Lord Hill's Column


Lord Hill's Column

Lord Hill's Column, outside the Shirehall (Shropshire County Council's headquarters), is one of the most notable features of the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The tallest Doric column in the world, standing at 133ft 6ins (49.83m), it commemorates Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, with a 17ft tall statue standing on the top of the column. The column was built between 1814 and 1816; its diameter is two feet wider than Nelson's Column, and, not including the pedestal, is 13 feet higher. The architect was Thomas Harrison.

The pedestal is square with a pier of buttress at each angle, on which are placed lions couchant, worked of Grinshill stone (the same as the column) by a Mr Carline of Shrewsbury. The statue of Lord Hill was designed and executed by Messrs. Coade and Sealy of London, in their artificial stone (Coade stone), modelled by Panzetta.

The first stone was laid on 27 December 1814 by the Salopian Lodge of Free Masons assisted by deputies from adjoining lodges, on the festival of St. John the Evangelist. The last stone was laid on 18 June 1816, the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The total expense was 5,972 pounds, 13 shillings and 2 pence.

The structure once stood at the centre of the crossroads there, but the junction is now set aside from the column. The column also gives its name to a borough ward, which is simply "Column" ward.

It is possible to climb within the column using steps to reach the top. The column is opened up to the public by Shropshire County Council on a few days each year.

The column has been listed by English Heritage as a Grade II* structure. [cite web | title=Lord Hill's Column | work=Images of England | url=http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/search/details.aspx?id=455065 | accessdate=2007-05-08]

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