it and the quality isn't as good."

The charity has applied for National Lottery funding twice for the monument in the Blackdown Hills near Wellington but has been turned down.

It now plans to hold another fundraising campaign and apply to other major donors to build up the repair fund.

A trust spokesman added: "The problem is we have a massive backlog for competing demands...we are trying to spend £100m a year for the next 10 years to tackle the conservation backlog."

Work will start in May 2019 and is expected to take around 18 months to complete.

Image caption The three-sided obelisk is crumbling
Image caption The landmark has been fenced off for safety reasons

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