£872,800 to reopen column of general who lost his leg to a cannonball in the battle of Waterloo
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded the Anglesey Column Trust the sum of £872,800 towards restoring and reopening the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column site.
The column and statue in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll were constructed in 1817 to memorialise the first Marquess’s role in the Battle of Waterloo, where he led charge of the heavy cavalry.
Just before the end of the battle, he was struck on the leg by a cannonball and is recorded to have said: “By God, sir, I have lost my leg.” The Duke of Wellington who was sat on horseback nearby replied: “By God, sir, so you have.” He later had what was left of the limb removed.
The column closed in 2012 when the internal staircase was deemed unsafe. The money will now be spent on ensuring that those who cannot ascend the Column have access to the base of the Column and to a spectacular new viewing platform.
Responding to the news of the lottery funding, the 8th and current Marquess of Anglesey and Chair of the Anglesey Column Trust Committee said it was “incredibly good news for our project”.
“We’re extremely grateful to both the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their award and of course to National Lottery players who made it possible,” he said.
“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 to a great number of people.
“We still need to raise a significant amount of money to match fund the grant offers we’ve received to date, but today’s news is a huge stride in the right direction and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to preserving the Column for generations to come.”
A small cottage, previously used by the gatekeeper, which is also listed, sits alongside the column. The Column is surrounded by four acres of woodland and the site is of geological (UNESCO Site13 Geopark GeoMôn) and archaeological importance.
The Trust will provide a visitor welcome area in the cottage, as well as space for learning activities and school visits. Interpretation throughout the scheme will tell the stories of the Column and the First Marquess.