Press release – Wednesday 11th March 2015.
Lord Hill’s Column at the end of the London road in Shrewsbury will once again be open to the public. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo so additional days have been added to the schedule. The column was built in 1815 to honour local hero, Rowland Hill, who was Wellington’s trusted General during the Peninsula War and at the battle of Waterloo.
Announcing the new opening dates, Richard Hayes, Chairman of the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column said: “We are delighted to be able to open the column to the public. This will give visitors a rare opportunity to climb the 172 steps of the spiral staircase to enjoy spectacular views over Shropshire and Wales from the platform at the top. 2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and across the country events will be staged to celebrate the final defeat of Napoleon. Shropshire can boast a particularly important monument to a hero of the Napoleonic Wars and there has been great interest in our plans. Last year tickets sold out and we had to disappoint a lot of people so I urge everyone to book their place quickly”.
Information for the public:
Booking must be made in advance as places are limited and tickets will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Bookings can be made on line at “Climb It” via our website www.friendsoflordhillscolumn.co.uk or by telephoning: 07720 677530
The charge is £5 per person and all money goes towards creating an exact copy of the statue as the original one needs to be replaced.
Dates for public opening of the Column in 2015
Easter – Saturday 4 April 1100 – 1600 inclusive
Bank Holiday Monday 6 April 1100 – 1600 ditto
Bank Holiday Monday 25 May 1100 – 1600 ditto
Saturday 13 June 1100 – 1600 ditto
Wednesday 8 July 1800 – 2030 ditto
Sunday 16 August 1200 – 1600 ditto
Bank Holiday Monday 31 August 1100 – 1600 ditto
Sunday 13 September 1200 – 1600 ditto
Saturday 3 October 1100 – 1600 ditto
There will be no charge on Sunday 13th September as this is a Heritage Open Day.
Notes for Editors
Rowland Hill (1772 -1842) was born at Prees, North Shropshire and served with Wellington throughout the Peninsular War (1808 – 1814). He achieved three important battle victories: in Spain at Arroyo dos Molinos in 1811 and at Almáraz in 1812 and in France at St Pierre-d’Irube in 1813. The two Spanish victories were good examples of independent command by Hill and made him Wellington’s most trusted general. Rowland Hill was universally loved in the army for his kindness, earning the title Daddy Hill. He was created Baron Hill of Almaraz and Hawkstone in 1814 and fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was second-in-command of the Army of Occupation in Paris until 1818, then returned to Shropshire and spent the next ten years at his home at Hardwick near Hadnall. From 1828-42 he served as Commander-in-Chief of the Army with his office in Horse Guards. He was created a Viscount in 1842 and died at Hardwick in December 1842. He was buried in Hadnall church where his memorial tablet may be seen.
Lord Hill’s column was erected at the expense of the people of Shropshire to honour their local hero Rowland Hill. The column is 200 years old and took 18 months to build. It is 133 feet 6 inches high, the tallest free-standing Greek Doric column in England, and was designed by local Shropshire architect Edward Haycock. The foundation stone was laid on 27th December 1814 and it was completed on 18th June 1816, the first anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The statue of Lord Hill at the top is made of Coade Stone and, at 17 feet high, is one of the largest statues made by Mrs Coade’s firm in Lambeth, London. It was modelled by Joseph Panzetta (active 1787 – 1830) who worked for Mrs Coade for 26 years.
Bookings: Made via our website: www.friendsoflordhillscolumn.co.uk. Look for the Events Page- view ‘all events’ . Select the date and time and book the number of places required. A confirmation email will be despatched and this needs to be brought to the column on the day.