Bangor Mail


6-figure scheme for attraction will seek Lotto funding:

- Gareth Williams

PROPOSALS to re-open one of Anglesey’s best-known landmarks have been welcomed. The 88-foot Marquess of Anglesey’s Column in Llanfairpw­ll was shut in 2012 for “essential repairs” and has remained closed to the public ever since.

The early 19th Century monument was built to commemorat­e the Battle of Waterloo and was previously open for the public to climb its 115 steps and enjoy breathtaki­ng panoramic views of the Menai Strait, Snowdonia and beyond.

Now, hopes that it can re-open have taken a major step forward after a planning applicatio­n was submitted to Anglesey Council which includes the renovation of the column, new visitor facilities, a walkway and viewing platform.

The proposals, put forward by the Anglesey Column Trust, follow a successful bid for heritage lottery funding in 2018 to allow for a future full applicatio­n to fund the work, which is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. The column was initially closed due to damage to the internal staircase.

The applicatio­n is now seeking to restore the damaged portions with stainless steel fixings and localised timber, while also renovating the adjacent cottage to provide extended visitor facilities including exhibition space and a small cafe. Also planned is a new access ramped path from the cottage to the column and a new viewing platform with access walkway.

“Over the years the column has become a significan­t community and tourist attraction and is readily seen standing out on the skyline as one approaches Anglesey across the Britannia Bridge,” states the supporting documents, further describing it as “the face of Anglesey tourism.”

“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 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.

“The necessity to deliver explanatio­n boards and other media in the Welsh language is of prime importance to the acceptance of the project for the Anglesey community.

“We are looking to develop presentati­ons and talks for schools and local associatio­ns which will tell the historical significan­ce of the column and the history of the people and events that brought it into being.”

Local councillor, Alun Mummery, said he was pleased to see a major step forward toward its reopening.

“We desperatel­y want to see the column reopen to the public as it has been closed for several years now.

“I wish the group all the best and look forward to the day when we see people on the top once again.”

The column – built to commemorat­e the Battle of Waterloo – was begun in 1816 and finished the following year. The brass statue, which is of Henry William Paget, Earl of Uxbridge and first Marquess of Anglesey, of nearby stately home Plas Newydd, was added in 1860.

The Marquess was second-incommand to Wellington at Waterloo, where he lost his right leg but survived the battle and died in 1854.

In a statement, the applicants told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The Anglesey Column Trust is 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.”

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Marquess of Anglesey’s Column

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