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The Simeon Monument
A monumental achievement for Reading
See the video shown on South Today of the 19th Century monument in Reading's Market Place that has been restored to its original glory.
See the video by South Today's Ben Moore here:
A 19th Century monument originally installed to enhance Market Place has been restored and was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday (18 December 2007).
Over the last few months the Simeon Monument, situated by the former public toilets, has been restored to its former glory after years of neglect - sometimes even being used as spot for men to urinate.
Stonemason Angus Jones
The 25-foot obelisk is made of Portland Stone and has had a fresh coat of limewash.
Large sections of stone have also been replaced and repaired, the original gas lanterns have been replicated and replaced with electric lanterns, the railings around the monument have been painted and spikes to prevent pigeons landing on the monument have also been fitted.
The restoration project cost around £60,000 - £15,000 of which was donated by the Soane Monument Trust.
AF Jones Stonemasons and Julian Harrap Architects have been working alongside Reading Borough Council, Reading Civic Society and the Soane Monument Trust and on Tuesday representatives were there to witness the official unveiling.
Lead Cllr Graeme Hoskin
"I am extremely proud"
Graeme Hoskin, Reading's lead councillor for culture and sport, says: "I am extremely proud to see the restoration of the Simeon Monument completed.
"Thanks has to go to everyone involved in this restoration, especially the Soane Trust which gave a generous donation to the project.
He adds: "With the restoration of the Forbury Gardens and Simeon Monument completed and that of the King George V Gardens in Eldon Square and Caversham Court coming shortly, we are really seeing our town's heritage being cherished and passed on to future generations with the love and care it deserves."
Sir John Soane and Edward Simeon
Sir John Soane's obelisk was commissioned by the wealthy banker Edward Simeon in 1804, to brighten up Reading's bustling market square.
It was intended as a visual focus for the square and to support three lanterns to help guide traffic at night.
An exhibition took place at the Museum of Reading in June, to celebrate the restoration of the monument, celebrating John Soane's links to Reading.
The restoration of the Simeon Monument is part of a modernisation scheme taking place in Market Place.
The restoration includes environmental improvements, new street furniture, bus shelters, improved lighting and signing and a new pedestrian crossing outside the Post Office.
last updated: 19/12/2007 at 12:28