29/03/2016 - Permalink

The march for Lord Hill’s statue

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News from our partners Friends of Lord Hill’s Column

Shoppers and visitors to Shrewsbury are in for a rare treat during the morning of Saturday 9 April 2016 when around 100 members of the Armed Forces will march through the town in full uniform to welcome Rev’d Richard Hayes and Nigel Hill to Shrewsbury, after they complete a 75-mile sponsored walk from Lord Uxbridge’s column in Anglesey to Lord Hill’s column in Shrewsbury. They are undertaking this five-day marathon to raise funds for the replacement of Lord Hill’s statue at the top of the column.

The walk will start at 8.45am on Monday 4 April in Anglesey when the Anglesey Hussars will give Richard Hayes, Chairman of the Friends of Lord Hill’s Column and Nigel Hill, a distant relative of Lord Hill, their marching orders. Cannon-fire will alert local people to their departure. Richard and Nigel will wear the full period uniform of the 23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fuziliers), one of the regiments commanded by Lord Hill during the Peninsular War and at Waterloo, throughout the five day walk along the A5 to Shrewsbury.

They will arrive at the castle in Shrewsbury at 11am on Saturday 9 April to be greeted by serving soldiers of the Royal Lancers, Royal Welsh Regiment, Rifle Brigade, members of Shropshire Army Cadet force and senior soldiers who will then escort them through the town to Lord Hill’s column at Shirehall. The welcoming party there will include the Mayor, the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sherriff.

It is anticipated that they will arrive at the column at 12 noon with a bugler at the top of the column alerting everyone to the arrival of the parade. The Column Restaurant at Shirehall will serve refreshments until 2pm, and then the column will be open to the public until 4pm.

Commenting on the walk Richard Hayes said:-

“There has been tremendous support for this walk and we have already raised over £1,000 from public donations. The idea of a walk from one column to another has clearly captured people’s imagination and it has reminded everyone about Shropshire’s famous General, Lord Hill. We hope that everyone will enjoy the pageantry and spectacle of the parade itself but there is a serious message here.

“The column and its statue are an important historical and architectural asset for Shrewsbury and it should be used to draw tourists to the town, who in turn, help local businesses to prosper. We are doing this walk to draw attention to the plight of a significant local monument and to help Shropshire Council in its fundraising programme so that we can start work making an exact copy of the statue this year. The statue is of very great interest, being made in 1816 of Coade Artificial Stone, and at 4.5 m high is probably the largest statue ever made at Mrs Coade’s works in Lambeth.”

The Town Crier will announce Richard and Nigel’s arrival at Shrewsbury Castle outer forecourt at 11am and the parade will assemble there. It will then march to Shirehall via Castle Street, St Mary’s Street, Dogpole, Wyle Cop, the English Bridge and Abbey Foregate to the column at Shirehall.

The route will be stewarded and there will be slight delays to traffic between 11.15am and approximately 11.45am as the procession will be undertaken under a ‘rolling road closure’ with traffic following on behind.

Further information

  1. The welcoming party at Lord Hill’s column at 12 noon

The Mayor and Mayoress: Councillor Miles and Mrs Aurona Kenny; The Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire Sir Algernon Heber-Percy; The High Sheriff of Shropshire Christine Holmes; Chair of Shropshire Council Ann Hartley; MP for Shrewsbury Daniel Kawczynski

  1. The walking route from Anglesey to Shrewsbury.

From Lord Uxbridge’s column near Plas Newydd, Anglesey, Richard and Nigel will cross the Menai Bridge and follow the pavement bordering the A5 through Bethesda, Capel Curig, Bettws-y-Coed, Corwen, Llangollen, Chirk  and finally to Shrewsbury.

  1. Why we are raising money

As owners of the grade 2* listed Lord Hill statue and column, Shropshire Council has a responsibility for maintaining the structure.  The statue in particular has had a number of significant repairs and the Council, along with the Friends of Lord Hill Column, are now seeking support to replace it. The Council will seek funding from a variety of sources and commit to providing the match funding required to secure the replacement statue. Early indications of the costs of replacing the Lord Hill statue including ancillary costs are estimated at not more than £500,000.

  1. The Column

The column was designed by 22-year old Edward Haycock using stone from the nearby quarries at Grinshill, with revisions, to the base only, by Thomas Harrison of Chester. It is 133 feet high (40.5 metres) and, when built, was the highest free standing Greek Doric column in England. Very few firms still work in Coade Stone, and so the replication of the huge statue of Lord Hill will be a source of considerable national interest and its successful completion will redound to the credit of Shropshire Council.

  1. Lord Hill

Lord Hill (1722 – 1842) was born in Prees, North Shropshire and became Wellington’s most trusted General serving with him in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo. The proposal to erect a monument in his honour was first made in the Shrewsbury Chronicle in December 1813, while he was fighting heroically in the Pyrenees.  The decision to build a column followed swiftly and the money was raised by the people of Shropshire through 1814 – a year of peace, after over 20 years of war, following Napoleon’s abdication and exile on Elba. Building began on 27 December 1814, and the column was completed on 18 June 1816, one year exactly after the battle of Waterloo.

  1. The Friends of Lord Hill’s Column

The Friends of Lord Hill’s Column was formed in September 2013 and now has over 1500 Life Members. This has been achieved mainly through opening the Column on specified days so that members of the public may climb the 172 stairs to the top. This costs £5 (young people of school age and students in further education climb free) and confers automatic life membership of the Friends who can climb the column free of charge thereafter.