Somerset

Wellington Monument: £500,000 to support repair job

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

Highways England has pledged to donate £500,000 to support repairs to the Wellington Monument in Somerset.

The 175ft (53m) obelisk was built in 1817 as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington's victory at Waterloo.

The three-sided monument, which is clearly visible from the M5, has been fenced off for 13 years due to falling stone debris.

The donation will go towards a £2m fundraising target set by the National Trust for its restoration.

National Trust project manager Helen Sharp said the cash was a "big step towards our target".

Work on the Wellington Monument is due to start next summer, beginning at the top to correct the most at-risk sections.

The entire cost of the work is set at £3.8m but the National Trust has struggled to raise the full amount.

It has applied twice for funding from the National Lottery for the monument's restoration but has been turned down.

Image caption The three-sided obelisk is crumbling
Image copyright NT/Fran Stothard
Image caption The National Trust has spent the past year doing detailed survey work on the "deteriorating structure"

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