This October, the National Trust will be celebrating 200 years since the laying of the foundation stone at Wellington Monument with a special event on 21 October. Together with partners from the Blackdown Hills AONB and ActionTrack performance company, they will be presenting an evening performance and community celebration for all of the locals.
Because of bad weather, the event venue has been changed and will now be held at the St John’s Baptist church in Wellington.
It’s rumoured that 200 years ago the laying of the foundation stone for the Monument was celebrated with a procession of 10,000 locals from the town to the area where the Monument stands today. Enthralled by this local story of community spirit, the National Trust are keen to mark and celebrate the bicentenary together with the Wellington community. As part of this special day, ActionTrack a local performance company have been working with a group of local actors to bring to life ‘The Story of a Stone’.
The free event will be taking place on 21 October from 7pm to 9pm – at St John’s Baptist Church in Wellington. It had been hoped to hold the event at the monument but, because of the weather alert and high winds forecast, it has had to be moved to the church. A planned walk from the town to the monument has also been cancelled.
Helen Sharp, Project Manager for the National Trust, said: ‘This is a striking landmark and Wellington’s own memorial to the Duke of Wellington and his victory at the Battle of Waterloo. It’s also a symbolic marker for many travellers on the M5, a landmark on their journey to or from home. We were disappointed to learn last week that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair the monument had been unsuccessful but whilst we are exploring where to go from here, we are keen to celebrate this momentous day in the Monument’s history with the local community.’
Local MP Rebecca Pow said: ‘The Wellington Monument is such an iconic part of our landscape and commemorates one of our greatest war heroes so I am delighted that we will be celebrating this important anniversary. It’s also much treasured locally and I know there will be a great deal of support for the event.’
At 175 feet, Wellington Monument is the tallest three sided obelisk in the world. It was funded through public subscription with the foundation stone being laid in 1817 and was finally finished in 1853 after more than three decades of building work.
For further information on the events taking place at Wellington Monument please visit the website. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wellington-monument