A project to restore a monument to a commander at the Battle of Waterloo has received a significant funding boost.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded the Anglesey Column Trust a grant of £872,800 to restore and reopen the site in Llanfairpwll.
The column has been closed since 2014, after a report concluded that it required significant restoration work.
The site is dedicated to Henry Paget, who was second in command under the Duke of Wellington and leader of the allied cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, at which a British-led coalition of armies defeated Napoleon Bonaparte for the final time.
Paget lost his right leg in the battle, and was later honoured by the Prince Regent, who made him the Marquess of Anglesey. The community of Llanfairpwll, near the Paget family’s seat at Plas Newydd, raised funds to erect the column overlooking the Menai Strait.
Designed by architect Thomas Harrison, it opened in 1817 and was awarded Grade II-listed status in 1952 for being a ‘well-preserved and conspicuous landmark’.
At nearly 27 metres high, the column was closed after it was found that significant work was necessary to restore the central staircase.
The Anglesey Column Trust, which maintains the site, began to raise funds for its restoration. It says the column will be developed for the public benefit, with a focus on accessibility around the base. A new viewing platform will be installed and a visitors’ centre opened at the neighbouring cottage.
Charles Paget, the 8th Marquess of Anglesey and Chair of the Anglesey Column Trust Committee, 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,’ he added.
However, the Marquess has also said that, despite the generous donation from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will ultimately need to raise over £1m to ensure the redevelopment is completed.