His­toric col­umn wins restora­tion wind­fall

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS -

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.”

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