Wellington Monument awarded £1m towards 'urgent repairs'

Wellington Monument Image copyright NT/Fran Stothard
Image caption The monument was built as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington

A crumbling 19th Century monument has been awarded £1m towards the £4m needed for "urgent repairs".

The Wellington Monument in Somerset was built to mark the Battle of Waterloo, but since 2005 it has been fenced off because of falling stone debris.

Said to be the world's tallest three-sided obelisk, it stands at 75ft (53m) and was built in 1817.

The cash, which came from banking fines, was announced in the government's Autumn Statement.

Image copyright NT/Fran Stothard
Image caption The National Trust has spent the past year doing detailed survey work on the crumbling structure

Andy Semple, from the National Trust, said it was "hopefully an important step in safeguarding the monument for the next 200 years for the benefit of the nation".

Conservative MP for Taunton Deane Rebecca Pow, who has been campaigning to save the structure, said she was "absolutely thrilled" by the "huge boost".

Built on one of the highest points of the Blackdown Hills, the landmark was put up as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington's military achievements at the Battle of Waterloo.

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