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Shrewsbury landmark set to open up - but you'll need a head for heights

A Shropshire landmark will be opening to the public at the weekend - but visitors will have to have a head for heights.

Rev Richard Hayes at Lord Hill's Column
Rev Richard Hayes at Lord Hill's Column

Lord Hill's Column, near Shropshire Council's offices in Shrewsbury has 172 spiral stairs to the top and offers anyone who can make it an unrivalled glorious 50 mile view of the Shropshire and into mid Wales.

The column will be opening for 15 visitors at a time to climb to the top every half an hour on Saturday, August 6 from 11am to 4pm and again on Sunday September 17, from 11am to 4pm.

The Rev Richard Hayes, of the Friends of Lord Hill's Column, says the demand for spaces has been so strong that only a few slots remain open for this weekend. More are available in September.

"It is a real treasure of Shropshire," said Mr Hayes. "We are trying to boost it in terms of interest in Shropshire. People will be able to enjoy the panoramic views from the top where one can see 50 miles on a clear day - it is lovely."

The Friends has 2,200 members who are dedicated to helping to preserve and enhance the landmark which is the tallest Doric column in England, standing at 133 ft 6 in high. It was built between 1814 and 1816 and commemorates Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill of Almaraz and Hawkstone.

Lord Hill was one of Viscount Wellington’s most trusted generals and fought alongside the Waterloo victor in Spain, Portugal and France. From 1828, when Wellington had to relinquish the post of Commander-in-Chief of the British Army on becoming Prime Minister, Lord Hill succeeded him and held the post until 1842.

Mr Hayes said the friends is helping Shropshire Council to enhance the landmark. They are in the process of drawing up plans for the inside of the column. There are currently 2,200 members of the friends who pay £5 per head.

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