Historic column wins restoration windfall
THE Marquess of Anglesey’s column could soon be open to the public again thanks to a lottery grant to pay for its restoration and renovation.
The historic landmark, left, which overlooks the Menai Strait near Llanfairpwll, has been closed to the public since March 2012 as the wooden steps in the tower have rotted and pose a severe fire risk.
Built in 1817 to commemorate Henry William Paget, the first Marquess of Anglesey, for the part he played at the Battle of Waterloo, its condition has steadily deteriorated.
But now the Anglesey Column Trust, a registered charity, has revealed it has received an initial grant for the restoration of the structure from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) so that it will once again be safe for people to climb to the top, and to develop the whole site for public benefit.
A Trust spokeswoman said: “The cottage at the base of the column will provide a tearoom, shop, interpretation of the heritage and architecture of the column, and space for learning activities, school visits and wider educational use.
“The project will feature an inter- pretation scheme throughout the site that will tell stories about the local area and the significant history connected with the column,” she said.
Visitors and locals have enjoyed conquering its 115 steps to enjoy the panoramic views of North West Wales, including Snowdonia, Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula. Local charities have also used the column as a valuable focus for fundraising events.
Commenting on the award of the grant, Alex, 8th Marquess of Anglesey and chair of the Anglesey Column Trust Committee, said: “We’re delighted we have received this support thanks to National Lottery players.
“Since we launched our campaign to restore and reopen the column, the support and positive feedback we’ve received from the local community and interest groups has been fantastic.
“The overwhelming response has been that people want to be able to enjoy the column site again and that its heritage and history are very important. It’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving it for generations to come.”