Restoring the Wellington Monument in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset is an ongoing project. Unfortunately scaffolding currently covers the monument itself. However, its surroundings still make for a pleasant family walk. The National Trust manage the site, so take a look on their website to see what the monument looks like. I am excited that the restoration includes a plan for a viewing platform. Hopefully there will be some great views from there.
Family Walk at Wellington Monument – History
The Wellington Monument is the tallest three-sided obelisk in the world. It is just over 53 metres tall. As the name suggests, the monument commemorates the Duke of Wellington. The winner of a competition in 1817 deisgned the monument. Thomas Lee Jnr won the competition and designed a triangular pillar supported on a plinth topped with a massive statue of the Duke, totalling 43 metres.
However, funds ran out when the pillar was only 14 metres high. The public lost interest in the project and it continued in bits and pieces over the next few years. The pillar was finished in the 1820s but the statue was never made.
Renewed interest in the monument followed the death of the Duke of Wellington in 1854. Repairing of lightning damage transformed the pillar into an obelisk and the height increased to 52 metres. Once again, public interest waned and by 1892 the pillar was once again in disrepair. Rebuilding of the plinth increased the height to 53 metres, as it is today.
Family Walk at Wellington Monument – Visiting
You can still make the most of the surrounding countryside, even though the obelisk is currently obscured. The National Trust maintains 22 acres of woodland around the monument. Familes can have plenty of fun walking and playing in the woods. If we had paid attention, we would have spotted that there is a mile long circular walk. A good length for little legs, but it does involve a long flight of rough steps, so not for buggies. We pleasantly wandered around aimlessly in the woods. You would be best off using a baby carrier for this walk. Our Tula Free-To-Grow was perfect for the job.
You can park in the decent sized car park. The machine was broken at our visit, but I believe there is a £1 parking charge (2020 figures). Walking along the well maintained path from the car park to the obelisk would be possible for a short walk with a buggy.. And the grassy field around the obelisk makes for a sunny picnic spot.
If you would like more route information on walks in the area you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 128 Taunton and Blackdown Hills.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product via a link on this page, I get a small commission. The product does not cost you any more.