Marquess of Anglesey's Waterloo column renovation is backed

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image copyrightAnglesey Column Trust
image captionThe column was built to commemorate the first Marquess of Anglesey's role in the Battle of Waterloo

Hopes of reopening one of Anglesey's best-known landmarks have been boosted with permission given for restoration.

The 90ft (27m) Marquess of Anglesey Column in Llanfairpwll has been closed to the public since 2012, after it was shut for "essential repairs".

Previously people could climb the steps of the 1817 monument to the Battle of Waterloo to see views of the Menai Strait and Snowdonia.

A trust is hoping to get £640,000 lottery funding for the work.

Plans for new visitor facilities, a walkway and viewing platform have been approved by Anglesey council planning officers.

The column was initially closed due to damage to the internal staircase, but the application sought to restore the damaged portions with stainless steel fixings and local timber.

The adjacent cottage would offer exhibition space and a small cafe.

image copyrightAnglesey Column Trust
image captionA path would lead to the column from a cottage serving as a visitor centre

Heritage lottery funding was obtained in 2018 to finance the drawing up of the plans.

Supporting documents described the column as "the face of Anglesey tourism".

It had become "a significant community and tourist attraction and is readily seen standing out on the skyline as one approaches Anglesey across the Britannia Bridge".

"Restoration of the column will bring an increase in the visitor numbers once access to the column is provided and this will increase footfall in local shops, hotels and other local visitor attractions," the application continued.

"The work envisaged will not only bring the monument up to current standards of access and safety but it will allow improvements in the promotion of the column and its heritage to be brought into the digital age."

image copyrightChris Downer/Geograph
image captionSome of the steps inside the column were found to be in a "very poor condition"

A structural report found the main stone column to be stable but warned the internal timber stairs were "in a very poor condition" being "unsafe and dangerous".

The column - built to commemorate the 1815 Battle of Waterloo - was begun in 1816 and finished the following year.

A brass statue of Henry William Paget, Earl of Uxbridge and first Marquess of Anglesey, was added in 1860.

He had been second-in-command to Wellington at Waterloo, where he lost his right leg but survived the battle and died in 1854.

The Anglesey Column Trust told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was "making good progress with the development stage of the project and has identified various revenue streams available for fundraising".

"A National Heritage Lottery Fund round two application will be submitted in early 2021, which will need to be match-funded through other sources," the trust added.

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