LANDMARK REOPENING HOPES 8 YEARS ON
6-figure scheme for attraction will seek Lotto funding:
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.”