Monday 11 December 2017

Penielheugh

The Wellington or Waterloo Monument stands on the summit of Penielheugh. It is a stone Doric column 150 feet high, built by the 6th Marquis and his tenantry to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory over Napoleon.

This dramatic local landmark represents the second attempt on the site by the 6th Marquis. The first, a pyramid built in 1815 to the design of William Burn fell down ‘with a tremendous crash’ only a year after construction. The existing monument in the form of a ‘Triumphal Column’ was designed by Archibald Elliot and began in 1817. It took 10 years to build, the stone being quarried locally.

The inscription inlaid in letters of lead on the base reads: ‘To The Duke of Wellington And The British Army William Kerr VI Marquess of Lothian And His Tenantry Dedicate This Monument XXX June MDCCCXV’.

The wooden gallery and picturesque spirelet on top were added by the 8th Marquis in 1867, to the design of John Hungerford Pollen, the Pre-Raphaelite architect. There is an internal spiral staircase which gives access to this elevated viewing platform.

For a nominal charge you can borrow a key from the Estate Office, climb the internal stairs to the viewing platform and revel in the breathtaking views of the Borders landscape. Even from the base of the monument it's amazing how far you can see.